As we approach Father’s Day, we would like to introduce you to Audit & Assurance partner, Mike Gummery. Mike welcomed the arrival of his daughter Hazel earlier in the year.


Mike and Hazel

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am an audit & assurance partner at HLB in Melbourne. I joined the firm nearly 10 years ago when I moved to Australia from the UK.

As the firm’s technical partner, I specialise in assisting with complex accounting and financial reporting queries for clients. I work with many different types of clients including not-for-profits, public sector entities, private and listed companies. Due to the nature of audit work, I often have to work to very strict time frames, particularly during the peak season.

So, a big life change for you and your family earlier this year?

Yes, we are so proud to welcome Hazel to our family.

The timing for Hazel’s arrival however was a little challenging. She was born right in the middle of our peak audit season. I was able to take two weeks of parental leave as soon as she was born and I am fortunate that both the firm and our clients were very understanding of this.

The parental leave was a great opportunity for me to switch off from the responsibilities of being a partner and enjoy becoming a parent. Luckily, I have great clients who were all very accommodating of my leave… and very willing to offer words of advice!

How have you benefitted from HLB’s flexible working arrangements?

I am now back at work. Admittedly, the lack of sleep is an added challenge but that was to be expected with a newborn (and I can’t say I wasn’t warned!).

Melbourne’s ongoing lockdown means I’ve been able to continue spending quality time with my wife and daughter whilst working from home. However, HLB’s flexible working arrangements will ensure that I am able to continue to work a few days from home a week, after things return to some sort of normality.

Do you have any tips for better managing your work life balance?

Work life balance is really important to me and I think it’s crucial to maintain this even during the busiest periods. For auditors, the combination of peak season and lockdowns makes it especially hard to switch off and take a proper break. I find that sticking to a routine can help with differentiating between work and non-work time, and making sure to take time out for exercise, coffee or whatever you enjoy doing really helps.

If you are finding things challenging, we recommend speaking to a partner or manager – typically they have experienced the same challenges and can often offer advice or assistance to make things more manageable.