Footy to figures: How CQ man carved out impressive career
Roy Benson's wife and staff surprised him with a cake and balloons last week to mark his 30th anniversary providing accounting services in Rockhampton.
Mr Benson was admitted as a partner to James Bubb & Co in July 1990, just days after his seven-week old son, Trent, was released from hospital, having undergone life-saving surgery.
The firm's name has changed - to Bubb & Co, then Benson & Olsson and now Benson Accountants - and with it the job description.
The Bensons moved from Mackay to Rockhampton in 1985.
"First there was the shift to personal computer and networks, but the advent of artificial intelligence has seen the greatest impact in our area," Mr Benson said.
"We get information quicker from the banks, and the organisations we report to expect more accurate and detailed data."
However, Mr Benson said, the move towards technology resulted in accountants doing more unpaid hours, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Clients struggle to keep up with the new technical demands, and we're doing more and more for the public service," he said.
"Just today, for example, we're trying to sort out JobKeeper payments but the Tax Office website won't work."
For all the overtime and weekend hours, Mr Benson has no retirement plans.
"I've always felt loyal to the clients and I don't want to leave them in the lurch," he said.
Mr Benson, a lifetime member of Nerimbera Football club, has served the sporting community in Central Queensland for more than 30 years, returning to junior coaching since his grandsons, Mason and Luka, learned to boot a ball.
He has also taken up road cycling with a "great group" of fellow enthusiasts during the past year.
He and his wife Vicki are proud their three children continued their education in Rockhampton and stayed here: Trent as a teacher at The Cathedral College, Laura as the manager of Dermal Therapist Laser Clinics, and Paige undertaking a double degree in Business and Accounting.
Mrs Benson said the 30th anniversary was an opportunity to reflect on how her husband has mentored not only CQ's sport stars, but also its business community, since he moved here from Mackay in 1985.
"He employs local accounting graduates and continuously supports local education initiatives," she said.
"He has provided proactive guidance to local businesses in navigating the pandemic and the financial crises it has bestowed on everyone.
There has been no rest, no break, no holiday for accountants but they just roll with it and do what has to be done."