• Christian Patone - My career at BDO
Interview:

Christian Patone - My career at BDO

01 March 2022

Christian Patone, Associate Director, Audit and Assurance |

“BDO’s leaders set the tone from the top. They are willing and available to both listen to new ideas, and also explore and trial them. This open mindset shines through in their behaviours, values and actions, and it underpins BDO’s success.” 

Christian Patone, Associate Director, Audit & Assurance

What do you love about working for BDO? 

I think BDO’s ‘secret sauce’ is its culture and values. The firm fosters a culture of coaching, mentoring and training to collaboratively nurture talent. But don’t be fooled by the approachable, cooperative style! Quality, technical acumen and client focus remains paramount.  

What attracted you to BDO? 

In a former life, I worked at a global accounting firm for seven years, where I finished up in a Manager role before moving to industry for 18 months. BDO’s values and recognised culture were a major drawcard for me to re-join professional services.  

At BDO, every day is different. My job challenges me and continues my development, while at the same time ensuring I’m supported when needed.  

How does working at BDO differ from where you have worked previously? 

The culture, and more accurately, the people. Partners take an active role and interest in the careers of our people. With much of my earlier career spent in a global accounting firm plus my experience in industry, I know this human approach cannot be underestimated.  

How do you think BDO lives its values?  

I believe the BDO team lives its values, every day. Partners and leaders will always make the time to respond to staff queries. As a leadership group, the Partners and managers take a proactive interest in the development of their people as they progress in their careers.  

Which of your values align best to BDO’s values?  

BDO and its people are genuine authentic, reliable and respectful. This is the differentiator that really separates us from our competitors.  

How does it make you feel each day when working at BDO? 

I start my day by focusing on where I can add value and make a difference. I like to think I finish most days having successfully achieved this.  

What three words would you use to describe the BDO culture?  

Collaborative, genuine, and encouraging. 

How does BDO support you to be successful as a leader? 

BDO sets the tone from the top when it comes to the behaviours, values and actions our leaders are seeking. With the Partners leading from the front it sets clear expectations for everyone and also allows people like myself to lead our teams successfully, authentically and consistently.  

How has BDO responded to new ideas you’ve put forward? 

I’ve always found our Partners willing and available to both listen to new ideas, and also explore and trial them. This open-minded approach is essential to our success as individuals and as teams. It also influences our ability to add value and make a difference for our clients.  

Has working at BDO provided opportunities you wouldn’t get working elsewhere?  

I’ve worked on some really large clients and across a very varied client base including industries like construction, infrastructure, logistics, and mining. I’ve been lucky enough – when it’s been permissible – to travel to service clients in New York, Buenos Aires, and across Australia.  

How does BDO empower you to keep thinking outside the box and put innovative ideas forward? 

Having constant, ongoing communication and touch points with the Partners and leadership team allows open dialogue and authentic conversations. This helps us identify and look at challenges – big or small – differently, so we can solve them with fresh, value-adding solutions.   

How do your ideas help your clients? 

We develop strong relationships with our clients which means we can really get to know the pain points and challenges they’re experiencing that need resolving. Then, along with our pragmatic mindset and commercial approach, we work in partnership with them to add value. Clients see us as part of the solution and value our contribution.

The BDO values I most identify with are:

HEART: BDO sets clear expectations on leadership and values, allowing people to lead successfully and authentically.

HUMAN: This is the differentiator that really separates us from our competitors. Partners and leaders take an active role and interest in the careers of our people.

Find out more about what it’s like to work at BDO.