INTHEBLACK July 2021 - Flipbook - Page 48
C A R E E R PAT H
// M A R I LY N P R I C E F C PA
STORY CHRISTOPHER NIESCHE
F R O M S T R AT E G I C C A R E E R M O V E S T O L I F E L O N G L E A R N I N G ,
M A R I LY N P R I C E F C P A C O N S T A N T LY D R A W S O N H E R D E S I R E
T O TA K E O N N E W C H A L L E N G E S .
ookkeeper to prison chaplain might sound like a major
career leap, but for Marilyn Price FCPA, who became a
part-time chaplain with Perth’s women’s prisons at the
age of 69, her career has been a series of logical steps,
underpinned by a philosophy of lifelong learning.
Price’s career began close to five decades earlier, when she
started as a bookkeeper at Walton’s department store in
Goulburn, New South Wales, after leaving a languages and
psychology degree at Sydney University because of an illness.
She loved the role and found she could employ personal
traits of precision and logic that had expressed themselves in
maths and music at school.
Marriage and moves to New Zealand and then Perth saw
Price cement her career as a bookkeeper, and she enrolled in a
bachelor of business degree at what is now Curtin University,
at a time when academic qualifications were becoming
mandatory for accountants.
After a few years working at Weston James & Co., a
chartered accounting practice in Perth, which later became
part of Ernst & Young, Price made her second big career leap
– opening her own private practice and becoming the first
female sole practitioner in Western Australia to become a
fellow of CPA Australia.
“It was a brave step to open a practice with a zero fee
base, but I believed the market was ready for someone with
a grassroots attitude,” she says, adding that she spotted a
market niche for an accountant who was personally
accessible to her clients, providing them with quality
services and helping them to financially manage and grow
48 ITB July 2021
The strategy worked. When Price sold the practice 16 years
later, the buyers remarked on how long her clients had been
with the firm, including some who had been with her from
the outset. The reason Price decided to sell her four-person
firm was simple. “I was burnt out. I wanted to work for
someone else and not be the person of last resort with the
What Price gained from the experience was that it helped
her to consolidate her accounting skills and build up her
advisory and education expertise, as she assisted her business
clients to plan and better manage their enterprises.
Alongside running her practice and juggling her family
responsibilities, Price had been studying for a master’s degree
in human resource management at Curtin University, to learn
facilitation and boost her negotiation and mediation skills.
This set her up for her next role as corporate services
manager in the Burswood office of Geraldton Building Co.,
where she oversaw group finance, accounting, training and
human resource management, and undertook the role of
After several years in the role, and several more managing
a suburban CPA Australia practice, Price moved to a
specialist role in succession and estate planning at RSM Bird
Cameron. Some years later, she worked as a CFO for a
private group of 24 companies.
FOLLOWING A CALLING
This was to be Price’s last accountancy role, which she left in
2014 to care for her terminally ill husband. In that same year,
she commenced a newly created degree course, a masters of