It was 1992 when Director, Myles Smith joined the McConachie Stedman team. A time when Andre Agassi was a tennis superstar, the world was captivated by the Barcelona Olympics and a shipping container filled with 28,000 rubber ducks fell overboard into the Pacific Ocean. Fast forward 26 years and it seems that like the legendary, seafaring odyssey of toy ducks (who are still popping up across the world’s oceans), Myles has also made his mark.
From Graduate Accountant to Director, Myles’ story is founded on unrelenting hard work, brutal honesty and his genuine approach to people. Born and raised on the Darling Downs outside of Oakey, Myles attributes his strong work ethic to his agricultural background and has fond memories of his youth working alongside his family farming vegetables and lucerne.
It was the late 1980s when Myles’ professional career kicked off in a role with banking giant, Westpac. After health issues impacted his aspirations to follow in his father’s footsteps and work the land, he made a practical decision to study accounting given he was good with numbers. Three years down the track when it came time to look for a job, Myles remembers the tough job market he faced as Australia emerged from recession and unemployment sat at more than 10%.
After applying for a position, he attended an interview with former Partners, Ian Yeo and Allan Rother. He admits that the interview was only supposed to go for around 30 minutes, however, the three hit it off and he recalls that they were still talking, or as he describes it waffling, after an hour and a half.
Myles remembers that following the interview, he made a spontaneous decision to go fishing. It was leading into the winter months and he recalls that farm operations were slow, so he packed up his swag and headed off. He laughs as he recounts that it wasn’t until a few days later when he returned that he realised he had actually landed the role.
A few short weeks later in July, Myles arrived for his first day on the job at the cosy, Duggan Street office. He remembers that former Partner, Mick Cumner was on leave and so Scott Cutmore was his appointed supervisor. Myles says that he spent his first day coding bank statements, 1200 to be exact.
In the years that followed, Myles continued to work in the speciality areas of accounting and tax, and invested time building strong relationships with clients, many of which he stills works with today. As time passed, he developed a formidable reputation for being hardworking and although he refutes that he is in fact, a work-a-holic, he admits that when it comes to life, he likes to be busy and purposeful.
It would be easy to assume that given Myles’ commitment to keep busy, that plans for retirement are not on the horizon, however, he insists that they are. He admits that planning is in progress to return to his farming roots in the next decade or so and when this does eventuate, it will bring his life full-circle.
When questioned about making an exit strategy, Myles’ goal is humble, to leave the firm in a better position to what he found it. Although he admits that he has no thoughts on how he might be remembered and would prefer not to make a fuss, the truth is that he will go down in the firm’s history. Whether it’s for his innate sense of humour, meticulous memory or infamous 1996 Nissan Patrol, when it comes time to take his final steps as Director, there will surely be a lot of memories to share.