For over 30 years, RSM Australia (previously RSM Bird Cameron) has been a household name in Canberra for tax and accounting services.
But their story starts way back in 1922, when one accountant decided to start his own business, travelling around regional Western Australia offering accounting and taxation advice to farmers and small store keepers.
Before long he needed more staff to keep up with demand and acquired a partner, and a fleet of 6 Model T Fords, to expand the operation.
RSM grew quickly, and in 1984 one of the partners headed to Canberra to establish a permanent office. Starting above a fish and chip shop in Lonsdale Street, Gary Lee recounts that he wasn’t sure he’d survive the cold when in his first month he had to brave 23 frosts with a tiny heater. But he and his wife soon came to love the capital, and Gary’s passion and determination saw the tiny operation grow to 110 staff, and become home to many of the firm’s national programs and support staff.
Needless to say, they outgrew the tiny office above the fish shop and moved to a second office on Northbourne, before relocating to the Equinox Building in Deakin in October 2015.
Gary retired in 2014, handing the reigns to Frank Lo Pilato, Partner of Restructuring and Recovery. In 1985, RSM became a member firm of RSM International, now the sixth largest audit, tax and consulting network in the world. This gave them access to a global network of resources and specialist tax professionals, and meant that any client in Australia who had operations overseas could manage them seamlessly through their local RSM accountant.
Last year, member firms across the international network adopted a new visual identity, with the global brand name RSM. They now have locations in over 110 countries.
RSM’s client-focused strategy is to be the adviser of choice to entrepreneurial, growth-focused organisations, passionate about collaboration based on a deep understanding of what matters most to their clients. These values are captured in the network’s new global positioning statement: The power of being understood.
Far from a one man show, RSM now offers a suite of accounting, advisory and wealth creation services for individuals, small business, government and corporations.
Take a moment to meet 3 partners of the RSM Canberra office: Frank, Ged and Andrew…
Frank has been with RSM for 26 years, having joined RSM as an Insolvency Manager in 1991. He is now the Managing Partner of RSM’s Canberra office and head of their Restructuring and Recovery division.
Frank helps clients that are experiencing financial difficulties by providing restructuring strategies to help them stay afloat, or guidance through bankruptcy so they can make a quick recovery.
“I am passionate about acting as a circuit breaker for people who are experiencing hardship. I want them to know that all is not lost, and that with the right strategies, they can make a quick recovery and move onto their next journey. My work is all about reducing the impact it has on their lives, and making the process as pain-free as possible.”
Ged is a Partner and National Head of RSM’s Audit and Assurance division. He has been providing internal and external audit advice to public and private sector clients (including the Federal and ACT governments, and public companies) for over 25 years.
“What’s important to me is developing strong working relationships with clients and adding true value to their business or operation. I also think it’s vital to spend time developing our own people, so they can enjoy a great career with the firm and be part of a team that continues to deliver remarkable results.”
Andrew joined RSM in 2001, having previously worked as a stockbroker. RSM had been his accountants for 10 years, so when he decided to sell his business and move to Canberra, he relished the opportunity to work with them.
As the head of Business Advisory, Andrew is passionate about helping his clients live better lives by simplifying their financial affairs, helping them pay less tax, reducing their debt and increasing their wealth.
“We like to get clients to focus on setting financial goals, and then get into the habit of asking, ‘What am I doing today to achieve them?’. You’re working or doing business every day, so it’s about being present. I enjoy guiding clients on what they can be doing right now, to profit tomorrow.”
To learn more about RSM, or to find out how they can help with your individual wealth creation, business advisory, turnaround, consulting or audit needs, please visit RSM or call 6217 0300.
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