Your professional partners in strata taxation & accounts

Ascend is an accounting firm that is dedicated to servicing the needs of the strata management profession.  Focussing on this unique area has given our team the expertise and experience necessary to deal with the often complex tax and accounting issues faced by the busy strata manager.  We truly do understand your business.

Developing close ties with our clients is what it’s all about at Ascend.  Work life is always so much more enjoyable when it’s personable.  That’s why we always encourage regular communication with each of our clients. Our philosophy is that if your business grows then ours will too.  That’s why we go out of our way to offer you advice and information on all things tax and accounts related to the strata/body corporate industry.

Our team have taken the time to develop the necessary knowledge of all of the major strata software programs (Stratamaster, Property IQ, StrataMax, MyStrata etc).  We have established processes that work for each these platforms and we know how to get them working for your business too.  Our aim is to eliminate the hassle and stress that ATO compliance can bring and allow you to get on with doing what you do best – managing your clients’ properties.

Meet the
Ascend Team

  • Phill Geary

    Phill is our Managing Director and has worked with Ascend since our inception back in 2008. He is a qualified accountant, a registered tax agent and was also the treasurer of Strata Community Association (WA) from 2010 to 2014.

    Phill’s primary role at Ascend is to liaise with business owners to identify where their systems, understandings and service offerings might be improved - and then jointly coming up with solutions to help bring those opportunities to fruition. It’s a role he gains great satisfaction from because it allows him to openly learn from decision makers as to where they want their businesses to go. Of course, this is balanced with being the go-to person at our business for those more ‘curly’ tax and accounting issues that our clients face.

    Away from the desk, Phill is a proud husband and father, a self-confessed Test cricket tragic (please don’t hold that against him) and loves anything that gets him away from the desk and interacting with other people. He enjoys keeping fit and is an active member in his local community, holding voluntary positions with several local not-for-profit community organisations.

    Phill Geary
    Managing Director

  • Carlie Outhwaite

    Carlie comes from a background in the real estate and finance industries giving her an excellent insight into our clients and their needs. Her career has included many years of real estate office management and she has vast experience in both bookkeeping and trust accounting. Carlie has obtained her Diploma in Real Estate Business Management, Certificate IV in Bookkeeping and since joining Ascend in 2014 has become a Licenced BAS Agent with the Tax Practitioners Board.

    When she’s not at work she is a mum to three children, loves gardening, cooking, socialising and all things theatre and live music.

    Carlie Outhwaite
    Client Services Manager - Taxation

  • Stephen Rellis

    Stephen is the managing director of Key Audit Solutions who began partnering with Ascend in early 2017. He carries the responsibility of managing our audit engagements, primarily focussing on strata company and trust account audits.

    Having completed his education with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Stephen is a qualified CPA as well as a fellow of The Tax Institute of Australia. Since migrating to Australia from Ireland back in 2006, he has been involved on a wide range of both small- and large-scale audits. Stephen and the team at Key Audit Solutions are experienced in strata companies (obviously), real estate / legal trust accounts, self-managed superannuation funds, incorporated associations, grant acquittals, foreign owned Pty Ltd companies and large Australian Pty Ltd Companies.

    In his spare time Stephen is a lover of travel, history and is kept busy with the demands of his two young sons.

    Stephen Rellis
    Client Services Manager – Audit & Assurance

  • Simone Sewell

    Simone has been working within the real estate industry since 2008. During her career she’s worked as both a property manager and office manager. Her roles have exposed her to many facets of the industry including bookkeeping, trust accounting and compliance on a number of levels. Simone’s role at Ascend is primarily to assist the team and administer the day to day operations of our busy office.

    In her spare time Simone is a passionate makeup artist but is mostly kept busy with two young daughters.

    Simone Sewell
    Office Manager

  • Jessica Soto-Kitcher

    Jessica joined the Ascend team in October 2018. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Curtin University, majoring in Accounting and Business Law. She began her accounting career in the film and television industry as an assistant accountant - a position that gave her exposure to the analytical skills that segued perfectly into her current role working with both our strata and business clients here at Ascend. Jessica is a SCAWA member and is Xero Advisor Certified.

    Away from the desk, Jessica enjoys hiking, travelling (not during busy season of course) and being with her fur babies.

    Jessica Soto-Kitcher
    Accountant

  • Sue Gamble

    Sue has worked as a bookkeeper for over 30 years and began working with the Ascend team back in 2015. She is experienced across many business sectors and specialises in the design and implementation of tailored accounting systems for the unique needs of each business she assists. Sue’s knowledge of the various accounting packages (including Xero, MYOB & Quickbooks) and their respective capabilities is profound. To compliment her practical knowledge, she has also attained a Cert IV in Business and is a licenced BAS Agent with the Tax Practitioners Board.

    Don’t be fooled by the bookkeeping guise however… Sue loves her camping holidays and enjoys outdoor pursuits so long as there’s a glass of wine at the end of the day. When asked to name her passions for the purposes of this bio, Sue instantly replied that it is ‘to retire and travel the world’… from a selfish point of view though, we hope that’s a while away yet because Sue plays a valuable role at Ascend in overseeing our bookkeeping services for business clients.

    Sue Gamble
    Senior Bookkeeper

  • Jane Clarkson

    Jane’s working career commenced with eight years in finance and administration roles. In 2008, she obtained a Bachelor of Science (Env) and has since held management roles within the environmental field. Through her work, she has gained demonstrable experience in the interpretation and administration of relevant state and Commonwealth legislation, as well as in the development of policies and protocols.

    Looking to reignite her passion for accounting, Jane completed Certificate IVs in Accounting and in Bookkeeping in 2019. She is a Certified Xero Adviser and enjoys helping our business clients to get more out of their businesses. In addition, Jane looks after a number of our strata clients during the busy BAS and tax periods.

    Jane Clarkson
    Accountant

  • Sally Bruce

    Sally brings a wealth of experience from a variety of sectors ranging from large corporations, Government departments as well as running her own small business. She joined the Ascend team in January 2018, initially to help out with scanning quarterly documents but, as her experience with our business has grown, and as we transitioned to a paperless office since 2019, Sally’s role evolved to handling business communications and developing informative marketing content for both Ascend and clients who are on our strata manager partner program. She also still helps out with administrative tasks during our busy periods.

    Sally possesses strong interpersonal skills and is a very efficient operator... traits that really help her to excel in her dual roles of communications and administration. When not working with Ascend, Sally juggles a busy family life interspersed with gigs as a professional actor.

    Sally Bruce
    Communications and Admin