Beyond bookkeeping

Harry Hoang

6 minute read

Shortly after graduating from the ANU College of Business and Economics (CBE), alumnus Harry Hoang started Tailored Accounts, a back-office cloud accounting and bookkeeping service aimed at small and medium businesses in the Australian Capital Territory. Since its inception in 2008, the company has achieved a strong growth in both size and revenue, and is now recognised as one of the leading bookkeeping firms in Canberra.

Last week, Harry was recognised as one of the most influential Asian-Australians for his leadership in the profession, when he became a recipient of the prestigious 2020 40 Under 40: Most Influential Asian-Australians Awards.

In this interview, Harry recounts his steps from starting out as a 22-year-old international student to becoming a successful company founder. 


Q. What motivated you to establish Tailored Accounts?

When I was a CBE student, I stayed with a host couple who were always working overtime and the weekends to support their family. It was that exposure and their drive that led me to create Tailored Accounts.

Q. What has been your biggest challenge in running your firm to date and how did you overcome it?

Finding the right staff who share our organisation’s vision and hardworking culture is the biggest challenge. In 2018, we had a crisis of our own, where our growth as a company didn’t match the quality of service we pride ourselves on. Since then, we’ve invested more in graduates and new platforms to mitigate it. 

Q. You and Tailored Accounts have received many industry awards. Is there one you are most proud of and why? 

Being awarded the Diversity and Inclusion Program at the 2020 Australian Accounting Awards stands out. While it was amazing to win something in a grim year that has been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the award is a testament to our diverse culture, where we provide everyone who came to Australia with an equal opportunity to work and contribute to the country’s economy and society. I’m proud to share that in the last 12 years, we’ve had staff who came from 13 different ethnic backgrounds.

The return I gained on investing in my education at The Australian National University has been tremendous.

Q. Last week you were named in the 2020 40 Under 40: Most Influential Asian-Australians Awards. What did you take away from this recognition?

I have been thinking more about the role of leadership in the accounting industry in Australia. In 2017, through Tailored Accounts, we started ‘AccountantChange’ – a program of quarterly training events and seminars to equip business, finance and accounting students with technical industry knowledge and workplace skills – to change the way we kick-start young graduates' careers and help them be more adaptive to future technology.

I feel proud and motivated by this award, as it is not only a great milestone but a testament to my career plan, which is to continue to enhance the appeal of accounting for future generations through educating new graduates and even young school kids. I am currently teaching both of my children, who are in year five and eight, how to manage their money well.

Q. What does the future look like for the accounting field? 

There will be less physical work (data entry, filing, searching information), more mental work (analysis, advisory, strategy), and much more feeling-centred work (crisis management, filling trusted adviser roles).

Q. How did your degree at CBE prepare you for your career? 

My Bachelor of Economics and Master of Professional Accounting degrees at CBE have been the best investment in terms of time and money that I’ve made, so far. I think the return I gained on investing in my education at The Australian National University has been tremendous.

The ANU College of Business and Economics offers an extensive range of specialised programs. Click here for more details.

Image: Tailored Accounts