Meet Brendon from HLB Mann Judd Brisbane’s Business Advisory Services division. He is a qualified accountant who primarily focuses on the firm’s private clients.
Brendon describes himself as an avid globetrotter, red wine connoisseur and foodie. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he was seeking a career change and reached out to the Brisbane firm’s HR manager. In his interview, he built a solid connection with the Head of Business Services and felt he could make a real impact in achieving some of the aspirations of the firm.
What’s your ‘Team HLB’ story?
I enjoy working for a mid-tier firm. We are exposed to a broad range of clients across different industry sectors. In the business services sphere, we deliver accurate and proactive business accounting, taxation strategy, planning and compliance which have real and
significant impacts on the client’s financial and taxation position.
I wanted to work at HLB Mann Judd as I believe it is known as a firm which innovates boldly and delivers superlative value for their clients. This has been recognised by HLB Mann Judd successfully winning the Client Choice Awards several years consecutively.
On the international stage, we are part of a global network with affiliations in around 800 offices worldwide. Last year, HLB International took home the title of ‘2020 Network of the Year’ – now that’s impressive!
Follow Brendon as he walks us through a day in the Brisbane office
I generally get to the office around 8:15am. However, I will briefly check my calendar and emails while I’m on the bus so that I can mentally prep for the day ahead.
In the morning, first thing’s first – I grab a coffee in the staff kitchen or head downstairs to the coffee shop with teammates. Today is our weekly workflow/planning meeting where we discuss how busy we are for the week and whether we need to share the workload.
I also make sure I have responded to my clients promptly and ensure tasks from my colleagues are actioned effectively and efficiently.
By mid-morning, I am reviewing client files, preparing the general ledger and working papers, financial statements, tax returns, BAS and tax returns. Quite a variety of different tasks and priorities.
All the partners, directors and managers are approachable in the team. So, it’s no surprise that a manager has stopped by to ask about my weekend and discuss my latest horology project.
Before lunch I plan to catch up with a partner to discuss progress on a job I have been working on. Before I meet with the partner, I’ll take a few minutes to assist one of the undergraduate accountants in our team with a job.
Lunch for us is quite flexible and today I am taking it at 1pm. I meet my teammates for in the kitchen at the same time.
Did I mention that our office, including our kitchen, is a very modern and green space – yes, we have plants, lots of them!
During our lunch break we discuss where we will go out for lunch this Friday as we usually try a different cafe or pub (which may involve a beer or two) in the city.
My time in the afternoon is about focusing on the priorities. I’ll start to prepare the financials and income tax returns for a client followed by collation of another client’s accounts.
It doesn’t happen everyday however…
The Brisbane partners really know how to throw an amazing party. They are very generous. The last Christmas party was a ‘Diner en Blanc’ and we all had to come dressed in white. We dined on a three-course meal in the park with views over Brisbane city and river. It was pretty special.
Brisbane’s ‘Diner en Blanc’ Christmas Party 2020
Brendon’s advice for graduates
- Be yourself, be confident and build strong connections at networking events and employment evenings.
- Prepare mock questions and responses for your interview (and have some examples of how you have demonstrated you are a good team player – every employer will ask you similar questions).
- Be willing to expand your knowledge and ask questions often – if you don’t ask, you will never have the answers!
- Speak up if you need complex accounting concepts re-explained. Sometimes asking someone else helps, especially if they put it more simple terminology.
- Discover whether you are a visual learner, auditory learner or kinesthetic learner – do what is best for you.
- Be open and honest with your manager, directors and partners – they are resourceful and are key to progressing in your career.