Posts Tagged ‘Accountants’


This blog post is written by Federico Giordano, Tax Partner on Secondment from Marchionni & Partners – HLB Italy at Withum.

The HLB International Secondment is temporary work assignments arranged between HLB Member Firms that operate in two different countries.

Many people do not realize that it is possible to explore different career possibilities by temporarily changing roles within the HLB professional network. This is often known as “going on secondment” and is especially prevalent in Multi-National Enterprises (MNEs) where the management is adept at making the best use of the various skills and interests of their key staff.

In the past, Withum has informally sent and received staff among the HLB Member Firms throughout the world. A few years ago, Withum formalized a “Secondment Program” to temporary assign staff to HLB Member Firms to continue to provide its staff with many opportunities to elevate their skills and increase their wins.

What Do You Know about HLB International?

Formed in 1969, HLB International is a world-wide network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisors present in more than 130 countries worldwide. HLB International ranked 13th worldwide among the “Top 20 Networks 2016” published by AccountancyAge (latest combined revenue USD 1,910M) and 11th in Europe among the “2015 Regional Breakdown” published by the International Accounting Bulletin. Withum is an involved member of HLB International.

Why Go on Secondment?

There are various advantages to go on secondment – mainly to improve your career growth by developing your resume and doing networking between professionals of different generations and backgrounds. In addition, to improve your language skills if you decide to move on secondment to a foreign language-speaking country.

It is not about changing jobs completely in order to maximize this sort of opportunity. A secondment program offers professional staff who are content in their current role the chance to try something new in a foreign country, to improve their skills and experience in order to better interact with others.

This is exactly how I see the secondment experience at Withum. I am a tax partner at Marchionni & Partners in Pesaro, an Italian firm with a staff of 35 people, and I provide assistance on international tax matters both for companies and individuals. Staying within Marchionni & Partners is challenging, due to its small size I have to be a multitasking professional able to work individually and as a part of a team and, of course, able to engage and keep clients bringing business.

Moreover, I am a board member at HLB Italy in Milan, an alliance of Italian tax, accounting and legal firms. HLB Italy, with a staff of over 250, with more than 200 professionals and a combined revenue of around EUR 30 million, provides accounting, tax and legal services through its offices in Milan, Rome, Turin, Verona, Florence, Parma and Pesaro. Together with the other board members, we determine the strategic policies and professional standards for the HLB Italy Member Firms and establish the marketing strategies to meet the goals and objectives of the alliance.

I love my job at Marchionni & Partners, but I believe that the move to Withum gave me a unique opportunity to learn about the different working practices, organizational structures and cultures. My secondment is for a period of three months, and is providing me an enormous challenge, both personally and professionally. The “Withum Way” is great and I believe I will gain an important cultural background which might be very important in establishing professional relationships.

A secondment program is a fantastic way to meet people in other areas of practice and with other types of jobs, and find out what they do and what is important to them. It is not easy to stay abroad, out of the familiar surroundings, without support of the close relatives and friends, but an international experience will give you a much more rounded experience so I can recommend it with confidence.

I would like to thank Withum for making my secondment a reality!

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kangarooNo, I didn’t have any ‘shrimp on the barbie,’ or sparring sessions with any kangaroos…so what exactly did I do in Australia for three months?

The boring response would be that I audited different clients during their busy season. While this is true, I also had an amazing experience seeing many new sites, sounds and culture. A typical day in the office wasn’t much different then checking your mail in the morning, analytical procedures, making a client phone call to explain to a controller how to use the equity method of accounting, going through some lengthy yet necessary checklists and praying you can get a cash flow statement to reconcile at the first attempt. However, throughout the day you take notice of subtle things through conversing, such as learning that South Africans refer to traffic lights as robots or hear the gents bicker over last night’s rugby match. Even though English is their language, the Aussies have a tendency to truncate words and use lingo that can catch you off guard at times. Hint: thongs are flip-flops and Zed is just the letter “Z”. Also, I heard more Iggy music than I could put up with.

austraIt’s no surprise that Sydney is one of the most desirable places to live with the moderate winters, long summers, beaches and plenty of parks. The landscape and weather promotes outdoor activities like a walk through the ‘bush,’ a swim on a lunch-break or a game of netball (the most ridiculous knock-off of basketball ever {http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgr2zmq9CUk}). There are many waterways throughout the Sydney metro area which makes water transportation a means of commuting. I was one of approximately 4,000 people who took the Manly to Circular Quay service daily. I’d say the 30 minute ferry ride was one of the most memorable aspects because, aside from people watching, I got a daily dose of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Some days had high seas which was a thrill. Despite being a former penal colony where the British shipped, Sydney has a lot to offer which is why many British and other expatriates, relocate to the 6th largest country on Earth.

Oh, and they do say ‘mate’…excessively.

By Dan Richardson, CPA, MBA | 609.520.1188 | drichardson@withum.com

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