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Findex Australia

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Siobhan Brown

The best thing I ever did was start working in the accounting field while studying. It made the content easier to follow and builds your experience level. I'm not saying it was easy, but it was worth it.

I grew up in Red Centre (Alice Springs NT) which is where I took my first accounting class with Mr. Madamombe. It was in this class that I realised that this was something that I would like to pursue.

When I was 17, I left Alice Springs for coastal Ballina, NSW. I finished year 12 and was accepted to study at Southern Cross University Lismore.

My first year was all fun and games. I did the work and certainly enjoyed the Uni Bar! After my first semester, I applied for my first accounting gig and didn't make the cut so I applied at the local nightclub and worked as a waitress for the next 12 months. This is where I met my other half, Mitch.

An advert came up in the Southern Cross directory for a role in the Gold Coast so I decided to give that a go and I got it! (Later I found out that there was another application they were very interested in, however he didn't tuck his shirt in!).

"I had made it!", I signed a lease on a studio apartment and made my way up to the sunny Gold Coast with maybe $300 in my bank account. 

I sat in my car stressing for an hour before the start of my first day. Was I wearing the right thing? What was it going to be like? 

When I walked in I was greeted by the lovely front desk staff and shown to my very own desk! Later I was introduced to the team and at 1pm I was on a plane, flying to the head office in Newcastle for 3 days of training. 

Those first few days were a whirlwind and anyone would be expected to be nervous but it's all part of the experience. 

5 years later, I had graduated university and started my Chartered Accountant (CA) course and then my partner was accepted into the WA police. I interviewed via Skype with a firm called Nexia Perth and after a few rounds, I was offered the role. My partner and I drove from Lismore to Perth in 5 days (4,200klms) with 1 cat in the car and we said we would NEVER DO IT AGAIN.

Nexia Perth was a really progressive firm and this fit well with my training over the past 5 years. I spent the next few years building on my skills in client relationship building, business advisory and of-course, technical. I couldn't have worked with a better team and they all made my time in Perth something I will remember fondly. While in Perth I was able to finish my CA course and was given a senior title.

My partner was then positioned in Coffs Harbour, NSW, and I was offered a role with Findex (again interviewing over Skype). So I got back in my car and drove from Perth to Lismore, but this time with 2 cats! 

Over the past 12 months things have been far different than anything that I could have ever imagined. I went through a significant life event and next down the line COVID appeared. 

Working for an Australia and NZ wide firm, it was amazing how quickly they adapted to getting the team up and running from home and I honestly look forward to seeing the roll out of more digital solutions as IT solutions is something I've always been passionate about.

I have returned to the office but the new Findex model is extremely flexible to allow for more working from home arrangements.

What does your employer do?

Findex is one of Australasia’s leading providers of integrated financial advisory and accounting services. Boasting a wide and strategically dispersed presence across Australia and New Zealand, Findex is passionate about ensuring clients are provided access to the very best expertise and robust financial solutions that will ultimately see them through their entire business journey, or reach their own personal goals.

We're focused on meeting the needs of businesses and the individuals within them through a collaborative approach to financial services. We pride our self on an integrated service offering, giving you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your financial and lifestyle goals are being worked on.

What are your areas of responsibility?

As a senior accountant at Findex my responsibilities revolve around the client. I am there to ensure that their compliance requirements are met and their business needs are satisfied. This could be from reviewing their BAS, cloud accounting training, cashflow reporting to taxation advice.

Can you describe a typical work day?

First things first, Coffee!

I'll usually sit down and look at my planner for any meetings for the day and any urgent task that need to be completed. Prepare for any meetings and ensure I get as many tasks out of the way as possible. Take any phone calls throughout the day (they tend to lead to long chats about how clients are doing, especially during COVID).

Tidy up, make notes for tomorrow and switch off for the day.

What sort of person succeeds in your career?

A person that is eager to learn and grow will find themselves successful. The accounting and business world is forever changing so there is no room to be stuck in your ways.

What are the career prospects with your job?

The next step for a senior accountant could be a manager through to an associate. However there are many different areas within the Findex model that you could work towards if you wanted a change of pace.

What do you love the most about your job?

The people! Clients, colleagues, third parties, they all make my day exciting and interesting.

What do you like least about your job?

It can be stressful looking after the needs of many clients and trying to meet all their expectations. Sometimes it can be hard to switch off at the end of the day.

What three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student?

  • The best thing I ever did was start working in the accounting field while studying. It made the content easier to follow and builds your experience level. I'm not saying it was easy, but it was worth it.
  • Don't be afraid to make mistakes, but learn from them
  • Learn to switch off at the end of the work day and giving time to your personal life