Alex has over 10 years’ experience providing audit, assurance and business advisory services to his clients at Prosperity Audit Services. Alex’s career started in the firm’s Newcastle office before he took a secondment opportunity to provide services to a number of significant government owned corporations and statutory bodies in Brisbane. Alex now calls both Sydney and Newcastle home.
Alex’s experience includes work for listed public companies, private companies (including subsidiaries of multinationals), registered clubs, and charities and in a broad range of industries, including government (federal, state and local), utilities (water and ports), health, education, hospitality and indigenous organisations.
Outside of his professional life, Alex has a passion for challenges and new experiences, including opportunities to sky-dive, dive with great white sharks and travel to locations off the beaten track (including Antarctica, North Korea and Kazakhstan). He is an avid follower of the Tim Ferriss podcast.
In 2016, Alex was named as the industry’s Rising Star at the Accountant’s Daily National Accounting Awards and joined the board of the Hunter Young Professionals in January 2017 as an Executive Director.
- What career path led you to where you are now?
Awarded the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) High Achiever Scholarship at the University of Newcastle, I commenced as a Trainee Accountant with Prosperity Advisers Group at age 17. Whilst maintaining a distinction average in my full-time study at University, I worked full-time at Prosperity managing the travel demands of the audit profession in a mid-market firm.
My passion for leading assignments and acting as the primary contact for clients meant I was quickly promoted through the ranks of Intermediate, Senior, Supervisor and Manager all within six years. I now hold the role of Senior Manager, Corporate Assurance and Consulting and have completed my CA studies.
Self-development and improvement is very important to me and I have sought out additional qualifications and training over that time.
- What motivates and drives you?
My passion for self-development ensures I regularly attend networking events and seminars. Notable events have included discussions with Richard Branson, Mark Bouris and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Learning from inspirational people, attending networking events and leading challenging meetings continually improves my communication, negotiation and leadership skills.
Having completed the Courageous Leaders Program run by Mandy Holloway, I have a strong appreciation for leadership qualities and work to embody these qualities every day. I recently joined the board of the Hunter Young Professionals in January 2017 as an Executive Director and hope to gain further experience at a Director level.
My philosophy of working smarter AND harder than my peers, whilst also nurturing relationships has accelerated my career and success to date. My personal aspirations are to continue my upward journey towards partnership in the next few years.
- What has been your biggest learning curve in your career?
I truly believe that life is for learning, so your entire life should be the curve! I’ve learnt a lot in my short career, but there is still so much to learn. Self-development and maintaining curiosity is what helps take us forward.
- Where would you like to be in 10 years?
Technology improvements to traditional services such as compliance audits, tax returns, financial planning and report preparation will further commoditise these services and potentially erode profit margins for firms. Combined with the rise of professional services in nations such as Vietnam, India and the Philippines, Australian Accountants will need to lift the value of their services towards predictive advice, “live” recommendations and the trusted adviser role. Having lived in Asia and as a member of Prosperity’s Asian Business Desk, I work with our international alliances to develop effective responses to these opportunities.
My ambition to continue my upward track towards partnership in the next few years will be guided by transforming our audit practice to “next generation service delivery” and capitalising on the opportunities that technology continues to provide.
Personally, I would also love to achieve my goal of visiting 100 countries across all 7 continents in the next 10 years.
- Have you had any significant Hunter-based mentors during your career that have inspired you?
To coincide with the Prosperity Advisers Group’s 25th anniversary in 2014, I was master of ceremonies for a gala dinner event to select the seven most successful owner/operated businesses over the last quarter century. This was an excellent opportunity to hear directly from the award recipients and to learn from their war stories, which they were more than happy to share with me.
Recipients included Michael Nesbitt (Marathon Tyres), Bruce Tyrrell (Tyrrells Wines), Susan Ivens (Toronto and Maitland Private Hospitals), Neville Sawyer and Peter Cockbain (Ampcontrol), Boy Bradstreet (Bradstreet Motor Group), Geoff Leonard (Hospitals of Australia) and Keith Stronach (Stronach Property). The event really opened my eyes to the incredibly talented business community in Newcastle and just how much success is possible within our region.
With thanks to Hunter Young Professionals who Hunter Headline collaborated with to source this interviewee.