SW dubs itself as Australia’s ‘best kept accounting secret’

25 October 2023 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read
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Having rebranded two years ago, national accounting and advisory network SW is now embarking on an awareness campaign, making note of its specialist services and 400-strong Australian headcount.

One of the top two dozen revenue-generating networks of its kind in the country, SW Accountants & Advisors has launched a major new brand awareness campaign, labelling itself as “Australia’s best kept accounting secret.”

Previously a decades-long Melbourne-based member of Moore Stephens, the firm in 2015 crossed to growing Chinese international accounting network ShineWing, before its push interstate and global rebranding to SW in 2021.

SW dubs itself as Australia’s ‘best kept accounting secret’

“You might be wondering why you haven’t heard of us before?” the new campaign asks. “The answer is simple: we’ve been quietly and diligently working behind the scenes, focusing on growth and expansion into new markets and locations while continuing to serve our established clients with dedication. While we have deep roots in Melbourne, our partners recognised the need to support clients venturing into Asia and those coming to Australia.”

SW forwards its focus on industries which have the strongest trade with Asia as one point-of-difference, including support for clients in the financial services, education, agribusiness, property, tourism, and manufacturing sectors among others. The firm also highlighted its specialist services beyond the traditional tax and audit offerings, such as in corporate finance, transfer pricing, international reporting, litigation and digital cloud solutions.

Tracing its local heritage back to 1935 under the Hughes Fincher name, the self-described “national firm with no borders” said that it felt like now was the right time to tell its story.

“Over the years, we have had both clients and staff describe us as a ‘best kept secret’. We see this as a testament to the long-standing relationships we have built with many of our clients, some that have extended over decades and even generations, which highlights the trust they place in us.”

Today, SW has more than 40 partners and a 400-strong headcount across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth – establishing a significant foothold in the latter key market through last year’s purchase of Walker Wayland WA, which added a further two dozen professionals.

With revenues upwards of $60 million, the firm presently sits in 22nd spot on the AFR’s annual list of Australia’s top accounting firms, ahead of Mazars and two places behind Moore.

Talent

Despite its relative ranking further down the list, SW has continuously attracted talent from its larger industry rivals. Appointed as CEO at the start of last year, Duane Rogers was previously a partner at Grant Thornton, while the firm’s latest partnership addition, Paul Hum, has crossed from a director role at KPMG. Two other mid-year partnership promotions, Laura Toscano and Janelle McPhee, come from a background at Ernst & Young and BDO.

Meanwhile, the firm’s inaugural Australian managing partner under the ShineWing banner, Marco Carlei, has since gone on to lead SW International, which boasts a workforce of 12,000 professionals across almost 100 offices worldwide. Founded in Beijing by former Coopers & Lybrand managing partner Zhang Ke at the time of its PwC merger, the firm’s growing reach provided the motivation for the SW rebrand as a better reflection of its global nature.