Ruth Picker


Ruth Picker was born in South Africa where she studied classical piano and composition before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cape Town. A change of direction to accounting led to professional membership of CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and a 36-year career with EY. Ruth Picker’s career in accounting is characterised by service to the profession and advancement within her firm. In the process she has developed considerable expertise in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) while working with directors of some of the largest listed public companies.  Ruth is best known for her significant contribution and service to the wider accounting world in the area of standard setting and as an expert in IFRS. She has served on the Urgent Issues Group in Australia and was a member of the Australian Accounting Standards Board for six years, serving as Deputy Chair and Acting Chair at the time when Australia adopted IFRS. She also served as EY’s global representative on the International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC). Service to the profession in an official capacity has been as a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Professional Development Committee and the Professional Development Committee of the Securities Institute of Australia. This included extensive teaching and lecturing throughout her career. She has also been a member of the editorial board of the Australian Accounting Review. In her professional life Ruth has achieved considerable success. Four years were spent in London as EY’s Global Leader - Global IFRS Services, part of  Global Professional Practice,  responsible for developing and implementing the global strategy around IFRS. Ruth was also a member of EY’s IFRS Policy Committee for nine years determining EY’s global positions on IFRS interpretations.  She currently serves on EY's Asia-Pacific Diversity & Inclusiveness Committee and EY’s Asia-Pacific Executive overseeing 40,000 staff. She chairs EY’s Asia-Pacific Ethics Oversight Group and is a member of EY’s Global Risk Management Executive. Ruth is lead author of a prominent accounting textbook Applying IFRS Standards. Initially produced in two versions - an international version and an Australian version - the international version is currently in its fourth edition. Ruth has served on the Finance Committee of Trinity College, University of Melbourne and as a Member on several not-for-profit boards and committees.  She currently serves on the Mount Scopus Foundation and the Board of the Australian Ballet School where she also chairs the Audit Committee. In November 2000, Ruth was awarded the inaugural Lynne Sutherland Award – an EY award created to recognise those who contribute to the development and retention of women and who support and enhance the ability of EY to attract and retain talented people. In 2007 Ruth was awarded the Charles Holmes Medal by CPA Australia in recognition of her contribution to the accounting profession in Australia.  In 2019 Ruth was included as a case study for her inclusive leadership style in “Quietly Powerful”, a new book authored by Megumi Miki.  She returned to songwriting in 2014 and has published 25 songs (sung by emerging artists) and six piano compositions.

The Australian Accounting Hall of Fame honours Ruth Picker as a practitioner, mentor, standard setter and expert on International Financial Reporting Standards.