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New partner to bring innovation focus to Pitcher Partners Perth

The Pitcher Partners network has added its third new audit partner in less than a month, as the national accounting and advisory firm seeks to supercharge its capabilities in data analytics.

Marius van der Merwe is set to join the Perth office of Pitcher Partners as its Executive Director of Business Advisory and Assurance, bringing with him more than two decades of experience as a chartered accountant.

Mr van der Merwe has led audit teams in Australia and South Africa for more than 25 years, most recently at boutique Perth-based accounting firm Dry Kirkness.

His area of expertise encompasses external audits and investigations, with his previous clientele ranging from Australian financial services licence holders to not-for-profit organisations and local government bodies.

Pitcher Partners Perth Managing Director Leon Mok said Mr van der Merwe would significantly enhance the firm’s audit offering in the not-for-profit space.

“We are thrilled to welcome Marius to Pitcher Partners Perth,” Mr Mok said.

“His deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by NFPs will be an invaluable asset to our clients.

“Having Marius join our team demonstrates our unwavering commitment to the not-for-profit sector.

“His expertise will allow us to deliver even more specialised, high-quality auditing services tailored to NFP clients.”

In addition to bolstering Pitcher Partners Perth’s NFP expertise, Mr van der Merwe also brings a strong focus on innovation to deliver additional value for clients.

“My brief is to relook at everything we do and to bring an innovative lens to not only the client work that we do but the internal processes that we follow using data and analytics,” Mr van der Merwe said.

“The audit game is really behind the eight ball when it comes to innovation, and I am extremely excited about the opportunities in big data, machine learning and AI.

“We all have access to big data, and we have highly intelligent people working in our teams, but we have not really adjusted our audit process to make use of the opportunity.

“The audit industry is ripe for change. We are ready to innovate and that will give our people and our clients significantly better outcomes.”

For Pitcher Partners Perth clients, Mr van der Merwe said he would continue to pursue a hands-on approach to client management.

“The joy of being in audit and working with a client is that I know for a fact that the client has something to teach me, and I have something to teach him or her,” he said.

“My focus is not so much on getting the samples done or getting the controls tested, my focus is on understanding what matters to the client, interpreting the data collected through a lens of how it affects their world and what the impact on their world is, and where we can add value.

“I’m not just there to grow their business, I’m there to really give them back more value than what they paid for.”

Mr van der Merwe commenced in his role on March 5.

The appointment comes as Pitcher Partners Sydney is also expanding its audit practice, with the recent addition of two highly experienced new partners.

Audit partners Maya Sutanto and Nathan Balban add more than five decades of audit and advisory experience to Pitcher Partners’ Sydney firm.

Ms Sutanto has worked in the automotive sector for more than 20 years, including more than a decade at United States-based accounting and consulting firm Crowe LLP, while Mr Balban brings more than 25 years of experience in providing audit and assurance services.

Mr Balban commenced at Pitcher Partners on March 5, while Ms Sutanto will join Pitcher Partners on April 2.

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