Proudly Tasmanian – a connection that has continued for more than 130 years

Posted on October 24th, 2023 by Jo Bailey

We’ve been talking a lot about our ‘Tasmanian-ness’ in the office recently – including what this means to our staff, our clients and our community. It’s a topic that has prompted some interesting conversations and also given us an opportunity to reflect on where we have come from, and where we are heading.

As an independent local firm, we are privileged to work with clients right around Tasmania, as well as interstate and overseas. From the early days as Wise, Lord and Ferguson we have been supporting and serving some of Tasmania’s largest companies and government agencies as well as families, often across a number of generations.

In just over a year’s time, we will be celebrating the 135-year anniversary of the firm, which wasAuditor licence No 1 established in 1890. The milestones that have been achieved in this time reach far and wide, and there are too many to mention. But as a testament to our longevity and leadership we do take pride in the fact that one of our Founders, Mr Henry Joshua Wise was awarded Licence No. 1 for Tasmania by the Companies Auditors Board over a century ago. The original document is still held securely in the office today.

In practical terms, what does this long proud history mean for our staff and clients today?

We believe it means a lot. 

A conversation with two of our newest team members, Leah Johnson and Oscar Neale who both joined WLF through our Undergraduate Accountant Cadetship Program in February this year, gave us a great insight into the benefits of working a local firm for our young accountants who are launching their careers. In a recent video prepared for year 12 accounting students, Leah and Oscar highlighted:

  • the value of having strong community connections, and the chance for all staff to make a contribution to local organisations in a number of ways including our Friday fundraising program;
  • the benefit of working with and learning from Partners and Directors, who sit side by side in the same office with all our staff;
  • the knowledge that building a career at WLF can set you up for many opportunities, whether it be working towards Partnership within the firm or venturing interstate or overseas and joining the WLF alumni that stretches around the globe in senior business and financial positions;
  • the support that comes from a team environment, with staff of all ages and backgrounds working together and learning from each other as well as watching out for each other.

We also know that being a Tasmanian firm is something that many of our clients feel an affinity with.

  • Our Partners and all our staff live here in Tasmania, so we understand the business landscape – and as an independent Partnership it’s also our business landscape.
  • We recognise the challenges that can come with being located on an island state (freight costs, occasional delays in access to stock, travel time and cost) but importantly we also appreciate the wonderful benefits of living and working in Tasmania.
  • As a firm with over 80 people, WLF makes a significant financial contribution to Tasmania’s economy – real estate, school fees, groceries, and more, our staff are living and spending locally.
  • We always look to purchase local goods and services where possible, including office supplies, technology, cleaning, marketing services, graphic design and more.

Earlier this year we supported the Hamilton Show for their 70th anniversary. In the lead up to the Show our conversations revealed that WLF has been a continual sponsor for 35 years (excluding the COVID period when the show wasn’t held). It’s fair to say this revelation was a pleasant surprise, as well as a reminder of how quickly time goes by!

Launching careers and providing opportunities

Our firm has a strong commitment to providing career opportunities – our Undergraduate Cadetship Program has been running since 2006 and our Graduate Program even longer. Every year we employ a number of graduates from the University of Tasmania.

This year we have introduced a Summer Work Experience Program for year 12 students who want a taste of an accounting career before they commence their university studies.

Of course, we are delighted when our team members stay with us, and many of our Partners commenced with the firm straight after completing their studies. However, we are also very proud of those WLF alumni who are based around Tasmania, Australia and right around the world working across many industries in accounting and financial management roles.

Our firm ethos is based on helping our clients find the best solutions to move forward. We also believe we have a role to play in helping Tasmania move forward, and our contribution is something we take a great deal of pride in.

If you would like to learn more about WLF and the services we offer, please get in touch.

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Proudly Tasmanian – a connection that has continued for more than 130 years

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