Cover Story

Who says you can’t do it differently?

B2B Editor12 November 2015

The end of 2015 promises to be an exciting time for national accounting and advisory firm RSM. With a rebrand from RSM Bird Cameron, a name they have held in one form or another for over 90 years, and a Canberra office relocation, it is full steam ahead for the growing firm.

The RSM International network is the world’s seventh largest audit, tax and consulting network and on Monday, 26th October each of the member firms adopted the one global brand of ‘RSM’ worldwide.

The adoption of a unified brand reinforces the global network’s position as the adviser of choice to entrepreneurial, growth-focused organisations worldwide. It unifies the 29 offices in Australia, with the 730 offices worldwide, across 110 countries under the one network.

Frank Lo Pilato, Managing Partner of the Canberra office, says, “The business world is evolving rapidly and our clients are becoming ever more global as they seize new opportunities for growth. Leaders of entrepreneurial, growing organisations, want advisers that take the time to really understand and care about their business and its drivers, both locally and globally.”

“They want the highest level of service, a trusted relationship built on ideas and insight that really adds value to their business. This is what we have been providing to clients already but we see huge opportunity for the development of our client offering even more through moving to RSM as our one global brand.”

So what does this mean for the Canberra market?

“We have always felt that client success comes from developing strong relationships based on a deep understanding of what matters most to our clients. Our adviser will now have even stronger local and global knowledge and resources to assist our clients achieve their strategies and aspirations,” Frank outlined.

While the global rebrand benefits multinational clients who are looking to operate or expand overseas, RSM prides itself on being intrinsically linked to the business community at a grass roots level.

“We still pride ourselves on offering a first tier service with a personal approach for everyone in the business community, from small to medium sized businesses, through to Commonwealth and Territory Government agencies, not for profits, registered clubs etc,” Frank explained.

RSM has also had some changes to their service lines. Our Turnaround & Insolvency division is now known Restructuring & Recovery.

This change came about in order to more accurately reflect the work this division does with troubled companies and their stakeholders, including financiers, unsecured creditors and shareholders.

RSM’s Canberra Restructuring & Recovery team service clients throughout the ACT and surrounding regions and these specialist practitioners are relied on for their ability to deliver pragmatic, timely and decisive results.

“Our Business Advisory division has also gone under a bit of a rebrand.

With the increasing uptake of Cloud technologies we have been finding more and more often we are able to provide more strategic business advice to our clients, Rather than simply processing their accounts.

This is an exciting space for us to be in as it allows us to foster those strong, collaborative relationships with our clients that helps to drive their success,” Frank said proudly.

Tell me about your new office?

After 15 years on Northbourne Avenue RSM are very excited to be moving to the Equinox Business Park in Deakin. This move means they are able to have all of their 110 staff on the one floor and will mean an increase in office space from 1300sqm to 2000sqm which also allows for future growth.

The new contemporary fit-out will include custom finishes and large open plan workspaces. We have focused on utilising natural light with glass office walls to take advantage of the impressive westerly views of Mount Stromlo and the Brindabellas.

“We’ve also got a great breakout area for staff, complete with an outdoor walkway for easy access, and the most important thing a commercial style coffee station,” Frank said enthusiastically, “The move to the new premises also allows us to offer a modern, functional and stylish space to host our visitors and clients.”

“We will miss our Northbourne address though, and would like to thank Tony Hedley of Hamib Pty Ltd, who has been our landlord for the last 15 years.”

RSM also acknowledges the great work that has been done by Daryl Jackson Alastair Swayn, the architects responsible for their fabulous new office design and fit-out.

Frank and his team at RSM are very proud this year to have their firms Learning and Development team win the category of Professional Development Program of the Year as part of the Australian Accounting Awards.

“This shows the dedication this team has demonstrated in developing the highest quality professional development and Leadership and Management programs to continue to nurture our talented staff,” Frank said.

“Along with an award winning training and development programs, we believe that providing a productive and positive working environment with a healthy work-life-balance for our staff is critical in attracting and retaining the right people,” Frank concluded.

From a single employee over a fish shop in Braddon 30 years ago, growing to 110 employees on Northbourne Avenue and now a global brand of RSM at new offices in Deakin – RSM is powering on in Canberra.

As their new branding states succinctly: Experience the power of being understood. Experience RSM.

Senior Manager, Business Advisory

With over 15 years in business (accounting, tax and financial management) and a passion for property, its often said that I don’t fit into the conventional accountant “mould”.

I wear bold colours, I don’t talk too much accountant tech talk, I’m a little louder than most accountants, I laugh out loud a lot.

I aim to understand not only your business goals but your personal goals and how they interlink. My network will be your network to share.

I’m proactive and understand that the most rewarding relationships are built on trust, rapport, and understanding. You can trust that I will be truthful, even if that truth is at times hard to hear or experience. It’s important that you always know where you stand in our business relationship.

My commitment to my clients stems from the care that I promise to give at all times.

Senior Manager, Business Advisory

Billy is a specialist in providing business advice in areas of financial management, costing, and business/transition planning. Lately, Billy has been working closely with the ACT community sector, and has assisted dozens of disability service providers with their transition into the NDIS. Billy and his team have recently been acknowledged for their work in this area by being named as one of three organisations (along with ACTCOSS and with National Disability Services) to take part in the 4Ready program designed to provide a suite of support to organisations providing community services in the ACT. He is known for building strong client relationships and the box of chocolate he keeps on his desk.

When he is not putting together business solutions, he can be found at local fishing holes, trying to catch the biggest yellowbelly in the water.

Senior Manager, Business Advisory

James runs a portfolio which is geared towards the medical and property industries and has done this in Canberra for the last 13 years.

James understands a key need for his clients is to be financially secure by transitioning their business from personal goodwill to organisational good will. His passion is working with his clients as a team to deliver outstanding results.

When not at work most of his time is taken by his lovely wife and three kids.

His other passion in life is rugby, be that playing, watching, or forcing his children into the sport.

The green light has been given to a return to the rugby pitch this year (although, in a very social capacity).

Anybody who knows James, knows that he can’t make it through the day without coffee, his one vice.

Manager, Assurance & Advisory

Daniel is a skilled consultant who leverages his international experience to advise industry and government on areas such as process improvement, cost reduction, program management and increasing efficiencies.Last year he took his young family on an Australian adventure. Through this adventure Daniel’s own personal journey continued as he built many strong connections that have driven his own personal future goals.In addition to his professional career with RSM, Daniel is driven by his contribution to the local community.Daniel is on the Executive Committee for St Benedicts and led the establishment of the Queanbeyan Safer Shelter. He really appreciates the opportunity to contribute to building a connected, happy, healthy and compassionate community.
Daniel enjoys working with RSM clients to help them define and achieve their goals and is delighted to be a part of highly skilled and friendly team of professionals at RSM.

Senior Manager, Assurance & Advisory

Emily specialises in providing Risk Assurance and Internal Audit Services with RSM, primarily working with the government sector. For Emily, honesty is the essential ingredients to a successful working relationship.

She believes that sharing experiences and regular, authentic communication is needed in order to develop a deep level of understanding and a trusted relationship with her clients. Emily wants to be known for bringing the right people at the right time to each engagement, providing not only the best value for money but highest quality service delivery. Emily grew up in central west NSW.She understands it takes persistence, tenacity and may be a bit of luck to get where you want to be. Emily is passionate about providing the same opportunities to others when she can, particularly to other young women and country kids.

Senior Manager, Assurance & Advisory

When providing External Audit services, Tracey works closely with her clients, usually onsite, in order to gain a thorough understanding of how they operate and how best she can advise them.

Her aim is to work out what makes them tick and then provide tailored ideas and insights based on this understanding.

She is passionate about developing relationships with customers across a range of industries and portfolios, growing the capability of the RSM practice and helping staff achieve their best. Tracey is a real team player and is always striving for excellence through the week, and on the weekend can be found in a pair of boots working the family farm.

Tracey lives on a farm with her partner and small daughter.

Financial Planner, Financial Services

With 15 years’ experience in the investment and financial services industry Nathan has seen his share of positive returns, market corrections and legislative changes. But his main focus through all of these stages is his clients – their needs, their goals and their security are his highest priority. Nathan is committed to providing a professional and bespoke service that delivers the best possible outcomes for his clients. He specialises in advising retirees, wealth accumulators and small businesses with a range of solutions that best suit their circumstances.
Nathan derives a huge amount of pleasure seeing how his role can positively impact the lives of others.As a long time sports tragic and retired Rugby League player, on most weekends you can now find Nathan on the sidelines cheering on one of his daughters in their sporting pursuits.

Senior Manager, Restructuring & Recovery

A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Trish is the ACT’s most experienced female insolvency practitioner and is a Registered Liquidator.

She has practiced as an insolvency practitioner for the majority of her career since moving to the ACT for university in 1986 from West Wyalong.

With diverse experience in both corporate and personal insolvency matters, Trish is passionate about assisting clients and finds it very rewarding to aid in providing sensible financial solutions to clients in times of financial distress.

When Trish isn’t working, she can usually be found pottering in her garden, and catching up with friends and family.

Senior Manager, Restructuring & Recovery

After working in the insolvency industry for nearly 15 years, Dan has developed specialist turnaround and restructuring skills which have been applied and fine-tuned in a variety of industries and markets all around Australia.

Dan’s career has allowed him to explore formal and informal insolvency engagements, change management, investigations and forensics, as well as general consulting roles.Work in the restructuring and recovery industry can be complex, challenging and full of never ending problems that need solutions, and that’s what draws Dan to it.

With a passion for the work and growing expertise, Dan is consistently producing quality outcomes for stakeholders, particularly those impacted by insolvency or financial distress.