Victoria Ridgwell

Victoria Ridgwell

University of Adelaide
Accountant
Victoria studied Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) at University of Adelaide

What's your job about?

Hood Sweeney is a multi-disciplinary firm, offering Accounting, Finance, Financial Planning, Technolog, Consulting and Performance Coaching. Having completed my Commerce Accounting degree I work in the Accounting and Business Advisory service line with the small and family Business team. I started working with Hood Sweeney during my final year of University study. To begin with I was completing bookkeeping tasks using Xero and MYOB, this gave me a sound knowledge of the background of particular clients and how information for compliance work is produced. I then moved onto completing tax compliance work for clients. Each day comes with different tasks, which means I am always on my toes. No client work is the same so I am constantly learning something new and different. I work directly with my Manager and Director, as well as sometimes completing work for other teams.

What's your background?

I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia and attended St Mary’s College from Reception to Year 12. I started working at the age of 14 at Royal Copenhagen Ice Creamery, where I ended up working for 7 years. During this time I was promoted to Manager and juggled full time hours whilst studying at University. It was at this job I discovered my passion for business and accounting. I found myself wanting to enhance businesses and using my accounting knowledge to help the owner make informed business decisions. I believe my experience working first hand in a small family business helped me successful in obtaining a job at Hood Sweeney. Being in the SME team at Hood Sweeney has helped my understanding of what clients deal with.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

One of the things I love most about my job is the positive people and relationships I have with those around me. I am constantly encouraged to ask questions and seek help from my peers and this makes work a lot more enjoyable. I particularly love the support I receive from my manager and Director as they are always willing to take time out to listen to me despite their busy schedules. I also really enjoy the range of activities I am able to undertake and how my opinion is valued and taken into consideration. I really enjoy the hands on training I receive at Hood Sweeney, whether it be from the graduate specific tax updates or the coaching sessions that gives us tips and tricks on talking to clients or winning new clients. The balance of technical and soft skills training is something I find really useful. Hood Sweeney also constantly recognises their employees for the hard work they put in. Sometimes working and studying can get really tiring and stressful but my manager and directors are always giving me positive feedback that gives me the confidence in what I am doing and I know the hard work I put in is appreciated.

What are the limitations of your job?

There are no limitations of the job necessarily, but you have to be willing to work hard. You have to take responsibility for your own work. I believe you have to be organised and manage your time well. Each month we are given jobs to complete and you have to make sure you can get all your work finished. If you’re looking for a job where you can just cruise through and are not required to think then this probably isn’t for you.

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

One of the main pieces of advice I would give university students is don’t underestimate the power of your social networks. It is good to study hard and get the best possible grades you can but remember about work-social life balance. It is often those social connections you have with different people that can lead you to different job opportunities. Especially in the accounting field, you never know if that person you know through playing social netball may be looking for a new accountant. People are more likely to trust someone who is familiar therefore getting out and about and making connections can be very beneficial.