Fate played a role in leading Emma to HLB Mann Judd Adelaide. She joined the firm in early 2009 as a part of the CA Achiever Program. This set her down a path that would see her career grow and evolve with the firm.

I have lived in Adelaide my whole life. When I finished high school, I commenced studying a Bachelor of Health Science degree at the University of Adelaide.

Whilst I really enjoyed science at school, once I started the health science degree, I realised that it wasn’t quite right for me.

I decided to make a change and enrolled into a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Management). I settled on commerce after speaking to a cousin who had enjoyed success in the field. I was motivated to learn that a commerce degree could open many different career doors.

Starting out

Once I made the switch, I realised I enjoyed the accounting and management aspects of my degree. However, it wasn’t until I participated in the CA ANZ’s Achiever Program that I really understood what a career in accounting could look like.

Through the CA Achiever Program, I was placed at HLB Mann Judd for a 7-week work experience program. I was extremely proud and excited for the opportunity. In that short period, I felt I became part of the HLB family – it was such an amazing fit for me. The firm had such a positive influence on my studies and my understanding of the profession.

At the end of my placement, I was fortunate enough to have been offered a position at the firm, where I could work on a part time basis whilst completing my studies. I had only completed my first year of my commerce degree; I was eager to dip my toe in the profession to see whether it might support my studies and expose me to the opportunities that could be available to me.

Emma McCarthy Role models series
Emma and her husband Chris are both accountants at HLB Adelaide

The importance of investing in yourself

I find that I get so much more out of my job when I try to make the most out of my day. Over the past 15 years I have progressed from undergraduate, through to my recent appointment as director.

Within the firm’s business advisory division, I work with a wide range of small and medium sized businesses. Many of our clients are South Australian businesses in the agribusiness, wine, hospitality, professional services and manufacturing industries.

Over the years, the firm has gone through significant change. Most notably the software we use. I have been heavily involved in the development and rollout of these changes in the firm. I am incredibly proud of the outcome for the firm and our clients.

Personally, I’ve enjoyed the people I’ve worked with over the years. I am really lucky to have made some lifelong friends; including my husband! We met at HLB and now we share two beautiful children.

Emma’s advice

I’ve tried to take every opportunity that has been presented to me, even if I wasn’t quite sure, I always give it a go, work hard and try to bring a positive attitude to the work I do.

For me, I’ve found that my reliability and supportiveness has allowed me to be a trusted team member which has opened many doors and opportunities.

Outside of work

I enjoy being quite social, whether its spending time with my family or friends. Being active, experiencing new things and travelling are my favourite things to do when I make the time to do so. I also love watching sport and attend the cricket and football when possible.