Before shadowing Chris Hooper for a day, I had no idea what Accodex actually did, their visions for the future, or what Chris’s role in the firm was. Now, everything is clear.

When asked the question, “Why do you want to shadow the CEO of Accodex Partners for the day?” I had LOTS to say. I wanted to know the difference between Accodex and other accounting firms, I wanted to see what a CEO of a start-up does on a day to day basis, I wanted to know how Chris interacts with his staff, and overall get a feel of the culture at Accodex.

To begin my day of shadowing, I met Chris in the level 3 Accodex office. I opened my eyes to three screens full of flow charts, diagrams on the white boards about the future of Accodex and Chris smashing out some work whilst listening to inspirational speeches. I have never seen this done before! How does listening to inspirational speeches help you work more efficiently? I’m not sure, but it definitely intrigued me and I will have to try this at a later date. After the first lot of work was out the way, and I understood more about the future of the accounting profession (as well as views on other professions), we went down to have a coffee.

Coffee wasn’t for me, it was to meet up with one of the students that Chris mentors. Interestingly enough, she was studying tourism, which seems far away from the accounting profession, however, it shows that mentors can come from a wide range of areas, yet it can still be beneficial to you and your career. One of the main points that I took from this chat is that even at a CEO level, Chris is still looking for a mentor, someone knowledgeable who can guide him to the next stage in his career. Not only was he looking for someone, he had an epiphany of who he wanted during coffee, and proceeded to become very excited about the prospect of a new mentor. The point here is, no matter where you are in your career, whether you are a student, a manager or a CEO, mentors will always be benefical to you and your future.

Back to work – Chris and I begin to interact with the staff. After some friendly banter between the staff, Chris began to finalise some compliance work, and come up with a solution to a high level accounting problem which his staff requested help with. This led me to my first look at Xero. Xero looks absolutely beautiful and simple compared to M.Y.O.B.; which was currently taught at university. It honestly made me wonder why we aren’t being taught such things at university as this program is incredible.

We then went to Clear Business Dynamics and met with Michael Macolino and Patrick DeRuvo. At the office there were lots of business discussed, and a multitude of programs that were used that I haven’t seen before. Although I didn’t understand the majority the jargon used, it was interesting to see how these business partners operate and discuss their future with each other. It was also good to see that Chris was happy to assist with any issues they encountered.

After shadowing Chris Hooper for the day, I had learnt an indescribable amount. I learnt about the friendly culture at Accodex Partners which even exists between the CEO and undergraduate employees, I learnt that Xero looks like an amazing program to use, I learnt that no matter where you are in your career mentors are integral to your success and I got an overall feel of what a CEO does at a start-up firm. This is an experience I will always remember, and I recommend all students should look out for this opportunity in the future!


Written by Zak Robson

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