HLB Mann Judd is proudly celebrating its 40 year anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, we asked some of our incredible leaders to share how they are helping HLB’s clients prepare for the challenges of tomorrow.

Rowan Tracey’s story 

I didn’t necessarily set out in my career to be a one-firm accountant, but the opportunities HLB Mann Judd has afforded me has meant it couldn’t have been any other way.

I got my start through the graduate program in the Perth firm in 2005, progressing through all the levels before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant three years later.

Loyalty is one of my personal core values and the firm has provided me with the necessary challenges and opportunities to grow and progress over the years. Some professional accountants are only too happy to move between firms, but the grass isn’t always greener. I made a decision to remain with the firm early on, and was rewarded with the progression to partnership in 2020.

Looking back at my time with the firm – and also the profession-at-large – there has been a lot of change. From a technological perspective, the need to be more responsive is evident. 

Responsiveness has long been part of the firm’s mantra, but it’s now an expectation. Clients rightfully demand answers to often very complex business issues, and technology facilitates the speed of response.

That urgency for information is now embedded into our processes; previously, documentation was created manually and retained in hard copy, whereas it’s now automated and paperless.

The sheer volume of legislation has also increased during my time with the firm. Operating in the mid-tier space means we’re exposed to myriad of business issues but, at the same time, we’re not specialised. Keeping up to date with changes can be a challenge but it forces you to be agile and adapt as required for the client.

One of the benefits of this approach is that I’ve been exposed to a number of industries. Initially, I inherited clients from a retiring partner, which included businesses within the medical profession and high net worth individuals. I’ve since expanded my client base to now include businesses in the mining services, technology and logistics sectors.

Any suggestion the past couple of years hasn’t been without its challenges would be an understatement. COVID has created such a unique economic environment and it’s tested every facet of the way we operate as a firm and also that of our clients.

While there have been a lot of changes – and challenges – over the years, some things have remained the same. Everything at the firm is undertaken and appointed on merit. There’s a real emphasis on the quality and consistency of work, and people are rewarded as a result – my appointment to the partnership is testament to that.

We have a framework that sets KPIs and the performance review process is very uniform, and seeks feedback on ways we can improve. Employees are aware of where they want to go, and the support required in order to get them there.

We attract such a diverse range of clients, across all sectors and industries and from a straight-forward SME right through to a listed company. My advice to the next generation of accountants would be that working for the one firm by no means limits your career trajectory; by contrast, it enriches it.