Mick Marsh

| Founder |

Mick established Marsh & Partners in Gatton in 1989. Initially a small practice with seven staff, the business grew rapidly and is now located in Brisbane with over forty staff and four partners.

Over the course of his career, Mick specialised in wealth-building and business strategy. With over 16 years in the Australian Taxation Office, and over 30 years’ experience in public accounting, he earned a reputation as a leading business advisor to clients with big financial goals.

Mick has taken a well-earned step back from 9 to 5 life but remains an integral part of the Marsh & Partners family with his advice, guidance, and trademark energy.

Qualifications and professional memberships:
  • Bachelor of Business
  • Certified Practising Accountant
  • Justice of the Peace
Business accountants - Mick Marsh Partner

How I got started in business

I grew up in the small town of Laidley in the Lockyer Valley, 85km west of Brisbane. Playing rugby league for the Gatton Hawks, sport and competitiveness was a big part of my youth and still is. A visit to the Marsh & Partners boardroom will confirm this!

After spending sixteen years with the ATO in Brisbane and Fiji, I had an offer to join a firm back in Gatton as a manager in a small but successful accounting practice. In some ways it was an opportunity but there was also a lot of risk involved. On the one hand, I’d have a huge learning opportunity, the chance to test myself and the chance to make a real difference to business owners in my community. On the other hand, I’d take a large pay cut, put career progression on hold for a while and give up the security of guaranteed employment – many of the reasons my colleagues at the ATO were staying put.

I chose to go with the riskier option. In part because I’d lost motivation for the work I was doing, but also because I had a lot of confidence in my own ability and was driven to achieve. I’m a big believer in biting off more than you can chew then chewing like heck to make it happen. I didn’t know it at the time but that decision set me on a path which has turned out to be commercially rewarding and has given me a real sense of satisfaction and pride in the work that I do.

Thrown in the deep end

The firm in Gatton had three partners. In the first year I was working there, one of the partners, Ray, had a disagreement with the others and decided to split and form his own company. I had a good relationship with him – in fact he’d been the one to recruit me from the ATO. So I decided to go with him and form a new company.

Very early in the piece it became clear that my new partner had lost motivation for tax accounting. One of the firm’s largest clients came in for a meeting with Ray in the boardroom which had large glass windows with a view over our car park. Ray brought me into the boardroom and introduced me to the clients – father, mother, son and daughter-in-law – then excused himself. The father asked, “What is this meeting about Mick?”. I had never met the clients, knew nothing about their circumstances and was unaware of the meeting occurring until I’d been dragged in. I replied that Ray would fill us all in when he re-joined the meeting. The father, who could see out to the carpark, advised me that Ray had driven off in his car about 10 minutes ago! That meeting went from 11.00am until 7.00pm! The family and their children are still clients of our practice all these years later.

Not long after this, Ray left the business, and I brought in another partner. Over the next years, the business grew from 7 staff to 60 staff. Terry Brauer became a partner in 1997. We eventually bought the indoor cricket centre in Gatton and converted it into two levels to accommodate our 60 staff members. We were one of the largest employers in the district.

To Brisbane and beyond

In 2000, we were approached to join a group of accounting firms under the banner of Stockford, which floated later that year. This accounting practice had firms in all the capital cities and had various other businesses within the group, including financial planning. Stockford needed a presence in Brisbane, so our firm re-located to Brisbane. The float unfortunately proved unsuccessful and the various accounting firms got their individual practices back. Two of our partners went to Toowoomba and the remaining partners stayed in Brisbane, resulting in the commencement of Marsh & Partners (Qld) in 2003.

You might be wondering my reason for telling you all of this. Many so called “business advisors” paint a pretty picture of their successes and achievements, but you never hear about their mistakes, self-doubt or the rocky times. Yet I’ve had all of those and know all too well the roadblocks and roundabouts business owners encounter on their journey.

The reason I was able to build a successful business was due to a belief in my ability, the confidence to back myself, and tenacity. I can guarantee that if you’ve had the confidence to start a business or shoot for big financial goals then you’ve got those same traits. We love that entrepreneurial spirit here at Marsh & Partners and feel privileged to be by your side, helping to make it happen for you.

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