Four-decade association comes to an end

IT WAS 20 YEARS AGO TODAY...: Phill Stevens said there were mixed emotions to leaving his business after 20 years in charge. Picture: Luca Cetta
IT WAS 20 YEARS AGO TODAY...: Phill Stevens said there were mixed emotions to leaving his business after 20 years in charge. Picture: Luca Cetta

Exactly 20 years to the day of taking over, Phill Stevens said goodbye to Phill Stevens and Associates to end a 37-year association with the company.

Having taken ownership of the business on July 1, 1998, Mr Stevens said he knew it was time to stop crunching the numbers as the reins were handed over on July 1, 2018.

He said he had mixed emotions about leaving the company attached to his name for so long.

“It is a very funny feeling after so long, but I am retiring from work and not from life,” Mr Stevens said.

“To do all the things I want to do, I’ll need to live until 120!

“It is 37 years since I came to Ceduna and I will be staying here, and while I will travel with my wife this will be our base because it is a lovely place to live.”

The accounting firm was well known within the Ceduna community and across Eyre Peninsula, with a branch also in Port Lincoln.

It was the Ceduna Business and Tourism Association’s (CBTA) business of the year in both 2005 and 2012, while in 2009 was named the most efficient accounting firm out of 130 across Australia and New Zealand.

“Through experience and knowledge we were comparable to any of the best accounting firms in cities,” Mr Stevens said.

Having almost completed four decades with the company, Mr Stevens said there had been a number of changes in that time.

“Even though I’ve been in business for 37 years, I can say that not one year has been the same as any other,” he said.

“The biggest change has been to technology and getting our clients’ information computerised, which changed the way we do things – cloud technology meant people didn’t have to bring their discs in, rather we could just access their info and it made the work a lot easier.

“The introduction of the GST was the biggest single thing to have happened.”

Mr Stevens enjoyed a retirement party at the Ceduna Foreshore Hotel last week, with about 100 people in attendance.

“It was very humbling to share the night with so many people and I would like to thank the community for all their support over the years.”

Now known as Letcher Moroney Chartered Accountants, Mr Stevens said there would be few changes to the day-to-day operations.

“It will be business as usual for clients, they can bring their stuff into the office, the main key staff will still be there as well as the same Port Lincoln staff,” he said.

“Phil Middleton has been coming over here from Adelaide for 28 years as a financial planner and will continue to do so twice a year.”

Aside from taking time to travel, Mr Stevens said he would still be involved in the CBTA as treasurer and part of the Ceduna Dirt Circuit Club.

“I’ll keep myself busy.”