As we ring in the new year, we asked our new partners and principals to reveal a few lesser-known facts about themselves.
Tax Services | Melbourne
What’s your new year resolution? I’m actually not big on making resolutions because I never seem to be able to keep them. However, I would like to run a Marathon one day, so maybe I could put that on the list for 2019!
What was your first job? My very first job was with Target Australia as a Retail Assistant. I actually worked in the ‘sound’ department (through High School and Uni) which seemed very cool at the time.
What’s some advice you’d give your younger self? Sit back, enjoy the ride and only worry about those things you can control.
What led you down the path of Tax Services? In all honesty I fell in to it. I started my post graduate career at Esanda Finance (a subsidiary of the ANZ Bank) in their Dealer Finance Division; lending money to people to buy cars. After a couple of years at Esanda I applied for, and got, a job in the ANZ Bank’s inhouse tax team – that was my first real taste of corporate tax and I was hooked. I transitioned in to Public Practice a few years after that and haven’t looked back.
What are you reading at the moment? I’m currently reading Monash’s Masterpiece by Peter FitzSimons which is about the Battle of Le Hamel in July 1918. I enjoy the way FitzSimons writes (although I’m sure many historians wouldn’t) and have read many of his publications over the years.
What’s your favourite holiday destination and why? My favourite holiday destination is Hawaii and more specifically Kona on the Big Island. The weather’s great, the people are friendly and there’s a lot less ‘hustle and bustle’ than Honolulu or Waikiki.
If you weren’t a Tax Advisor, what would you be doing? Wow, great question! I’ve been a Volunteer firefighter with the Country Fire Authority (‘CFA’) in Victoria for around 5 years now and love it – maybe I would have made a career as a firefighter.
Tax Services | Sydney
What’s your new year resolution? To attend less social engagements, so that I have more downtime to chill out at home with my family!
What was your first job? I was a waitress at a local restaurant when I was 12 (I told them I was 13!). It was the first of many jobs in hospitality (and they served excellent house-made coffee cake!)
What’s some advice you’d give your younger self? Have (self) confidence in your abilities, be yourself and know that you can achieve anything you set your mind to!
What led you down the path of R&D and Government Incentives? I was wanting to move from Corporate Tax compliance 12 years ago, and my previous firm offered me a role in their R&D team – I loved the hugely diverse range of companies that I came across, and the many varied R&D projects that we worked on.
What gets you out of bed in the morning? Currently my 5.42am alarm for F45 classes!!
What are you reading at the moment? The newspaper or my phone!! Unfortunately I only really get much fictional reading done whilst on holiday.
How do you encourage your team to be engaged about their clients’ affairs, delivering more than what is required? By encouraging them to build strong and meaningful relationships with their clients, so that we are their first point of contact on all their R&D related matters.
What’s your favourite holiday destination and why? Fiji. I love the islands, the people and Fiji time!
Business Advisory | Sydney
What’s your new year resolution? Try to get more sleep
What was your first job? McDonald's when I was 14.
What’s some advice you’d give your younger self? Hard work beats talent.
What led you down the path of accounting / tax? I was ok at Maths in high school and terrible at English… many years later, and now I’m pretty terrible at Maths. During my career I found that I really enjoyed the tax side of things, and I have continued to further develop those skills.
What gets you out of bed in the morning? An alarm clock followed by a small hyperactive dog.
What are you reading at the moment? Equity and Trusts.
What’s your favourite holiday destination and why? Italy / Greece (in summer) for the weather, and the history (Rome, Athens).
What do you do to unwind? Read, Gym, Beach. Repeat.
Business Advisory | Adelaide
What’s your new year resolution? To ride my bike more and explore South Australia!
What was your first job? Selling Christmas Trees for the YMCA.
What’s some advice you’d give your younger self? Choose a few things and do them well.
What gets you out of bed in the morning? Two young children.
What are you reading at the moment? All Hell Let Loose – The World at War 1939-1945 by Max Hastings.
What’s your favourite holiday destination and why? Anywhere in Europe – The history, density and diversity in cultures is a never-ending journey of discovery.
What do you do to unwind? I find going for a long run is the best way to unwind and help untangle complex issues.
Business Advisory | Ballarat
What’s your new year resolution? They will be the same as previous years – find the time each week to enjoy life with my family (high chance of success) and secondly to get back into running in a meaningful way (low chance of success).
What was your first job? I spent the best part of 6 years through school and university working in a variety of roles at Big W – checkouts, courtesy desk and the cash office, to name a few. It was certainly an excellent way to develop work ethic and customer service skills, plus I met my wife there!
What’s some advice you’d give your younger self? Try not to let the small things that can go wrong at work or in life to cause stress. Two days later the problem is generally either solved or forgotten about.
What gets you out of bed in the morning? My two young children looking for breakfast. Alarm clocks are not required in my house.
What are you reading at the moment? Have just finished John Grisham’s the Reckoning and am moving on to Stephen King’s The Outsider.
What’s your favourite holiday destination and why? The Galapagos Islands was an amazing place to visit. Each island has a unique landscape, completely different from the one next to it. Snorkelling with turtles, sharks and sea lions was a highlight.
If you weren’t a business advisory accountant what would you be doing? A police forensic accountant. Combines my childhood police detective /crime fighting ambition (stemming from watching too much Law & Order) with my unusual interest in trying to find out what is wrong within a set of numbers.
Assurance & Advisory | Melbourne
What’s your new year resolution? Being more active including playing more basketball.
What was your first job? Working at the local council as an administrative assistant. I became very proficient at using the photocopier.
What’s some advice you’d give your younger self? Give it your best and never stop learning.
What gets you out of bed in the morning? My 3 year-old daughter – ready for reading books and playtime.
What are you reading at the moment? Anthills of the Savannah.
What’s your favourite holiday destination and why? New York City. Great diversity and lots of things to see and do.
What do you do to unwind? Play basketball, read and spend time with family and friends.
Business Advisory | Sydney
What’s your new year resolution? Get healthy.
What was your first job? Sales assistant at the local Deli.
What’s some advice you’d give your younger self? Start young. It’s never too early to have a go and you’re not “too young” to do that.
What are you reading at the moment? Origin by Dan Brown
What do you do to unwind? Cook and spend time with family (often at the same time).
What special talent do you have? I am an amateur ukulele player. Key word being amateur.
What have you done in this job that you never thought would be part of the role? I have been the counselling ear to clients going through very personal situations. It’s good to know that I have formed relationships with clients that is strong enough that they can share such personal details with me and vent.
Tax Services | Perth
What’s your new year resolution? I’m not big into resolutions, but finishing the construction of my new house with my wife is something I very much look forward to after two years in the making. Aside from that, finding some time to travel overseas for a holiday.
What was your first job? I started at RSM as a graduate and always consider that to be my first “proper” job. However, I worked in the Coles Grocery department when I was 15 right through to completing university. That was quite enjoyable, particularly when working after hours and having a bit of a laugh with my mates there whilst getting the work done obviously.
What’s some advice you’d give your younger self? Get out of your comfort zone. Learn different things, like an instrument and read more.
What led you down the path of Tax Advisor? I had always enjoyed accounting at school and so I faced a question in my last year of uni. Do I want to be an auditor or tax advisor? Having not studied either unit in detail at the time, I took the plunge into tax on the basis that it might involve more problem solving skills with interpretation of law and facts to provide an opinion, and I haven’t looked back.
What are you reading at the moment? Unfortunately, the book I read the most is the tax legislation. I tend not to read much to unwind.
How do you encourage your team to be engaged about their clients’ affairs, delivering more than what is required? At the end of the day, we provide a customer service and it is therefore very important that our team gets to know our clients and look to help them in whatever way we can. I think the client interaction is the main driver behind the team wanting to help out as they have a sense of connection with the client and not wanting to let them down.
What’s your favourite holiday destination and why? My wife encourages us to travel to different places each time that we look to travel, so there is no one place that I continue to go. But my favourite holidays have been:
Cruising the Caribbean islands where I got to see Adam Voges make a century on Test debut and generally lounge around on a yacht drinking with a small group of good people.
Eurovision in Sweden – This was part of our honeymoon and just a really great experience to see Australia come second.
What do you do to unwind? My downtime is generally spent watching or playing sport (although more watching these days) and watching a lot of cooking shows, although my wife would suggest they are not helping my actual cooking.
If you weren’t a tax advisor, what would you be doing? As a kid I had always wanted to play test cricket for Australia, however it turns out that is quite difficult. At uni I also studied financial planning, so it would likely be something in a finance field.
What have you done in this job that you never thought would be part of the role? I guess when I first started, I thought the role would essentially just be preparing tax returns for clients. But as you spend more time in the industry you realise that is it just the product of our work. I get the opportunity to mentor and assist a whole team of individuals in applying the legislation to the facts and come up with solutions for clients prior to getting entered into transactions. I also have had the opportunity to meet and work with a number of great clients and develop long term relationships with them that I never really considered when I started the job over a decade ago. But, in terms of actual experience that I didn’t expect, I guess flying to the Netherlands to attend an RSM international tax conference was something that I would never have thought I would be a part of.