Michelle Sutherland - My career at BDO

“My clients see me as their trusted adviser, the person they rely on to get them where they want to go. I know my work makes a difference - for me, my clients and BDO. I have the luxury of working for a big firm, but without the big firm mentality.” 

Michelle Sutherland, Director, Business Services

What do you value about working for BDO? 

I love working for BDO because I get challenged, I feel valued and there is always a very client-centric focus. 

What attracted you to BDO? 

I liked the idea of a big firm without the big firm mentality. 

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

I have been fortunate to work at some amazing smaller firms prior to BDO, but what sets it apart is the focus on culture and recognition of employee achievements. 

Why have you stayed with BDO? 

The people - our people and our clients. Every day is different. There are challenges, of course, but when you have great people around you it’s easier to turn those situations into positives. 

Do you think BDO lives its values? 

Absolutely! I think our COVID-19 response taught us all many lessons. During the early lockdowns BDO showed that our values weren’t just words, they were actually the way our leaders tackle problems and interact with their clients and people. 

Do your personal values align to BDO’s?

I think all of my values align to BDO’s, but if I had to choose only one it would be the focus on striving for success. It’s important for me to work for an organisation that prides itself on its integrity and delivering the best possible outcomes for clients because, personally, that’s why I do what I do. 

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

Excited! There’s usually a sense of anticipation because you never know what you are going to be faced with. I like that. 

How would you describe the BDO culture in just three words? 

Inclusive, fun, and collaborative. 

As a female leader, what makes working at BDO rewarding for you?

It’s really satisfying to know that I have helped someone, whether that’s a client or another staff member. I also enjoy knowing that I have the support of not only my team, but the firm as a whole. This is demonstrated strongly in BDO's flexible working arrangements. Most importantly, I value that my efforts are recognised for what they are. I’ve never felt like I’ve been rewarded to fill a quota and for me that is so important.

How does BDO support you to be a successful leader? 

Coaching and training are obvious answers, but at BDO it’s more than that. The firm has supported me by giving me enough room to fail (and not fear failure) and the chance to turn those failures into valuable learning opportunities.  

Why do you think your clients trust you? 

I am authentic in my relationship with them. I listen and take the time to get to know them. I do what I say I will do, so they know I am dependable and always supportive. 

How do you know BDO and its leaders trust you? 

I have the freedom to work in a way that works best for myself, my family and our clients. They ask for my input and ideas on projects, and communicate with me openly and honestly. 

The BDO values I most identify with are:

STRIVE - BDO prides itself on its integrity and delivering the best possible outcomes for clients.  
HUMAN - BDO is a big firm without the big firm mentality. 
ONE and HEART - The way BDO’s leaders tackled the COVID-19 pandemic with their people and clients shows our values are not just words. 

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