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 five partners. Mick is still at the helm guiding the firm with his trademark energy and sense of humour.
Mick specialises in business wealth and strategic planning for clients across all industries. With many years’ experience, including Director of Large Case Audit with the Australian Taxation Office in Queensland, Mick brings a wealth of knowledge in taxation and business operations.
Mick provides advice regarding business strategy and implementation to clients in the manufacturing, retail and property development industries. With over 16 years in the Australian Taxation Office, and over 25 years’ experience in Public Accounting, Mick is ideally placed to advise and guide our clients on complex and shifting tax issues.
- Bachelor of Business
- Certified Practising Accountant
- Certificate of Public Practice
- Affiliate of Institute of Chartered Accountants
- Commissioner of Declarations
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. One visit to the M & P 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 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.
Well that wasn't part of the plan!
In the early days in my new role, I have to admit, I was winging it a lot in client meetings! But I’m a big believer in biting off more than you can chew then chewing like heck to make it happen. Funny story though about how I had to step up way faster than I’d planned…
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 was glassed and looked out to our external 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! The meeting went from 11.00am until 7.00pm. That family and their children are still clients of our practice 31 years later.
Not long after this, Ray left the business and I brought in another partner. That business grew from 7 staff to 60 staff over the years. Terry Brauer became a partner in 1997. We eventually bought the indoor cricket centre in Gatton and converted it into two levels to house our 60 staff members – 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’m still here today doing what I love is a belief in my ability, the confidence to back myself, tenaciousness and drive. 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 make it happen for you.