We caught up with HLB Mann Judd partner Steve Branson (BCom ’02) and recent hires Connor Fitzpatrick (BAccFin ‘20) and Robbie Duckworth (BAcc ’21) - all Flinders alumni - to learn about finding a successful career in the accounting sector.
“I was very nervous about my first day as a full-time accountant,” Flinders accounting alumnus, Robbie Duckworth, admits when we asked him about his first time stepping into his now workplace at HLB Mann Judd. “It’s a massive lifestyle change and takes some getting used to. But one of my favourite things about working at HLB is how approachable, friendly and understanding everybody is. I’m now confident in the work that I do, and am excited for new opportunities which often come my way.”
Robbie graduated with a Bachelor of Accounting last year, and since securing a role at the firm has been involved in completing tax work for many clients. “We’ll often have celebrations to recognise certain milestones and appreciate everyone’s efforts. We also get involved with the local community and raise money for charity each month. It’s a fun place to be.”
“It's a massive lifestyle change and takes some getting used to... I'm now confident in the work that I do, and am excited for new opportunities.”
The story is similar for fellow Flinders graduate and now HLB Mann Judd employee Connor Fitzpatrick. For him, a typical day could include completing an Income Tax Return or Business Activity Statement – and everything in-between. Then there’s workflow meetings, following up client queries, and checking through any correspondence with the Australian Taxation Office to identify relevant notices that should be forwarded to clients. It’s a fast-paced, busy environment, but Connor wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love working at HLB – my colleagues and the clients make it a really nice place to work,” says Connor. “There are also opportunities to try different areas of the accounting field whilst staying within the one firm.”
HLB Mann Judd is well-known in business and professional circles. The Mann Judd Association was founded in the early eighties by their Sydney firm, and in 1988, their growing association of Australian chartered accounting firms would join the HLB International network. Today, the network includes over 35,000 professionals across 157 countries.
Steve Branson is one of three partners in the Adelaide firm that graduated from Flinders. Since completing his Commerce degree in 2002, he’s enjoying a successful accounting career.
He says, “After graduating, I worked in an auditing role for around 12 months, but soon realised audit wasn’t for me and resigned to take up an opportunity to travel and work abroad. Being in my early twenties, I was keen to see the world… but it was always my intention to move back to Adelaide and pursue a career in the accounting and finance space.”