Meet the CFO: Scott Dilley FCPA

Meet the CFO: Scott Dilley FCPA

Having forged his career from the ground up, Scott Dilley has the empathy required in his DSS role to help Australian families in need.

The role

I manage a team of 130 with a budget of A$122 billion. This represents about 30 per cent of the total Commonwealth budget. We support the [Social Services] minister [Christian Porter] and manage a range of financial, property and procurement services, including 33 office leaseholds around the country.

Why DSS?

DSS is truly a people department with a mission to improve the lifetime wellbeing of Australian families. It’s a privilege to work with professional, committed people who maintain an affordable welfare system for people who need it most. I saw an opportunity to use my accounting skills to help make that happen.

Career path

I owned a pizza cafe before going to the Australian National University to gain a Bachelor of Commerce. So I know how to make a good coffee and flip a pizza! In 2001, I joined the Commonwealth Public Service, working mainly in finance and accounting roles with Medicare, the Family Court and the former AusAID.

Light bulb moment

At the start of my working life, a colleague, who had recently emigrated to Australia, was working three or four jobs to settle his family – buying a house and a second-hand car. Seeing what that family achieved in quite a short time made me realise what I could do if I focused.

Lessons learned

Most good things are harder than they might appear at the outset; there will always be hard yards ahead. Show trust and let good people do good things. Also, you have to connect the story to the numbers.

Road ahead

The profession as a whole must adapt to the impact of technology over the coming years, otherwise we will be replaced. We have to let go of traditional sacred cows, such as complex reconciliations and month-end reporting. The technology will do daily updates in real time. We have to engage with technology and people to influence decisions.

Read next: How to become your accounting clients' CFO

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May 2016
May 2016

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