The HLB Way: A Standard of Excellence
Award-winning accountancy and advisory firm HLB Mann Judd says the secret of its success in today’s highly competitive environment is its emphasis on a strong client-focused business culture.
“This means each and every member of the HLB team understands and embraces our client-business culture to provide the best possible outcomes for our clients. We encourage our people to think outside the box – to be innovative,” says Tony Fittler, Australasian Chairman and Sydney Managing Partner.
What’s important, he says, is that clients feel comfortable and enjoy doing business with the group, which is looking to play an increased advisory role to its clients as well as offering standard accountancy services.
HLB Mann Judd Australasian Association consists of nine member and two representative firms with over 600 staff members, including 90 partners. The Association is part of a worldwide network called HLB International, formed in Australia in 1969 and now linking independent accounting firms and business advisors in 130 countries. It has 600 offices, 2100 partners and 19,000 staff.
The firm’s success is best illustrated by the awards it has won recently. HLB Mann Judd was named Best Accounting Firm (in the $50m – $500m category) and Best NSW firm (for the second year running) across all professional services firms in the 2016 Financial Review Client Choice Awards. This was the fifth consecutive year the firm was nominated in the best accounting firm category, a gong it won in 2013 and 2014.
The awards are voted on by clients and recognise outstanding performance. Fittler says “these awards are a vote of confidence from our clients that we’re meeting their needs and delivering excellence in client service.
“We’re not an organisation that goes chasing awards,” Fittler adds. “We simply focus on providing exceptional service to our clients in the best possible way. But, at the end of the day, it’s great to have award recognition.”
Finding a point of difference
Fittler’s view is echoed by Kim Kelloway, Sydney’s head of business development and clients.
“It’s our aim to become the most highly regarded mid-tier accounting and advisory firm in Australasia, and we will achieve this through the development of our people and the growth of our clients. The HLB Way is our competitive edge among the mid-tier.”
The firm espouses the use of a several tools to provide that ‘HLB Way’ point of difference and to inculcate excellence in its staff. Among them are a focus on delegation as a means of encouraging employees to grow, delving deep to find root causes of problems, facilitating loyal client relationships and communicating clearly with clients about how the ‘HLB Way’ can help them.
HLB Mann Judd partners and staff are also deeply committed to Australia’s growing not-for-profit (NFP) sector. In 2010 the firm founded the ENFP (Exclusive Not for Profit) Community, which provides significant benefits to the sector.
“Through our desire to partner with the sector, we developed a program of six boardroom briefings per year, quarterly For Impact newsletters, and an exclusive online community of over 500 strategic leaders in the NFP sector across Australia and New Zealand,” Kelloway says.
Darryl Swindells, National Lead Partner of NFP says: “this contribution will significantly impact the NFP sector by creating a forum of collaboration among those working in the NFP sector.”
HLB Mann Judd has for the past two years partnered with Pro Bono Australia, a social enterprise, to deliver Australia’s largest and most comprehensive salary survey in the NFP sector, which is now in its fourth year.
The survey provides vital benchmarking standards for Australia’s rapidly expanding NFP sector with comprehensive salary data analysis. The survey acts as a tool for comparing salary levels for NFP CEOs, executives and managers. It also incorporates data on operating budgets, number of employees and professional development, thus providing HLB Mann Judd clients with vital insights that they can use within their own industries.
HLB Mann Judd is committed to helping Australia’s social and business economy thrive and grow. It’s another string to HLB Mann Judd’s bow and a further example of how the HLB Way supports its people as well as finding ways to further the knowledge and capabilities of its clients.
Written by Chris Pritchard
The articles represent the views of the authors and not necessarily that of the Bank. You should seek independent professional advice before acting on any matters set out in the articles.