Name: Robert Thornthwaite
CA, MPA, B Econ, BBus, SMSF Auditor
Born and raised in Brisbane, I started on the path towards an exciting career in accountancy with a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Queensland. When that wasn’t enough, I went back to the books to complete a Masters of Accounting at Griffith University, and a Graduate Diploma from the Institute of Chartered Accountants qualified me to be a Chartered Accountant. Along the way, I’ve also become a Registered Self-Managed Superfund Auditor. I like to think that aside from all of the academic study I’ve undertaken, my learning journey is an ongoing thing because every day is essentially a school day at FTA! It’s the approach we take – we’re always looking to learn more; about our clients and about how we perform.
I started my career by working my way up through two accounting firms. One was a boutique firm on the Gold Coast. I think the experience there grounded me; I learned that client interactions were everything and realised how satisfying helping small businesses achieve financial success could be. It’s always been one of the reasons I go to work. The other role was at a large second tier firm in Brisbane. That’s where I first learned to ply my trade dealing with the companies at the larger end of the business spectrum. In 2007, I moved to the Coast and created what is now known as FTA Accountants. With offices on the Sunny Coast and Roma we are really proud of what we have become. The whole growth and expansion experience has been great. We’ve got a fantastic team and brilliant clients.
A famous former Wallaby – who shall remain nameless, to protect the guilty – once turned up for the first day of his new corporate life, post-retirement from football. The first team meeting began with the boss yelling and screaming at the staff for their underperformance and lack of results. He turned to the famous ex-Wallaby, hoping for some affirmation of his ranting and said something like, “What would happen with the Wallabies if 80% of your teammates consistently underperformed week in and week out?” The famous former Wallaby replied, deadpan, matter of factly, ”They’d most likely sack the coach…”
A good leader takes responsibility for the team’s performance and should be judged accordingly.
We’re very fortunate here at FTA to have such an extensive wealth of industries and commercial ventures. What I love about FTA, is not one particular type of client – I love that we get to apply the extensive expertise we have here at this firm to that broad spectrum of tasks and fields.
When not at the office, I am often found supporting – far too passionately at times – Collingwood Magpies. I am also a tragic Wallabies supporter and yearn for the day they bring the Bledisloe Cup back to its rightful home. I do, however, suspect this may not occur during my lifetime! Summer can be spent swimming, BBQ’ing with of course Test Match cricket on in the background…much to my families disgust.
Whenever I get a chance, I love to take to the course and play a round or three of golf. It’s a great game, socially and competitively, and a big plus is that due partly to my role at FTA, I get plenty of chances to take part in charity golf events. Combining what I like to do for sport and putting (or is that putting) something back into the community is always brilliant to do – and what better place to play a few rounds than on the lovely Sunshine Coast!
Motto I (Try To) Live By:
EAT THE FROG!!!
What, I hear you ask? Imagine a glass on your bed side table as you wake up in the morning. And in the glass is a juiced-up, squishy slimy, blended frog. You have to drink the contents – there is no getting out of it. So the choice is yours….do you stew on it all day, wondering how it will taste and feel and if will make you sick before eventually getting the courage to do it. Or do you just swallow the contents first up and get it over and done with. If you get the hardest, worst task out of the way you will be surprised how much better your day turns out. I’m not saying the contents will taste better (it might if its left to fester all day – but that’s not the point) but at least you have stopped thinking about the frog and have freed the rest of your day up so you can focus on achieving meaningful outcomes.
(07) 5409 2300