Directors' Circle: Wayne James, Next Accounting

As an absolute words-person, I always find it interesting to meet the other half - the people who see a story in numbers. Wayne James is a director at Next Accounting and one of those delightfully direct people - someone who tells it to you straight (without being a brute about it), which is exactly what you want from an accountant.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

No real ambition to ‘be’ anything – was always good with numbers and did grow up helping mum keep the cash book reconciled for dad’s business. Bit nerdy, but there you go.  

What do you consider the key to success?

Persistence. I am conscious this is an easy and often quoted answer. But business can be a real grind sometimes. To win you have to keep turning up.

How do you stay motivated when challenges arise?

I don’t enjoy challenges hanging over my head for too long – so always looking to tear the band aid off quickly. If the issue is a task – it is really just a matter of hours. The number of hours it takes to complete isn’t going to change really – so just get in and deal with it. Get it off your plate. If the challenge is a ‘people’ issue, you have to think about the long-term consequences of how you best approach the problem at hand. A task should never take priority over a person. We each have dozens of deadlines each day. Many of them important and some critical. How you approach someone is as important as why you approach them – whether it is for help, guidance, advice or anything.

What is your top tip for keeping organised?

Close the loops. Avoid picking something up multiple times before it is completed. Don’t get caught in a round robin of emails between groups. Have really good people around you that you trust. Avoid micro managing like the plague. It’s bad for you and usually leads to poor/slow service with your customers and is demoralising for your team.

Tell us something about yourself that is not on your LinkedIn profile.

I’m a long-suffering Canberra Raiders supporter.

Give a shout out to three local businesses.

Get behind the Mackay Cutters. The boys nearly got themselves into the finals this year and are looking well placed for 2018.

M’s Enchanted Flowers at Parkside. Megan produces some unique stuff down there and is great at keeping you in the good books with your better half.

The Mackay Foundation is a community foundation aimed at helping those most in need in our area. All donations are invested and the earnings each year are distributed to the local community. Great concept where the ‘pot’ is building each year so the foundation can provide a permanent and growing source of funds locally.