From January 2018, we will proudly merge Downes Barrington Northside (DBN) with another long established boutique and private family owned business to create Modoras Accounting (SYD) and Modoras Wealth Management (SYD). Like us, Modoras have a long standing history of providing an all-encompassing service offering to its clients.

With this merger, we will deliver a deeper concentration and focus on the development of businesses along with the provision of a greater depth of business advisory and financial services for all our clients. We are now better positioned to protect, manage and grow your business and your wealth.

Our History

The history of Downes Barrington dates back to 1920
when Stan Downes opened a small accounting practice in Sydney.

The firm slowly grew until WWII broke out and several team members were obliged to head overseas to serve their country.

When the war ended the team returned with a desire and focus on growing the business and making it a success – which they did.

Downes Barrington’s early business largely centred on preparing monthly, quarterly and annual figures for clients; however, they found the main value was in interpreting and advising clients on what these figures meant for their business.

This approach was pivotal in helping Downes Barrington succeed and still lives on today, around 100 years after the firm was founded.

The history of Modoras dates back to 1984 When Peter Sarai landed in Australia.

For over thirty years, Modoras has helped individuals and businesses turn financial possibilities into realities: sharing financial intelligence, delivering actionable insights, building tailored solutions, and taking care of all the practical details in between.

No matter your financial circumstances, we aim to function as each client’s personal CFO, intelligently connecting all the pieces of our clients’ financial lives to reveal pictures that entirely exceed expectations.

Over 3 decades of experience. A wealth of financial intelligence. Integrated service solutions. Award winning client care. One guiding vision… To make THE difference to your life so you experience your lifestyle potential.

Click here to read more about Modoras.

Our Philosophy

We believe great communication and in-depth client
knowledge is key to a successful partnership.

We believe in and practice open and honest communication so you get the advice you need to know, not just what you want to hear.

That’s why we focus on listening to you and understanding your financial goals before guiding and advising on the best way to achieve them.

We continually strive to do two things:

  1. Help small and medium businesses achieve success.
  2. Help people achieve their financial goals and live better lives.

Through continual professional development and participation in professional associations we stay at the forefront of business.

With Modoras Financial Performance Solutions, you can rest assured your finances and business are in expert and caring hands.

Our team

Led by David Armstrong, Modoras Accounting Sydney’s friendly, professional team offer a breadth and depth of expertise and experience that is difficult to match.


David Armstrong, Principal

David is a dedicated leader who is passionate about improving Australian business and helping people achieve their financial and life goals.

This passion drives his dedication to Downes Barrington Northside’s clients.

He has extensive expertise in small and medium business development, as well as numerous qualifications in the areas of accounting, auditing, taxation and financial planning.

In 2013 David received the exclusive Meritorious Service Award for outstanding service to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ).

He is also the Chair of the Public Practice Advisory Committee for CA ANZ and is a Director of several proprietary and not-for-profit organisations.

Before starting with Downes Barrington Northside in 1982, he held positions with KPMG and Shell Australia.

When not helping businesses thrive and people achieve their financial goals, David can be found with his family, travelling or sailing on Sydney harbour.

David’s experience and industry involvement includes:

  • Appointed Chair for Public Practice Advisory Committee, CA ANZ (2014);
  • NSW appointee for Public Practice Advisory Committee reporting to CA ANZ Board (2011);
  • Received the Meritorious Service Award in 2013 for outstanding service to the profession, in particular the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.;
  • Director of See Beyond Borders Foundation, Not for Profit (2009 – current);
  • Principal of Downes Barrington Northside, Chartered Accountants (1982 – current);
  • Member of a Significant Investment Committee Reporting to School Council (1999-2010);
  • Hon. Treasurer Shore Old Boy’s Union and member of Executive (1999 – 2010);
  • Director and Chair of Audit & Risk Committee of Peoplebank Australia Ltd: ASX : PBA (1999 – 2009);
  • Director of several Proprietary companies;
  • Member of the Professional Development Committee Institute of Chartered Accountants (1991-1996).

David’s professional memberships and qualifications include:

  • CA Self Managed Superannuation Fund Specialist;
  • Graduate Associate of Australian Institute of Company Directors (since 2008) and Company Directors Course (2011);
  • Associate of Institute of Company Secretaries Australia (since 1989);
  • Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (since 1982);
  • Fellow of the Taxation Institute of Australia (since 1981);
  • Fellow of CPA Australia (since 1978);
  • Bachelor of Economics, Sydney University (1977)
  • Authorised Representative for Financial Services under ASIC;
  • Registered Company Auditor.


Lana Senkevitch, Business Services Accountant

Lana brings a wealth of experience to Downes Barrington Northside’s accounting team, with a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and over 15 years’ professional experience.

In her position as an accountant, Lana provides clients with specialist advice, taxation and GST-related services, and also manages any ATO audits or disputes.

Lana is passionate about accounting, which she says is “a noble profession full of responsibilities and challenges.” She loves how the profession encourages continual learning and development, and how the structure and order it provides immense value to business.

She is not scared by numbers and details, which are some of the things she likes best about her job. She also values the high level of competence, friendly environment and recognition experienced in her role at Downes Barrington Northside.

When not ear-deep in number and details, Lana enjoys her family and new grandchild, as well as sewing and cooking. You won’t find her on a bicycle, however, as she has never learned to ride one! (Maybe her next big challenge?)


Laurice Mertens, Business Services Manager

Laurice has worked in chartered accountancy for over 19 years, all of these but one at Downes Barrington Northside.

With a vast breadth of experience in the profession, Laurice has particular expertise in Superannuation and SMSF’s. She continually participates in professional development activities to keep her SMSF skills sharp and stay at the forefront of the profession.

Passionate about her clients, Laurice is proud of the strong relationships she’s developed with them over the years at Downes Barrington Northside.

Laurice is also passionate about the company and her colleagues, for whom she has a huge level of respect. Her longevity at Downes Barrington Northside says it all!

After the workday is done, Laurice can be found spending time with her family or out for a run. She also enjoys travelling whenever possible.


Michelle Galloway, Business Services Manager

With over 35 years in the profession, Michelle is Downes Barrington Northside’s highly experienced Practice Manager.

Having been with the company for more than 25 years, Michelle values the fast-pace, variety of the work and continual opportunity to learn new things.

Michelle looks after many areas of the business including practice administration, internal accounts, ASIC secretarial work, management of ATO lodgement lists and performance monitoring.

In her spare time Michelle enjoys dining with family and friends, going to the cinema or soaking up some sun at the beach. She’s a horse enthusiast and has spent many hours riding horses.