INTHEBLACK December 2020 - Magazine - Page 34
STORY JOHANNA LEGGATT
PHOTOGRAPHY JARROD BARNES
A F T E R A H O R S E - R I D I N G A C C I D E N T I N 2017, H A C I A AT H E R T O N C PA
WAS T O L D S H E M AY N E V E R WA L K A G A I N , B U T S H E D E V I S E D A R E C O V E RY
S T R AT E G Y T H AT A L S O H E L P E D H E R C O N Q U E R T H E C- S U I T E .
rowing up, Hacia Atherton CPA wasn’t
treated to the usual bedtime stories that
other children enjoyed, but instead was
read excerpts from boardroom minutes,
The Australian Financial Review and daily
analysis of the stock market.
“My father has amazing business acumen,
and I was read financial articles instead of
Peter Rabbit,” she says, with a laugh.
Not that Atherton cared. The family
business, scientific and medical equipment
company Atherton Healthcare, dates back to
1889, and she loved the identity the business
gave her growing up: visiting the office in the
school holidays, sitting in her father’s chair.
“My great-grandfather always wanted
an accountant in the family, so it has been
particularly rewarding to advance to CPA
status,” she says.
After she left high school, Atherton set up
her own small business, Bamboozled Office,
34 ITB December 2020
a book-keeping and office management
business for other booming small businesses.
“One of the great lessons I learned from
the business is the importance of really solid
foundations in a business, so that you can
enjoy growth without the house of cards
falling in,” she says.
After two years, Atherton decided to try the
world of financial planning, and secured a job
as a planner with a large firm.
It wasn’t a good fit. “I was selling the right
products for my clients’ situation, but my
managers didn’t overly like that because it
wasn’t selling their products,” she says.
“My personal values didn’t sit well with the
values of the industry, but I did learn how to
establish trust with customers.”
After a year, Atherton quit to join the
family business, where she earned her stripes
in a range of roles, including sales, customer
relations and the service department.
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