Patrick Rowan Accountants Geelong 45 year celebrations

Patrick Rowan Accountants. Celebrating 45 years


As Patrick Rowan & Associates Accountants celebrates 45 years in business, founder Patrick Rowan reflects on the vast changes not only in technology but also people and culture.

It’s 1973, Gough Whitlam begins his tenure as Prime Minister of our country. Young entrepreneur, Mr Patrick Rowan takes the plunge and starts out in business.

Founder of Patrick Rowan & Associates, a local Accounting and Business Advisory firm, Mr Patrick Rowan said when he first started out in business; Geelong was a very different place.

“A number of the major insurance companies had large offices in Geelong and banks employed a greater number of people than they do today. Glancing down Malop Street from the Johnsons Park end, you would have seen the ANZ Bank, the E S & A Bank, Trustees & Executors, Commonwealth Bank, State Bank of Victoria, Capital Building Society and many other financial Institutions,” recalls Patrick.

Patrick Rowan & Associates started out in Latrobe Tce and in 1978 moved to 9 / 11 Malop Street, premises now occupied by Frankie. In 1986 they moved to the current location at Steampacket House, 24 Moorabool Street.

“The introduction of computers has been the biggest change in the accounting profession over the time,” says Patrick.

“In 1973, the practice invested in its first computer, basically a glorified magnetic calculator which attached to an IBM golf ball typewriter that acted as the printer. By today’s standards, this was a primitive set up however, for the time; it was a leap forward and saved an enormous amount of time for inputting and typing.”

Over the years, the firm as assisted clients to overcome a number of economic obstacles including:

  • a downturn of the stock market in the early 1970’s
  • a number of recessions
  • the stock market crash of 1987
  • high interest rates of the late 1980’s
  • the closure in 1990 of Pyramid Building Society
  • the global economic crisis

Today, Patrick is proud to remain a part of the business and works as a consultant to the firm. As the business evolved and services on offer increased, the team has expanded.

Patrick believes quality staff who complement each other is the key to business success.

“People now expect more from their accountant. Specialist staff, along with a strong emphasis on continuing professional development is paramount.”

“And communication is the key to keeping good staff.”

“Staff recognition is important but not just monetary recognition. Thanks and praise for a good job goes a long way.”

Creating a culture where the client comes first, nowdays, public practice accounting is as much about people as figures and number crunching. Accountants need well rounded skills to meet these requirements.

“We take the worry away from clients. Listen to their needs and put ourselves in their shoes,” says Patrick.

Patrick’s fondest memories are when clients have taken the time to thank the firm for work done whether it be monetary related such as a tax saving, or lifestyle related for example, a property purchase. Many clients from the initial years remain clients today.

“I still have clients today thanking me for getting them into superannuation,” says Patrick.

When it comes to superannuation, Patrick Rowan & Associates and Financial Planners, Apt. Wealth Partners have a specialist team that has been at the forefront of assisting people run their own super fund since self-managed super first arrived on the scene.

Helen Pemberton, who has been a part of the team for over 25 years, attributes the success of the firm to ‘recognising opportunities, setting goals and taking action’.

Helen became a Partner in 2007 and specialises in consulting to the medical profession. In more recent times, Adrian McCartney, Daleene Kroger, Damien Allott and Luke Szczepanik joined as partners.

With an experienced staff of accounting and consulting professionals, Patrick Rowan and Associates will be around for many more years to come.