Name: Kirstin Stewart

Initially, I didn’t start my career as an accountant. Originally I occupied an administrative role within a small suburban accounting firm and decided to begin my studies in this area while working. So, changing my employment role to a cadet from administration, I began a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Murdoch University. Following a move to another public practice firm where I completed my studies, I took over a commerce role in the Perth office of an international mining company. In January 2005, I returned to public practice as a senior accountant with HLB Mann Judd (Perth).

Kirstin Stewart

I became a partner within HLB Mann Judd’s Business Advisory division in July 2016.

At HLB my input into client and internal matters is appreciated and valued by the firm and also by the clients I work with on a daily basis.

Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to work with a wide range of different clients within various sectors and industries, and on projects that aren’t usually available to accountants within smaller firms.

Since commencing at HLB Mann Judd I have had the opportunity to work directly with the client and complete the whole task, rather than sections of a job. The best part of this process is that I have the opportunity to build strong relationships with clients, and work closely with them on all aspects of their business. As part of my career profession and continuing professional development, I’ve attended numerous training courses and conferences locally and interstate, where I have met other people, not only within the HLB network but other firms, which has been invaluable.

As a partner within the Business Advisory services division, I work with my clients on a variety of issues, not just accounting, taxation and other compliance matters. Many clients today require assistance to understand the profit drivers in their business, what is ‘best practice’ and keeping up to date with what competitors in their industry are doing. I help clients understand all financial aspects of their business to help grow organically and, where appropriate, help with business acquisition. I’ve also assisted numerous businesses to prepare for sale or take on new investors. In the current economy, cash flow is a very real concern for businesses, and I have worked with clients to prepare cash flow models and projections. I’ve also worked with a number of clients on the tax matters to be addressed following a relationship breakdown, which is an unfortunate reality of society today. I’m also an Accredited Adviser and member of Family Business Australia, so family businesses and the unique issues they face, such as succession planning, is also a particular area of interest.

I have also acted as the treasurer for a not-for-profit organisation for six years, which I performed outside business hours, before I started my own family, which now takes up most of my time outside of work. I currently sit as the treasurer on another not-for-profit organisation in my local community.

HLB Mann Judd is a great place to work. The partners and staff are approachable and have created a great culture, and I have been fortunate enough to have now progressed to being one of the partners, and my family and work life balance has not been compromised. Being a mid tier firm, we are able to perform the work and attract clients the same as the Big 4, but still have the personal feel of a smaller firm, as staff are not treated like a ‘number’.

If you are considering becoming an accountant…do it! If you want a career in business, becoming an accountant is the best way to start.