Awards 2007: Accountant of the Year

AA Awards

Sponsored by Pegasus

Winner: Catherine Burnet

Catherine Burnet, who served as KPMG’s group senior manager for banking group
HBOS before a recent promotion to director, proved to the judges that she had
helped this key client through some seriously large projects during the past 12

She played a central role in HBOS’s shift to international financial
reporting standards, helping KPMG retain HBOS as a client following a formal
tender process.

In the firm’s entry, it describes how HBOS has provided ‘consistently
excellent feedback’ on Burnet, due to her skills across the client’s wide range
of financial services.

She also introduced a benchmarking methodology through which HBOS’s
management and audit committee could compare itself against its peers.

In a nod to KPMG’s commitment to work/life balance, she successfully held a
senior role while working four days a week – as well as looking after two young

‘You can’t help but be impressed with what she’s done,’ said one of the
judging panel, which included senior professionals used to dealing with advisers
such as Lloyds TSB FD Helen Weir.

At HBOS, Catherine has challenged her main client on a number of issues,
particularly when dealing with the impact of IFRS on the presentation of

She helped introduce a more systematic approach to communication and
reporting, improving the speed and quality of service to HBOS.

The retention of junior managers has increased since she took on her role.
She has earned the respect not just of her client, but of staff within KPMG.
‘Catherine completed some huge projects demonstrating that she is a high-level
operator, obviously heading for big things. She’s very talented and clearly has
an immense appetite for work and getting things right,’ the judges added.

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