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Marilyn Hamilton

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Marilyn Hamilton, AAT

Member Since 2007

QLD

The convenor of AAT Australia’s North Brisbane interest group, Marilyn Hamilton runs her own business in Brisbane, which last year celebrated its silver anniversary.

Tell us about your present position

I moved to Brisbane and started up Business Backup Bookkeeping Service in 1986, to supply me with some part-time work as I had a four-year-old son at the time. The business slowly grew to today’s team of 20: some staff, some contractors, all casual, as the work requires.

These days I look after the business’s administration, deal with new clients and new team members, trouble shoot and tidy up accounts. I still stay involved with the clients by checking work and giving feedback to our team members as necessary. I also look after a few long-standing clients myself, as a way to keep up with the general work.

What career path led you there?

After the CBA I took on office work in small businesses – and always ended up being involved in their bookwork. I then joined an accountant’s office where I became a trainee and learnt to do a lot of their client bookkeeping. Studywise, I did a few courses and modules in business systems and bookkeeping, but my knowledge has been accumulated mainly through involvement with the day-to-day running of many small businesses. I’ve also learnt a lot from dealing with clients’ accountants. They’ve always been happy to pass on their knowledge and so expand my understanding of accounting and the information they require from us to supply accurate accounts.

What further career ambitions do you have?

I would like to grow my business into an even more professional organisation and possibly be involved in training up-and-coming bookkeepers in a ‘hands on’ course, so they have real-life knowledge of small business accounts.

When and why did you join AAT Australia?

I joined in 2007, when the Tax Department started to get serious about setting up the TPB and setting standards for BAS agents. I found it was a way of keeping in contact with any changes that were occurring.  Going to seminars and receiving updates by newsletters, the website and so on also put members in contact with others in the industry, which led to the establishment of member forums.

How did you come to convene the Brisbane member forum?

I was involved in starting the forum three or four years ago in a suburb on the north side of Brisbane, and then took over as organiser about two years ago. We try to vary the meetings between general discussion nights, having a speaker, or more specific topic nights. About a year ago we decided to start up a separate monthly meeting on the south side of Brisbane, as there were a lot of people travelling a long distance to our meetings. This depleted north-side numbers quite a bit, so we’ve moved our meetings to a more northern suburb, to be in closer to a lot of bookkeepers in the outer suburbs. This has certainly attracted a lot of interest and our numbers are increasing again.

Could you tell us a little more about yourself?

John and I have been married for over 40 years and we have one adult son, Mark.
Although work does not allow much time for this at the moment, I love caring for Bonsai plants. I use to have quite a few until the drought some years ago, then lost all but one through lack of time to provide the daily maintenance required. I also love other gardening and travel. From a community perspective, most of the things I am involved in are work related, albeit they are hopefully helping other people. We do have two needy families that we try and look after.

What are some of your favourite things?

My favourite colour is mauve (it seems to be the season for it, so too many things to buy – good fun, though!). I enjoy eating Japanese, Thai, Chinese and seafood accompanied by any sort of music, as long as it’s happy! Motor sports are a favourite, mainly V8s, and I also enjoy tennis, golf and watching any variety of football.

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