Hood Sweeney Graduate Profile Image- Gargi

Gargi Relhan

University of Adelaide
Graduate Accountant, Hood Sweeney
Gargi studied a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) at the University of Adelaide

What's your job about?
Hood Sweeney is an Accounting firm which works with a number of SME businesses, agribusiness enterprises, health providers, hospitality industry and not-for profit organisations offering various services including Financial Planning, Consulting, Finance, Technology and Accounting. My area of responsibility lies in the Accounting team, and more specifically, in food and wine/hospitality segment. My everyday tasks involve Bookkeeping, completing Tax Returns, Financial Statements, Management reporting for various clients, etc. The jobs I do every day are similar but the type of work varies depending on the client I am working on. This gives me more exposure to different types of businesses and different approaches which can be used across the clients I work with. By this I learn something new and have different challenges each day. 

Bookkeeping might sound basic but this part is the one I find most interesting one as well. I have learnt a lot of things by doing bookkeeping which helps me in all other areas of my work. Completing the bookkeeping work for a client helps me to understand your client and their business. Xero software which is used here at Hood Sweeney makes it user friendly for both myself but also the end client user.

What's your background?
I grew up in India and came to Adelaide after completing my year 12. I completed my Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) with the University of Adelaide and also worked part time which helped build my knowledge and experience in customer service including how to talk to people and how to deal with clients. I was short listed for an interview with Hood Sweeney in my last semester of University and after going through the recruitment process I was selected to begin my journey as a Hood Sweeney team member. Living away from my family has taught me some important lessons of life. The cultural difference and the different environment were a bit tough initially but this all has added up and definitely made me a stronger and different person. I love Adelaide now!

Could someone with a different background do your job?
In my opinion, it is hard for someone from any other background to be in my role or do my job, as accounting, is a very technical and practical area. One should know the basic concepts before entering into this field otherwise it may be really challenging or difficult. Soft skills play a big role in advisory or consulting but practical knowledge has to be combined with these skills to climb the ranks towards a successful career.

What's the coolest thing about your job?
The most interesting part of my job is working in a team. This makes me feel that we are all working together towards a common goal. This actually boosts you up and makes you more determined towards achieving your goal. We as a team have so much fun without compromising our work and our main goals. We go out for regular team catch ups, enjoy our morning coffee together while discussing our job statuses and this all makes my day interesting and not boring.

What are the limitations of your job?
I believe there are limitations in each and every role in any industry. How one overcomes the limitation is what counts. Being an accountant might not be everyone’s cup of tea, therefore one should make their career decision with consideration and care. Sometimes you might have a piece of work that is not as interesting and sometimes you might be under the pressure of completing a job under a specific budget. The advisory profession you must be able to think quickly on your feet as there can be many varied situations with clients. This role requires a lot of attention and concentration in each and every aspect.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Networking is really an important part of the professional world. Sometimes when we are students, we don’t really care to meet new people around us as we are so bonded with our mates. Start your journey now and make your life easy for the later stages of your career by getting involved with different people around you.
  • Soft skills count just as much as technical knowledge so don’t just run after your grades, engage in other activities and develop your soft skills.
  • Time management is the key for a better life overall. It is equally as important to have fun in your personal life, spend some time with your friends and family, do some activities, exercise etc as is work. The key is to find the balance between both without compromising either.