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New 'GP' Alliance

The marriage of a senior manager at a DFK International member firm in Australia has led to a union of a different kind through the association.

Andrew Young is a tax and business services adviser at Gooding Partners in Perth - but is based more than 2,000km away, working out of the offices of DFK Gray Perry in Adelaide in a unique arrangement which is set to last 18 months.

After getting married earlier this year, his wife Annabel, a hospital registrar, had to remain in her home city of Adelaide to complete specialist training.

And the DFK family, and modern technology, enabled Andrew to move from Western Australia to South Australia - and carry on working for Gooding Partners, where he has been since graduating from university just over 13 years ago.

Andrew explained: “We knew that after we got married, Annabel would need to stay in Adelaide as part of a specialist training programme at a hospital here which is until at least July next year.

“Our managing partner Stephen Bushell helped me to get in touch with DFK Gray Perry and we discussed an arrangement which meant I could continue working for Gooding Partners but out of their office.

“We have some other managers who work remotely part-time, including one in Singapore and one south of Perth, so we knew we had the technology to do it.  Most of our work is online and our phone system is set through the internet.

“It was easy to facilitate but it would have been a lot more difficult to organise had we not been part of DFK. 

“I moved here in March and it’s worked out really well.  It doesn’t affect my clients as I am still able to provide them with the same level of service, and some of them are in the UK and overseas anyway.

“I am back in Perth for three or four days each month for meetings as well.”

The professional alliance was not formed through DFK International’s highly successful staff exchange programme, which provides secondment opportunities within other member firms to broaden experience and strengthen relationships.

However, Andrew believes it could yield similar added benefits for himself and both firms.

“At the moment I am focused on my own work but I have already had a few chats with a partner here about the tax issues that he has with some of his clients so there might be some opportunity to help each other out,” he said.

“It’s good to get to know another office and see how they work and learn from the things that we do.  I think there will be the opportunity to pick up on those things and also expand my own professional network especially in tax.”

Michael Gray, managing partner at DFK Gray Perry, and past chairman of DFK Australia New Zealand and past board member of DFK International, was open to the opportunity having experienced staff exchanges with member firms in Canada.

He said: “When Stephen suggested the idea, it was not completely foreign to us and we know how positive it can be having someone come in to your team and learn from them culturally and also in terms of professional development with an exchange of knowledge.

“Andrew fits in really well and the team has embraced him as their own.  He attends our professional development sessions and there is the opportunity to go to him if needed for a specialist job that falls under his skillset.  There are advantages on a whole number of levels. 

“My message to others in a similar situation would be to give it a go for the benefits, both tangible and intangible.”

Stephen Bushell, managing partner at Gooding Partners, and a director of DFK Australia New Zealand and DFK International, said: “It really shows the depth of opportunity in having an association like DFK where you can pick up the phone to another member firm. 

 “Without that, I would have been watching Andrew disappear out the door or searching for a firm of accountants or a serviced office in Adelaide to enable him to stay with us.

“Having been part of DFK for ten or more years, we see huge value in tapping into the network and do so time and time again.  Through its strength, we are able to offer these opportunities.”