During Brandon Tilley’s first few days at his new job as an accountant at SMART Business Solutions 18 months ago, firm director Shannon Smit mentioned she would be interested in nominating Brandon for the coveted Rising Star Of The Year Award at the following year’s Australian Accounting Awards. Brandon didn’t give it much thought, until later through honing his skills under Shannon’s guidance he found himself winning the category this year.
“I was quite shocked, to be honest,” said Brandon. “I didn’t expect to win it. There was good competition with over 580 nominations and 275 certified finalists. I was excited and over the moon.”
The Australian Accounting Awards are regarded as the industry’s most prestigious accolade, recognising excellence across the entire accounting industry. The awards showcase both individuals and firms who are leading the way in the industry, and identify professional development and innovation. Traditionally, the black-tie gala event is held in Sydney with a celebratory night to be remembered. Given the current COVID-19 climate, a virtual live stream event replaced the night. The Frankston resident and former Frankston High School student told us that the whole team from SMART Business Solutions gathered together at Shannon’s house to make a night of it on Friday, June 19.
“The live stream was very professionally done,” said Brandon. “My acceptance speech was brief, and I panned the camera to show the whole team behind me who were screaming with excitement.”
As one of only 35 award winners, it’s a huge honour for the 24-year-old. Having worked previously at a large firm in Melbourne before moving to a small business, Brandon can’t help but speak ever so highly of the excellence that is the accounting and business advisory firm SMART Business Solutions. He applauds how Shannon runs a small business like a large business yet upholds the great culture of a small business. The training and support are also second to none, and Brandon believes that you couldn’t find this superb situation anywhere else.
Brandon has also found himself as the youngest volunteer board member for the Committee For Mornington Peninsula. The committee that began last year supports and advocates for the small business environment on the Mornington Peninsula. With Shannon on the committee as the treasurer, Brandon was originally asked to assist with bookkeeping, and then to stand in at a few board meetings. Needless to say, once again his skills were quickly recognised and he was given the opportunity to join the board.
“We work through issues that the Mornington Peninsula is facing,” said Brandon. “The committee was formed to ensure that all levels of government, policy formulators and decision-makers have a clear understanding of the specific and often special needs of the Peninsula. Recently we’ve been looking at what government stimulus options are on offer and how we can ensure the Peninsula can come out of COVID-19 positively.”
If you do the maths, you’ll see there’s not too much spare time for Brandon, yet nothing stops him from enjoying our renowned café culture with his partner Tabitha and friends, catching a wave in the summer or hitting the snow in winter.