I started my career as an accountant with PP in 1997 and looking back I realise I left in 1999 mainly because I needed to change something in my life after my Dad had died, and work was the easiest. I went from PP to the Australian Wheat Board which had just gone through privatisation and was pretty much an organisation in turmoil. One night in 2000 at Hyatt Friday night drinks, I ran into a PP colleague who had recently left for another public practice firm that specialised in the thoroughbred horse racing and breeding industry, and from there went to work for him.
After a number of years I got married and settled in the Macedon Ranges where I grew up, and moved to contracting for the same firm, Stable Financial, visiting the office once a week and doing the rest from home (less acceptable pre-Covid days and I worked very hard for clients not to realise I wasn’t full-time in the office!). Stable Financial was part of PP’s CPN, used PP’s corporate secretarial services and often got specialised tax advice from PP, so there was that continuing connection. I started picking up some of my own clients locally and got my own tax agent registration, whilst continuing to contract for Stable Financial. All of a sudden the last of my children started school and when an opportunity came up locally with a horse stud that had 4 farms between Queensland and Victoria, I realised it was time for something new and challenging.
A couple of years in, the horse stud decided to take a different direction and sold its local farms, and at that point I again took on some contracting work whilst looking for something else that would fit in with the lifestyle our family enjoyed (3 kids, 3 businesses – plumbing, cattle breeding & accounting!) and a property to maintain. It so happened that our neighbours were involved in a local family business (Hardwicks) that have been long term clients of Pitcher Partners and one of them had worked for a short period at PP too. He had approached me before about work, but the time wasn’t right for me. I’m sure the only thing he knew about my work history was that I had worked at Pitcher Partners but the next time he asked, it was the right time.
The role was very involved with Pitcher Partners as they were selling the business – quite a big M&A project that took up 18 months with a lot of learning and professional growth.
Currently I am still contracting to the Hardwick brothers, who keep me forever busy with the businesses they keep buying and selling (they keep it very interesting) with very frequent contact with Pitchers (and the always wonderful Dean Love!), I am still connected with Adam Tims from Stable Financial/PP, contracting to Thoroughbred Breeders Australia/Aushorse Marketing for which he is treasurer, as well as doing his business’ annual compliance work, and a number of my own clients. I also sit on the Audit & Risk Committee for Central Highlands Rural Health Service, the Finance Committee for Sacred Heart College Kyneton and do the Kyneton Football Netball Club work pro-bono. I keep in contact on a personal level with a couple of PP colleagues and it is always a pleasure to run into Cazz Dunlop at our local Coles!
So while it may not fit the typical professional mould my definition of success is what I have – interesting work that is flexible and satisfying and enables me to be here for my family and enjoy the beautiful area I live in. And whilst I left PP quite a long time ago – it doesn’t feel like that!