Our people: Shari Carter
Shari Carter is a Deloitte Private partner based in Christchurch. With extensive experience in working with small to medium sized businesses, she’s seen many South Island companies flourish and grow. Shari has also been involved in the Deloitte Fast 50 programme for a number of years, and was the lead speaker at the recent regional celebrations in Christchurch.
How would you describe your career so far?
I started at Deloitte as a graduate, before leaving the firm for a while to work in a commercial role as a CFO. That was probably the point where I realised that working in Chartered Accounting was where my heart was, so I came back to Deloitte and became partner a few years later. Making that move back to Deloitte was the turning point for me - up until then, I had been going through what a lot of people do as a graduate; working through the ranks, getting my qualifications, understanding the industry. Now, I’ve been a partner for 11 years.
Why do you like working in the Deloitte Private space?
There are a few things that I like in comparison to the corporate world. The first one is the variety - I get to work with a variety of clients day to day, which is really interesting. The other thing is the fact that I get to work with business owners who make decisions, not only from a financial point of view, but also by considering their families and their personal values. Their passion comes into it a lot more than when you're dealing with executive teams, so it's a more complex decision-making process. It’s quite a privilege to be let into their worlds.
What are the signs of a successful business?
I think that there are many reasons why businesses are successful. For some, it’s just a matter of right time, right place, and they kind of catch a break. For others, and particularly for the businesses in the Deloitte Fast 50, I think that their success comes from the passion that the business owners have. They have to be absolutely focused on the next goal ahead of them and not let other things distract them.
As a result, you often find that the systems in fast-growing businesses aren't particularly streamlined, because the owners and the key people within the business are just so focused on the growth of the business. That’s where we can step in and help.
What is your favourite piece of advice for clients?
In terms of the successful businesses I’ve seen, my advice is to actually be open to taking advice. A lot of successful people are used to solving their own problems and they don't necessarily seek the advice of people who might have been there before. If they’re prepared to learn from others, they can progress the business far more quickly.
What are you most looking forward to in the Festival of Growth this year?
The Festival of Growth is an amazing day. There is just an energy there which I really enjoy being a part of and it’s because you've got a room full of people who are all so incredibly motivated and passionate about what they do. I always come away from that day with a real buzz and you see that in other people as well.
The other thing that I'm really looking forward to is seeing where our local businesses make it on the Fast 50 because I do think we've got some real success stories here in Christchurch and I would love to see them make it onto the top part of the index.
What is your favourite way to spend the weekend?
My weekends are all about family, friends and food. I’m a part-owner of a catering company and in the crazy busy summer months I get called into the kitchen to help out. But as much time as possible is spent with my family and my friends (often while enjoying good food).
If you could invite three people to dinner, who would that be?
It would probably change over time, but I think I would have Michelle Obama, the Dalai Lama and probably Noel Gallagher. Noel would mainly be for my husband (who I assume gets to be there too) because he's the biggest fan in the world!
Jen Scouler works in the Deloitte clients & marketing team across digital content and social media. She also works closely with Deloitte Private.