Andrew Beattie named Mentor of the Year at Australian Accounting Awards 2022

21 June 2022

On 16 June 2022, Andrew Beattie, Director of Business Advisory Services and Corporate Finance at PKF Sydney & Newcastle, was named Mentor of the Year at the Australian Accounting Awards. Andrew shares why this award is important, and why it is important to give back, in this short interview.

Andrew Beattie, congratulations on receiving the Mentor of the Year Award. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to receive this recognition.

I am a Director of the PKF Newcastle Business Advisory Services and Corporate Finance teams, and have had the privilege of working with aspiring business advisors and clients for over 20 years. Mentoring – both staff and clients – has, quite naturally, become an integral part of my role.

The Australian Accounting Awards requires applicants to demonstrate their specific involvement in programs and initiatives over the 2021 calendar year, and how this has led to the development and retention of talent in our profession.

My nomination provided the opportunity for PKF to demonstrate its commitment to mentoring and how we do things differently to support the development of our people and our community.

How does PKF do things differently?

PKF has designed and implemented learning and development programs – Fast Track, Dare to Aspire, Thrive and Lead – to help support the professional development of staff at all levels. Mentoring is an integrated and important element of these programs.

In addition to formal programs, mentoring occurs informally at PKF, where mentors and mentees, with some shared interests, come together to enter into deeper conversation, to unpack ideas, and to learn from each other.

Mentor/mentee relationships cannot simply be ‘allocated’, they need to form based on some level of connection, shared goals, and an eagerness to learn and advance.

What makes a good mentor?

A good mentor is someone who can listen, without judgment, and is prepared to share their professional expertise to support the mentee’s advancement.

A good mentor does not simply provide the answers, but they question, guide, educate, and sometimes offer opinion to help the mentee solve problems for themselves, and to grow as a leader.

Conversations remain confidential and the relationship is built on trust.

Quite often, as a mentor, I am coaching the coaches.

Looking to the future, what is your vision for mentoring at PKF?

I believe PKF will continue to maintain its mentoring point of difference as mentees become mentors and give to others the same personal support and development opportunity that they received.

What does the award mean to you?

For me, the award is a nice recognition – for myself and my team – affirming our natural commitment to mentoring.

At the end of the day, we work in an industry that can be stressful, and it’s the people we work with who provide the greatest fulfilment. It’s important to give back.