MEET THE TEAM | Byfields newest branch, Esperance
Mark Murgatroyd: The Journey to Australia
Mark is one of our managers leading a team consisting of two accountants, one client services administrator, and one receptionist in Esperance, Byfields Business Advisers’ newest branch.
Mark is originally from South Africa, though in 2003 it was time to leave. Initially, he had hoped for a transfer with his previous place of employment to Australia, where he already had extended family. Unfortunately, at the time there were no positions available in Australia and instead, Mark was offered a position in Estonia, of all places! Northern Europe provided a massive culture shock for Mark, he didn’t know the language, it was always cold, and the days were long in the summer and extremely short in the winter. “After two years, around the birth of my son, it was -13 degrees outside, and I just thought ‘What am I doing? I don’t want to live in a freezer.’ So, I asked for another transfer and they finally sent us to Sydney.”
Mark’s extended family were already located in Perth, but he was required to stay with his employer in Sydney for four years to be eligible for permanent residency. Back in South Africa, Mark had lived in a small seaside town and he longed to get back to that lifestyle, away from the hours spent in traffic. Once the four years were up in Sydney, he and his family moved to Western Australia where Mark started searching for that small coastal town lifestyle.
Life in Esperance
Mark understood that “your quality of life has a direct relationship to your career choice and location you are employed”, with this in mind, Esperance and David Dwyer’s accounting practice called Mark and his family.
Before moving to Esperance, Mark had never worked with farmers before, “my farming knowledge, as a business and a way of life, was very limited,” however that was eight years ago. “Being in a small town you start to realise the whole community, the whole town, relies on growers.” Mark developed his understanding of farmers, how they go about what they do, and why, because they after all put food on our table.
The community have not only made Mark feel welcome over the years but also his wife, Ilze, and son, 16-year-old Ben. In Esperance, they have found a tightly entwined and friendly community where they can be involved at school or in local sports, “even a trip to Bunnings takes a couple of hours because you know everyone there.”
Mark has found working with both farming clients and family business incredibly rewarding. One of his biggest client successes that he reflects on was a client who initially came to him for help with their bookkeeping, “it’s common on farms for bookwork to fall to someone that doesn’t know much about accounting. In this case, I was able to help with the right software programs and support. My client ended up staying with me for eight years and what started as a transactional relationship grew into a strong partnership” Mark helped grow and solidify their farming business and even assisted with their conscious exit of the industry. Honest, clever, and straight-talking advice saw the client save large amounts of income and capital gain tax. A great result!
Speak with Mark and his team if you need any assistance (08) 9071 2511, at 57 The Esplanade, Esperance WA 6450.
Disclaimer: This content provides general information only, current at the time of production. Any advice in it has been prepared without taking into account your personal circumstances. You should seek professional advice before acting on any material.