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17th April, 2024

Season 2, Episode 3: Transforming Paths: Insights from Rebecca Mihalic on Building a Successful Practice

In the latest episode of the Fiscal Therapy podcast, hosted by Jody Sitters, community manager for MYOB’s accounting partners, we dive deep into the inspiring journey of Rebecca Mihalic.

As the Director at Business Depot Sydney and Head of Accounting APAC at Ignition, Rebecca brings more than 15 years’ experience and a rich history of innovation in the accounting field.

Her story is not just about numbers and financial strategies at a successful practice; it’s about personal growth, embracing change, and leading with innovation.

Starting Points and Strategic Shifts

Rebecca’s journey in the accounting world is marked by a significant pause, where she stepped away from traditional accounting roles to explore education and training within a different sector.

This break, as she recalls, was crucial. “I just needed a change,” she explains. This temporary shift away from accounting rekindled her passion for the profession.

This period of exploration led her to recognise her true calling — accounting — and eventually, to co-founding Aptus Accounting and Advisory.

“I really like accounting. It is my soul,” Rebecca says. Her return catalysed client demands and new opportunities, illustrating the magnetic pull of her expertise in the field.

Accordingly, this challenges the traditional trajectory of career progression, showing that sometimes, stepping away can reignite love for the craft.

Innovating Within the Industry

The transition to establishing her own practice drove a desire to optimise and innovate.

As a result, Rebecca’s approach wasn’t just about adopting new technologies; it was about fundamentally transforming how services are delivered.

In 2018, Aptus was recognised for its innovative practices, earning Rebecca the title of Innovator of the Year at the Australian Accounting Awards.

“It was all about making sure we did everything as efficiently as humanly possible and leveraging technology as much as we could,” Rebecca says.

Also, this philosophy extended beyond basic cloud integration to a fully automated system where applications communicated seamlessly, enhancing operational efficiency and client service.

A Broader Vision: Joining Business Depot

The story of Aptus seamlessly transitions into Rebecca’s decision to join Business Depot.

This move was motivated by a vision to offer services to clients without limitations imposed by a smaller firm’s resources.

Rebecca met John Knight, MD and founder of Business Depot, and felt an immediate alignment of entrepreneurial spirits and goals.

“We both wanted to do these amazing things,” she recalls, describing the synergy that led to Aptus rebranding and becoming part of the Business Depot group.

This allowed her to expand services while maintaining the personal touch that was the hallmark of her previous firm.

Celebrating Women in Accounting

An advocate for diversity and inclusion, Rebecca also reflects on the significance of International Women’s Day and the broader issues of gender in the accounting profession.

Also, she discusses the challenges of being a woman in the industry and the importance of visibility for women.

“There are a million reasons why it’s important,” Rebecca says of often being the only woman in professional settings.

Consequently, her advocacy is about ensuring future generations of women in accounting have role models who lead by example.

What Success Looks Like

As the conversation winds down, Rebecca contemplates the evolving nature of success, “It changes all the time … But the most holistic and probably the success point that has lasted with me longest is I want to make sure that I’m proud of what I do and my family is proud.”

Also, this sentiment resonates as a foundational aspect of her professional journey. Aligning personal values with professional achievements ensures her work enriches her life and that of those around her.

This episode not only highlights the technical and strategic facets of building a successful practice but also delves into the personal growth and broader societal contributions of a leading figure in the industry.

Finally, Rebecca’s journey is testament to the power of passion, innovation, and community in shaping a fulfilling and impactful career.

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