The Yass Valley Business Chamber is taking the second half of 2020 confidently in its stride with events taking place around the town. Netwalking steps off once a month, and thanks to a government grant, workshops have started this month to help small business become more social-media-savvy.

Part of the executive team behind this success is Nyree Ashton, the current treasurer for the Business Chamber. Ms Ashton is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) as well as a business owner in Yass. Ms Ashton has lived here for the past 23 years and has been an Accountant in town for 11 years and in Canberra before that.

Ashton – Nyree Ashton brings her significant experience as a chartered practising accountant to Yass Valley Busniess Chamber

Ms Ashton founded Infinity Advisory & Planning Pty Ltd just over two years ago in August 2018 with offices located in Yass and Boorowa.

In Yass, there is currently herself and one other staff member, while Boorowa has two staff members. The office in Boorowa has been open for over 40 years and took on the new name when Ms Ashton founded her business.

Ms Ashton is originally from Cairns and moved to Canberra to complete her degree in accountancy at the University of Canberra. Accounting is also in her blood as she revealed her father was also an accountant while she was growing up. Ms Ashton often helped in the business from the age of thirteen.

Her first love is music, and she started to train as a music teacher before changing courses to accountancy. Ms Ashton played the viola and auditioned for the School of Music but was unsuccessful. This led her to the decision to take up accountancy, and she has been a credit to Yass and the Business Chamber.

“My kids are all grown up, so I hope to have more time to get back to music, but it’s mainly working now more than anything else,” said Ms Ashton.

Ms Ashton was working full time while she gained her qualifications as a CPA more than a decade after completing her accounting degree at university. This trend continued as she also earned the qualifications to be a financial advisor and planner.

“I enjoy the work. With what has happened with COVID and job keeper and seeker, I need to keep up and keep track of that,” stated Ms Ashton. “With COVID, clients are bringing their returns in earlier because they have more time and we have been very busy.”

“If COVID happened five years ago with the infrastructure we had, we would not be able to do the things we can do now,” said Ms Ashton.

Infinity Planning prides itself on being technologically up to date and using this to its advantage. They can meet face to face or through zoom meetings. They also have a client portal set up that is much more secure than email for clients to upload confidential documents.

Ms Ashton defined the business as a “local accounting firm that’s progressive with technology as well as financial planning.”

Financial planning is mostly about retirement and having the right investments to suit your risk profile. It also deals in advising people about gaining insurance which Ms Ashton believes should be considered as early as possible.

Ms Ashton has been a member of the business chamber for the past 5-6 years and became the treasurer around May 2019. Her experience in her work made her the perfect candidate for the treasurer position.

One event that the business chamber has started to run is their netwalking. The business awards were cancelled this year which is usually an excellent chance for small business owners to meet and network. However, the Yass Business Chamber has created the netwalking event as a way for this to continue to happen.

Chamber members and non-members welcome to join the Netwalkers

“You walk for 10 minutes with one person. Then one person from each pair rotates, so you have a new partner, then repeat. Sort of like speed dating but its speed networking” joked Ms Ashton.

Ms Ashton believes that small owners should be relying on each other to share information. There are a lot of good local businesses in Yass, and they often share the same issues and concerns.

“Everyone is going through the same things. Having a networking group where you can discuss and find out what other businesses are doing benefits everyone,” said Ms Ashton.

The next Netwalk event will be held on Friday November 6th at 7 am-8 am and there may be another walk at 5.30 pm – check the Chamber’s FaceBook Page or email for confirmation