Posted on March 24, 2020
We are happy to welcome aboard our most recent team member, Clinton Stewart, who joined our firm as a Graduate Accountant.
From the skies to Hall Consulting Group, Clinton’s impressive life experiences are one of a kind for a man of such a young age. Not many commercial airline pilots will change career to accounting and explore numbers and business solutions instead of exciting new countries.
Clinton demonstrated eagerness and determination to dip into the tax and accounting world from the first day we met him and we are delighted to present below his life story to you so that you can get to know him better.
Why the move to Sydney?
There were a couple of reasons for the move to Sydney. I had made the decision to pursue a career in accounting and wanted to continue flying casually on weekends. Sydney is definitely the ‘place to be’ for opportunities in accounting and so this was the first reason for the move.
Secondly, the Bankstown and Wollongong areas have various aviation businesses in which I could obtain some casual weekend work flying. Sydney also presented various employment and other opportunities for my wife that are not as available in other cities which made her excited about the move.
Moving to the big city was a drastic change for us, but has proved to be an excellent decision.
Why the move to accounting?
I have always had an interest in numbers and business. It was during my time in the supermarket business owned by my family that my interest for accounting developed and as such I commenced my Business/Accounting Degree part-time. After the supermarket was sold, my wife and I relocated to Brisbane for a year in order to complete our Bachelor Degrees.
I decided that I wanted to continue my flying on a casual basis and so begun the process of searching for Graduate Accountant employment and after speaking with friends/mentors in the industry, my wife and I decided to relocate to Sydney to pursue both our careers.
Tell us about your experience as a pilot and retail business owner?
I developed a fascination for flying and aviation from a very young age and wanted to obtain my pilots licence. I began washing dishes in a café when I was twelve to fund lessons which I commenced when I was fourteen. I gained my ultralight licence on my fifteenth birthday, my Private Pilots Licence at seventeen, Instruments Rating at eighteen and Commercial Pilots Licence when I was twenty. I have just recently completed my Airline Transport Pilots Licence subjects as well.
I became involved in my family’s supermarket business in 2011, which we ran for three and a half years. The shop was a great success but involved a tremendous amount of work, managing twenty staff with a full supermarket range and offering required 70 plus hours of work each week (more during holiday seasons!). Juggling this with university study and flying commitments proved very challenging and often exhausting.
I enjoyed the challenges and rewards of running a business and look forward to being able to work with clients and their businesses. I hope that I can offer an understanding and useful knowledge to their daily business operations.
How do your experiences as a pilot/retail business owner translate to accounting?
I believe my experience as a pilot have instilled many attributes that are highly desirable in the accounting profession; such as great attention to detail, a high degree of accuracy, professionalism as well as problem solving and finding solutions to issues.
Anyone who is or has been in business will agree that it is a very challenging experience which requires you to work incredibly long hours and often lose sleep! I believe my experience in business, especially the supermarket/retail business will allow me to have a great understanding of clients and their situations. I hope that I can offer practical solutions to business operations issues.
How was your first day at HCG?
Having never actually worked in an accounting firm before, I was very nervous in the lead up to my first day at HCG. I had no idea what to expect, or what was expected of me. When I began the work day and met the team I felt much better. The team were very welcoming and friendly. I spent the day being inducted and getting to know the workplace. It was a great day and I look forward to many more to come!