Dorothea – The face of TAS

Many of our client’s ask me how did I become an accountant? What made you go into the field? It wasn’t something that I woke up and thought I will be an accountant today. When I was 15 I met a family friend Helen (my parents friends) we went to her house and she was an accountant. I remember her not looking like the typical brown suited accountant she was quite glamorous looking (the 80’s look) and remember her telling me she was an accountant. She opened up my eyes to a different view of being an accountant it was something I was wanting to embrace.

From the age of 11 to 17 I grew working and studying in the Greek family tradition of working in Fish and Chips, which now looking back whilst I dreaded seeing all the kids go to the beach while I was sweating over the fryers and popping into the refrigerator too cool down. It did teach me valuable skills such as Customer Service, Work Ethic, Employee Management/Issues, Basic Bookkeeping Skills and How to make a top quality souvlaki.

After the sale of my parents 1st Fish and Chip shop in the glorious year of 1984 I was lucky enough to commence studies in Accounting at Monash University in 1986. The relief of not having to work was overwhelming, until I realised I needed a car and had to accustom myself to a frugal way of life as a student with no income (not wanting to ask my parents for assistance) Having to walk 40mins to university with 300 page books in my bag was not ideal.The options of finding a job become reality. Having no luck finding part time or casual work to fit in with my full time studies other than working at my Uncle’s Fresh Fish Shop over the semester breaks I think I needed a break from Fish.

Back then before internet and laptops we had to use a typewriter and pen to circle jobs in the paper. Luckily enough I received an interview with P&O Australia in the shipping and freight forwarding department working as an Assistant Accountant. Fortunately and unfortunately it was full time work which meant night school for university and work during the day. Working with P&O opened my eyes to international business and good old telex machines. Gaining experience within the maritime industry and working with UK end of financial year (December 31) and not 30 June. To this day Richard Louey the Financial Controller and my work squash partner provided me with valuable training and was an admirable mentor for my future career development.

After being a career woman after 2.5 years I decided to focus on my studies and finish it off as it was holding me up from any further promotion. Meeting my now husband at the time at the Underground while Banaramara was playing in the background. I decided to go back into the city to work. From there I gained work in the Investment Accounting Field with Australian Eagle, which eventually was taken over by Lend Lease a company which taught me the importance of people being the most valuable asset to an organisation in that they practiced what they preached. Providing staff with subsidized childcare (which was quite uncommon in the 90’s and prior to the introduction of any government childcare scheme) which was of considerable value once my first daughter Isabella was born in 1994. Starting off at Australian Eagle as a Assistant Investment Accountant I finally achieved my goal of a glass window office as a Investment Accountant. This included preparing superannuation fund returns for APRA (Formerly ISC), Unit pricing of investment funds (Deceased Estates Funds and Life Insurance Funds), Accounting for Futures and Options – Including settlement of margins and profit and losses, Reconciliation’s and using Investment Accounting Software.

Once MLC took over Lend Lease and not wanting to move to Sydney I packed my little cardboard box and worked with HSBC as an Operations Manager in funds management. At this time I was living in Somerville leaving home at 5am to drop my daughter off at different options from my Mum, Mother in Law or Childcare which cost an arm and a leg back then. Working at HSBC was a challenge managing 30 staff in the following departments Money Market, Investment Data Entry of Share Purchases and Sales, Corporate Actions, Reconciliation Team, Unit Pricing, Investment Accounting and Compliance of Groups Operations and Procedures. This allowed international travel a bonus in the sense that it allowed me to travel to places of interest with my family (who I was seeing very little of). Flying to London, Paris and Hong Kong were memories I wouldn’t trade. After working in the CBD I started Tailored Accounting Solutions from my little office at home and started to grow my business so I could spend more time with my family.

From my little office to our first office in Beach Street Frankston (which my children were practically living) and to then deciding to move to Patterson Lakes and renovating our garage into an office and hiring 6 staff our house became more of an office then a home.

Deciding to escape from the suburbs we moved to the Yarra Ranges and work from our office in Kalorama and are now in the process of re-locating our office off the mountain.

Starting my own business was the best decision I have ever made. I thrive when individuals begin their own business as I know what they can go through and aim to help them achieve their dream.

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