Jack MacKintosh

Jack MacKintosh

University of Melbourne
Analyst
Jack studied Bachelor of Commerce at University of Melbourne

What's your job about?

Pitcher Partners is a leading mid-tier accounting and advisory firm, and I work with the Business Advisory & Assurance division

It’s a bit hard to sum up “an average day”, because in my division we do a bit of everything! For example, in one day, I might be out at the client completing an audit, helping clients and managers with tax returns and financial statement compliance, or advising on the day-to-day accounting and bookkeeping queries and reporting. It’s sometimes hard to know what you’re walking into!

In summary, what we do is help our clients get the right information to make decision, advise them on their options, as well as meet their compliance requirements

What's your background?

I am Adelaide-born and Melbourne-bred. All the way through school, I basically had no idea where I wanted to end up. It got to Year 12 and I managed to narrow it down to “commerce-y” things, and so ended up in first-year Bachelor of Commerce. To be honest, that probably didn’t narrow it down much further as I was still quite sheltered in the way I experience university. It was only when I started my 6-week vacationer internship that it really became clear what work and “adulting” was really like.

Coming back, my last year at university was definitely my favourite. With part-time work following on from my internship, university subjects felt a lot more relevant and in context. I did a lot more travel. I went to Hong Kong for 3 weeks with a great group of 20 from university. The work over there was mainly focusing IT strategy which really felt outside my capabilities at the start. I think what became clear though is how teamwork, critical thinking and good-old-fashioned communication are always transferrable. I think I also just started to relax and smell the roses along the way.

With that and a quick 2 month trip to Europe out of the way, I felt ready to have a crack at being an adult. So far, so good.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Definitely! I don’t think the technical aspects of the job are the major hurdles early on. No matter what your background is, if you have a crack and conduct yourself professionally and positively, people will be willing to teach you and give you the opportunities to grow those technical skills.

Formally, there are also bridging subjects and study support for non-accounting students looking to move into the field.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The days I really enjoy are where you get thrown in the deep end (with a life vest). For example, one of my first experiences as a graduate was documenting system controls with the financial controller of one of our larger clients. With an expectation of comprehending the nuances of the business and being able to express that, it felt daunting and frankly,scary. In the end though, you know your team is there for you and trusts that you can do it. Leaving the client having learnt so much in a short period of time was a great feeling at the end of the audit.

What are the limitations of your job?

The hardest thing about working in professional services is that you are ultimately responsible to your clients. One of the problems with that is that some clients give you things and then want them back immediately, and that tends to be when another client has done the exact same thing! It can be hard to manage expectations and keep your head sometimes when things are flying everywhere, but that’s when communication and your team are absolutely vital. Ultimately, if you can get the job done with help from your team, everyone is happy in the long-run.

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

  • Smell the roses: It’s hard to realise the value of how much time and freedom comes with being a student. So get what you need to get done and then make the most of time with friends & family and do what makes you happy
  • Get experience: No matter what it is, or where it is, there’s always plenty of chances to try something new.
  • Set yourself up: Uni is the perfect time to start making changes, whether that is health-wise, with work habits, or social interactions. Any good (and bad) habits tend to carry through!