We would like to introduce you to Bryan. He joined HLB Mann Judd Sydney in January 2022 in the firm’s Accounting & Tax (aka “Acctax”) division.

After completing his Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and Bachelor of Professional Accounting degrees, Bryan wanted to find a role at a firm that would help him grow as well as expose him to an interesting client base. He learned about HLB Mann Judd through the AFR Top 100 Accounting Firm’s list. 

What’s your ‘Team HLB’ story?

Like Goldilocks when choosing her porridge, I believe a mid-tier firm is ‘just right’ in size for professional learning and growth. A mid-tier firm isn’t too big so that I would end up only specialising in a small area of work; and isn’t too small where I would be working on a little bit of everything and end up becoming a generalist.

When I met with HLB Sydney, I liked that it offered plenty of learning and development opportunities. Particularly, the firm’s internal exchange program where employees can work temporarily in another business division. This approach stood out to me because its early days in my career journey. I want to gain experience in different areas of accounting before choosing a specialty. I don’t want to be five years into my career and ask “I wonder what working in audit is like?”

In addition, HLB Mann Judd places emphasis on cultivating a positive, social workplace culture which was highlighted during my interviews.

Follow Bryan as he walks us through a day in Sydney office

I start off my mornings with green tea and a spinach, banana protein shake. My commute to work is about an hour and I spend the time reading a book (I am an avid book-reader!).

Once arriving at the office, I choose where to sit for that day. HLB Sydney has a hot desk policy, so I am able to sit with different people each day. This gives me the chance to socialise and mingle with everyone in my team. I start my work off by managing my workflow and going through emails to respond to anything that I missed the day before.

Up to this point I have been working on the engagements on my workflow list. This can range from preparing individual tax returns, trust returns and financial accounts to preparing corporate tax returns for listed entities and Significant Global Entities (SGEs).

By 10:30am I am ready to take a little break. I head down with my colleagues to a nearby café and grab a large soy chai.

Lunchtime onwards
Around 12:30pm I’ll have lunch with my colleagues at the ‘staff hub’ – a large breakroom with TVs, a PS5 and a foosball table – where we sit down, chat and unwind. Some days we head out to a nearby restaurant for lunch (working in Barangaroo we are spoiled for choice!).

Once back from lunch, I continue working through engagements on my worklist. I will meet with managers and partners to go through any queries or sign off engagements. Sometimes, I’ll spend the afternoon helping a new grad answer any questions they may have.

Having sat down for the majority of the day, exercising after work for me is a must! I will head off to the gym to do some weight training or train Muay Thai.

It doesn’t happen everyday however…

A highlight for me is HLB’s various social events. Most notably, Melbourne Cup and the Christmas Party. For the Melbourne Cup, we all dressed up, ate good food and watched the horse racing at a section of a bar that was rented exclusively for the event. And for the Christmas Party… we were on an island!

Bryan Day in the Life Christmas Party
2022 Christmas Party, Sydney

Bryan’s advice for graduates

It’s okay to feel like a fish out of water when first starting out as a fresh graduate. The expectations of a new graduate’s technical knowledge are relatively low as it is developed through training and work experience. What is important for new graduates is to have the right mindset and personality – be intellectually curious, ask questions, take initiative, speak out and you’ll do just fine.