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Sandra Shanmugam Harcourt
Chartered Accountant (CAANZ) and Fellow of CPA (Aust.)


I am a Fellow of CPA Australia and a Chartered Accountant, Australia & New Zealand. I am the Managing Director of Shan Harcourt Business Services, as well as an international & national tax consultant to accounting firms & company CEOs. I have an MBA in Finance and experience as a strategic analyst in publicly listed companies, chartered accounting firms, multinational manufacturing firms, banking and finance. Organisations worked with or for include: Arthur Andersen, Ernst and Young, Staples Rodway, BDO Spicers, Public Bank, & Otis Elevators.  At present, I head several departments: Business Advisory, Human Resources, Tax, Internal Audit, and Corporate Legal. I am a CPA Australia & CAANZ mentor for mid-career managers in Australia & New Zealand.

Awards and Designation

  • FCPA (Australia) awarded in 2019

  • 10 years CPA Australia Certificate in 2018

  • Best Mentor Award at Accounting Tax & Consultancy Services in 2017

  • Best Customer Service Award at Accounting Tax & Consultancy Services in 2012

  • Team Impact Award at Accounting Tax & Consultancy Services in 2010

  • Award for Advanced Computer Skills at Staples Rodway in 2005

  • Dean’s List in MBA (Applied Finance and Investment) for Executive studies

  • MBA Scholarship at Public Bank in 2000

  • Best Systems Accountant at Public Bank (with a 1998 Arthur Anderson project)

  • Best Dedicated Accountant Award in 1995

Professional Membership and Education

Professional Membership

  • FCPA Australia 

  • Chartered Accountant New Zealand

  • Chartered Accountant of Malaysia


  • Graduate CA Program in Accounting

  • Master of Business Administration (Applied Finance and Investment)

  • Bachelor of Accountancy (Hons)

Work Experience

Director                                                                                             January 2008 - Present

Shan Harcourt Business Services

  • Earned a reputation for helping our clients develop and grow successful businesses.

  • Tailored services to the interests of the clients, focusing on their long-term strategic goals as first priority.

  • As an astute strategist, interpreted the business environment and positioned organisations for success.

  • Transformed strategies into achievable operational plans to deliver desired outcomes.

  •  Provided strategic expertise in areas such as: accounting, NZ taxation, international taxation, employment contracts, dismissal law, health and safety law, employment representation, recruitment and selection, and remuneration, as well as property investment and property development.

  • Formulated and approved firms' strategic plans, including long-term goals, strategies for growth, and expansion. Ensured that firms' strategies align with the market environment and the firms' capabilities.

  • Overseen the firm’s risk management policies and practices, ensuring that risks were identified, assessed, and managed appropriately eg, financial risks, reputational risks, and compliance risks.

  • Provided governance and oversight to firms' operations, ensuring that they were managed effectively and ethically eg, oversight of firms' senior management teams, setting strategic goals, and monitoring the firms' performance against these goals.

  • Encouraged and directed ongoing professional development and training within firms to ensure that staff remain current with industry standards, regulations, and best practices.


Senior Tax Associate                                                                          January 2008 - Present

Accounting and Tax Consultancy Services

  • Engaging Stakeholders: Relayed strategic visions and insights to both internal and external stakeholders. Delivered presentations to the firm's upper management, collaborating with teams across various departments, and interacting with clients or partners.

  • Advisory Services: Provided guidance on the tax implications of various business decisions, such as mergers and acquisitions, investments, and restructuring. Helped clients understand tax systems and advised on the most tax-efficient ways to structure transactions.

  • Tax Planning: Developed strategies to minimize the tax liabilities of their clients while ensuring compliance with the law.

  • We provide international and national tax advice to accounting firms and CEOs of companies.

  • We provide strategic advice to clients to help them develop and grow their business.

  • We help our clients manage and advise clients in setting up and running their own accounts.

  • We provide expert tax advice and related services for clients.

  • We develop and maintain relationships with bankers, the IRD, corporate clients, & Companies office.

  • We provide HR related advice and services.


BAS Accountant                                                                          May 2004 - December 2007

Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Chartered Accountants

  • Prepared financial statements and tax returns for companies, partnerships, trusts, and sole traders.

  • Analysed financial statements and advised partners on the findings and made recommendations for improvements to clients’ business and efficient record keeping.

  • Coded clients’ information in Bank Link, Cash Manager and Solution 6.

  • Prepared GST returns on behalf of clients.

  • Problem solved & analysed for clients, using information from Bank Link, Cash Manager and Cash Flow Report.

  • Provided advice to clients and ensured all records were maintained correctly for interim processing.

  • Attended to ad hoc assignments as requested by partners.


BAS Accountant                                                                    January 2003 – April 2004                                               

G.W. Scott & Associates Ltd

  • Attended to ad hoc assignments as requested by partners.

  • Strategic Planning: Developed strategic plans that align with the firm's vision, mission, and long-term goals. Involved setting objectives, determining actions to achieve those objectives, mobilizing resources, and establishing timelines.

  • Business Development: Identified and pursued new business opportunities that align with the firm's strategic goals. Involved expanding into new markets, developing new services, and forming strategic partnerships.

  • Stakeholder Engagement: Communicated strategic plans and insights to stakeholders within and outside the firm. Included presenting to senior management, working with cross-functional teams, and engaging with clients or partners.

  • Prepared financial statements for trusts, companies, partnerships and sole traders.

  • Prepared income tax returns and GST returns.

  • Provided accounting and financial information.

  • Problem solved & analysed – quality orientation.

  • Provided advice in taxation and preparing business valuation.


Senior Officer Finance Division                                 September 1996 – December 2002

Arthur Anderson / Public Bank

  • Leadership and Management: Role in setting the vision, strategic direction, and goals for the accounting practice that affected the entire firm.

  • Client Management and Business Development: Directly involved in managing relationships with key clients, ensuring the delivery of high-quality services, and identifying new business opportunities.

  • Technical Expertise and Advisory Services: Deep expertise in accounting principles, tax laws, and financial regulations. Provided advisory services to clients on complex financial matters, strategic transactions, and regulatory compliance.

  • Supervised 24 direct branches at managerial level.

  • Exercised overall responsibility for all management accounting matters in the group, which included preparation and analysis of the Public Bank’s consolidated financial statements.

  • Monitored and controlled the company’s performance, budgets, and costing, and liaised with external auditors.

  • Involved in system integration of Kapiti system for interest accrual reports for interest bearing instruments and bonds.

  • Performed user acceptance testing for discounted instruments like Treasury bills and Reserve Bank bills.

  • Participated with Arthur Andersen auditors in system conversion from NCR System to Walker General Ledger System.

  • Performed credit control and tested computerisation of enhanced collection reports/housing loan/fixed loan/term loan statements.

  • Supervised/oversaw 23 bank branches in Asia – e.g., checking the excess overdraft accounts, recovery of non-performing loans, share collateral reports and monitoring branch mangers’ discretionary powers.

  • Carried out monthly Treasury reporting to US HQ.


Senior Financial Accountant                                         October 1995 to September 1996

Penang Development Corporation (PDC)

  • Supervised 53 direct reports at managerial level. 

  • Supervised the entire Finance Section in the absence of the Financial Controller. 

  • Supervised employees in Finance Division re: product costs to meet set targets & reduce turnover cost.

  • Prepared monthly financial statements (including reconciliations) for PDC.

  • Prepared consolidation of monthly financial statements for payments, accounts receivable, and accounts of all subsidiary organisations.

  • Developed new payments system.

  • Prepared annual budgets, comparisons with actual results, and reasons for all variances.

  • Prepared annual and monthly cash flow forecast.

  • Presented weekly report on cash position and rolling cash flow forecast to PDC directors.

  • Updated online remuneration system.

  • Provided monthly salary statements as required by employees.

  • Devised system for making advance payments to employees.

  • Paid creditors and other accounts payable on timely basis.

  • Monitored all staff performing payroll function.

  • Prepared appropriate summaries, accounting entries, reconciliations of payments to contractors.

  • Assisted in planning and implementation of the computerisation of accounting and financial systems throughout the corporation.

  • Liaised with internal and external auditors.

  • Handled customer complaints.

  • Carried out monthly Treasury reporting.


Internal Auditor                                                                             January 1994 to October 1995

Ernst & Young

  • Operational Auditing: Examined the efficiency and effectiveness of the firm's operations, including non-financial areas of risk, such as the organization's supply chain, IT systems, and human resources processes.

  • Advisory Services: Provided consulting services, advising management on how to improve systems and processes, including recommendations on best practices, operational efficiencies, and strategies for mitigating risk.

  • Financial Auditing: Ensured the accuracy and integrity of the firm’s financial records and statements. Evaluated financial processes and controls to prevent and detect errors, fraud, and mismanagement.


BAS Accountant                                                                 January 1993 to January 1994

BDO Spicers / Otis Elevators

  • Accounting and Reporting: Provided accounting services, including the preparation of financial statements, management accounts, and custom financial reports.

  • Compliance Services: Effectively ensured clients comply with local and international accounting standards and regulations. Inclusive of compliance with financial reporting standards, corporate governance, and other regulatory requirements.

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