Tax accountancy specialist Nidal Mazloum has been appointed an Associate at Matthews Steer Accountants and Advisors.
Formerly employed in the tax division at the State Trustees, PPS Partners and C&H Accounting Group, Mazloum joined Matthews Steer as a senior accountant four and a half years ago.
“I was trying to find a place that shared the same values as me, treated people the way I wanted to be treated, and allowed me to earn respect,” said Mazloum. “Matthews Steer has family values and a team ethos.
“Matthews Steer respects its employees and is like one big family. Once you’re employed you’re treated as someone of value, not a number. Your opinion is valued from the outset; you’re encouraged to have an opinion, which can’t be said for every employer in this field.
Today Mazloum is responsible for managing two accounting teams, their ongoing development and coaching, workflow and productivity. He said as an associate his focus would be to return the business’ investment in him.
“I’m a big believer that what you give, you get back tenfold,” he said. “I have a genuine interest in our team’s development because I’ve been there and know how hard I had to work to get where I am over the years I’ve been at the firm.
“I enjoy seeing individual team members grow and achieve to the best of their abilities. The conversation you have with a new graduate is different to the one you have with them a couple of years along the track. It goes from being centred on them personally, to where they want to go in their career, and how they are going to get there. Seeing them succeed is the best part of the process.”
During his years at Matthews Steer Mazloum has established a reputation for building strong client and team relationships, a skill that will continue to stand him in good stead as an Associate.
“I am a listener, and I think I am a good sounding board,” he said. “I understand that success secures your family’s future so that is my motivator given I have a young family. I care, and take an interest, like each of my clients’ businesses is my own.
Essentially I am part of 30 separate businesses and I treat them all as if they are my own because I have a vested interest in their success. If they’re failing it’s on me to help them fix it.”
Mazloum takes a similar approach with the team members in his charge, providing straightforward advice and empowering them to explore their own strategies and make their own decisions.
“There are so many solutions to any problem. It’s the types of questions I ask that help our graduates to reach the most appropriate conclusion. So, I don’t feed them answers, I get them to take ownership of the challenges they face and navigate their way to a successful conclusion.
“I’m honest with them and tell it like it is. I’m not here to sugar coat anything for them, I’ll tell them the good and the bad. It’s not just my job to give positive feedback. If the tough conversations need to be had, then they will happen.”
Matthews Steer founding partner and Managing Director Ken Matthews says Mazloum’s interest in professionally developing the firm’s people went a long way to earning him his Associateship.
“Nidal came in as a senior accountant and rapidly built trust within the firm, and our client base, leading us to promote him to manager within 12 months,” said Matthews.
“He takes a personalised approach to team development and has time for everyone on the team. He has the patience to hear people out, and to really listen to what they say.”
Mazloum recently completed and an advanced tax course with the Tax Institute as part of his ongoing professional development and says relationship building is the key to successful business owner – accountant partnerships in 2018.
“The importance of cultivating and managing relationships far exceeds the importance of technical ability,” said Mazloum. “These days business owners are looking for far more personal relationship with their accountants. They’re looking for someone they can trust, confide in, and someone with whom they have shared common interests.”
A self-proclaimed one-eyed North Melbourne supporter, Mazloum says the future is looking somewhat brighter for the graduates embarking on their careers at North West Melbourne’s premier business consultancy firm, than it is for his beloved football team!
“There are a lot of strong teammates who are pushing for advancement,” said Mazloum. “There is a good mix of different personalities and skill sets.
“At Matthews Steer we invest in our people as if they’re going to stay with the firm for life. So we don’t skimp on professional development, because if our colleagues are going to stay with us for 10 or 20 years years, we will soon reap the rewards from all the training we invest in them."