Caroline Spencer

Managing Partner

Caroline is a founding partner of Vista Advisory and a senior advisor to public sector executives and regulated entities. 

Caroline leads a team of financial and performance audit professionals to directly influence and improve public sector assurance and governance across six jurisdictions in Australia and the Pacific.

Caroline embraces the challenge of helping shape a high-performing and sustainable public sector that operates with accountability, probity and within legislative mandate to maintain the trust and confidence of decision-makers and the communities they serve.

Having also worked as an auditor for the private sector, Caroline has experience with all types of audit and assurance frameworks – including financial, internal, compliance and performance auditing. Prior to relocating from Sydney to Canberra, Caroline worked for a ‘Big 4’ and a smaller Chartered firm, where she audited publicly listed companies and some of Australia’s largest utilities.

Caroline is responsible for Vista Advisory’s strategic leadership  and promoting quality in the delivery of all Vista Advisory’s public sector engagements.

Caroline has been appointed to a number of statutory-based roles including: appointment in 2015 by the Parliament to lead the statutory review of the performance of the Auditor General for Western Australia and his office under the Auditor General Act 2006 (WA); independent member to public sector boards and audit committees and as an adviser and lead inspector of auditor performance on behalf of the Clean Energy Regulator.

Recent professional engagements include:

  • Australian, ACT, Victorian and Queensland Audit Offices, Caroline provides overall leadership for Vista Advisory’s delivery of performance audits and quality reviews of performance audits for various Australian audit offices, completed to assess compliance with assurance standards and Vista Advisory ‘better practice’ and inform audit office executives how their audit functions are performing.
  • Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI, through NZ Office of the Auditor-General), led the cross-cultural organisational capacity review (2013-14).
  • Department of the Environment, various engagements including development of the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the National Environmental Science Programme; evaluation of the National Environmental Research Program, and financial reporting training to grants management team and governance advisory (2007-2015).
  • Limited assurance review , on behalf of a Commonwealth entity of the effectiveness of implementation of a pilot program prior to roll-out of a multi-billion dollar cross-jurisdictional investment by the Australian Government (2017).

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Business (University of Technology Sydney)
  • Chartered Accountants Professional Year Program
  • Company Director’s Course
  • Certificate IV Training and Assessment

Professional Memberships

  • FCPA
  • Chartered Accountant
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD)
  • Governance Institute of Australia (AGIA)

Community and honorary roles and appointments

Caroline has contributed her financial, audit and corporate governance skills to serve her community in honorary roles and appointments, including in the aged care, volunteer firefighting, community banking and recreation sectors. Caroline has also delivered training, facilitated professional forums and advocated in the public interest through the CPA Australia Centre of Excellence on Reporting and Assurance, and acts as a mentor for young professionals.

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