RSM getting set to celebrate 100th year anniversary in Australia

26 January 2022 2 min. read
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The Australian member of global mid-tier accounting and consulting network RSM is gearing up for its 100th anniversary celebrations, tracing its heritage to the establishment of Perth-based bookkeeping business The National Service Company in March of 1922. Today RSM has a headcount exceeding 1,400 professionals spread across 35 locations Australia-wide.

RSM’s original predecessor, The National Service Company, was established by Edgar Robert Woolcott in Western Australia at the age of 35 following his return from the battlefields of World War I. Servicing rural businesses in a state almost the size of India, Woolcott’s clever innovation was to invest in a fleet of cars so as to provide services to clients at their properties, rather than have them travel into the city or towns.

Riding the bumps of the Great Depression and Second World War, the National Service Company in the 50s switched to a partnership model, taking the name of C.P. Bird & Associates after its managing partner. The name would carry through the decades, including during the firm’s interstate expansion from 1973 and later merger with Camerons, with the practice gaining international affiliation with RSM in the 80s.

RSM getting set to celebrate 100th year anniversary in Australia

RSM International – then DRM – was going through its own evolution at the time, and in the early 90s took on the RSM moniker after the first initials of its founding entities (Robson Rhodes in the UK, Salustro Reydel in France and McGladrey of the US). Bird Cameron adopted the RSM branding at the dawn of the new millennium.

Shortly after celebrating its own 50-year milestone, the more than 120 worldwide member firms of RSM International agreed to unify their branding, and so in 2015 RSM Bird Cameron became RSM Australia. Since that time, the global network has firmly established itself as the sixth largest in the world, with a headcount exceeding 50,000 and combined 2021 revenues rising above $7 billion on the back of 16 percent growth.

As for its future, RSM Australia notes the recent challenges posed by Covid-19. “The changes the firm has made to adapt to a new working environment to continue supporting our clients through this pandemic have been unprecedented. Throughout this challenging time, our focus will continue to remain on the future success of our clients and ensuring that the strength of those relationships endure for the next 100 years.”

Leading RSM into its second century of business will be national chairman Jamie O’Rourke, who has been with the firm for almost a third of its history and is one of only six chairs to have served since its founding. He’ll be supported by a national executive team consisting of James Komninos, Andy Graham, Robert Miano and Judy Snell, along with a partnership of around 130, including seven new additions to kick off the year.