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In the Spotlight – Michelle Messer, MJM Accountants

Insights from Judo Bank CEO Chris Bayliss

This month, QuickFee is launching In the Spotlight to recognise legal and accounting practitioners who demonstrate innovation, success, and commitment throughout their work. 

Each month, we will select individuals or firms to acknowledge the positive impact they have had on their community or their industry sector. If you think you know someone who fits the bill, please send us a 100-word summary to telling us why they deserve recognition.

Submission criteria:

  • The legal or accounting professional has shown an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction while still assuring the profitability and viability of their business or profession.
  • They have helped a client turn around business profits with innovative business opportunities.
  • They have outperformed their peers in their sectors, market segments and geographical areas in terms of community service.


In the Spotlight – Michelle Messer, MJM Accountants

Michelle Messer from the QLD-based accounting firm MJM Accountants is our first to be In the Spotlight. MJM Accountants, founded in 1992 by Michelle and her parents, focuses on bringing colour and fun to the accounting industry. Michelle’s vibrant personality brings a breath of fresh air and just seemed like the perfect way to launch our new Spotlight series.

It’s fair to say that Michelle likes to do things a little differently. Whether she is running the practice, painting watercolours, or creating comic books, Michelle manages to be both effervescent and down to earth at the same time – which is an approach that she has carried through to her practice.


From the vibrant and engaging superhero theme branding to their love of a good night out, this is one firm that doesn’t fit the cookie-cutter mould of most suburban firms. Their website even challenges this stereotype by asking, “Who says accountants are boring?”

Beyond being a successful business owner, Michelle ensures that fun is the core of everything she does, which means that the team at MJM Accountants also does things a little differently.


The team has built a profitable book of clients who love working with them while maintaining their positive outlook and creating a sustainable work/life balance.

They are firm believers of flexi-time, and for every minute someone works over their contracted 38 hours each week, they get time off as compensation. They also don’t hesitate to cross over roles within the team, with everyone jumping in to answer calls or complete admin work or anything else that needs completing. Michelle says that this all-hands-on deck model works so well because they don’t have any deadwood in the team. Instead, every team member wants to be there and support each other and the company. 


They are a tightly bonded group that is intent on having fun. Like the time that the whole firm rented camper vans and took a road trip to Melbourne – alternating driving duties with completing tax returns – so that Michelle could don a horse costume and take part in Hamish and Andy’s Race That Slows Down the Nation. Their clients loved it, with many following them along the way on Instagram. 



Their culture is founded on having fun, and they are so serious about maintaining a positive culture that they don’t tolerate demanding customers. Therefore, all potential clients need to meet with the firm in a two-way interview process whereby the team must agree they are the right fit before coming on board. By doing this, Michelle says they ensure they have a great group of clients who refer other great people.


Through initiatives like this, Michelle has built a loyal client base and an even more loyal team that genuinely enjoys the work they do and the people they work alongside.

But Michelle’s work-life looked very different seven years ago. 


Her days were filled with back-to-back client meetings and phone calls, and to get the work done, she was consistently having early starts and late finishes – all with a young family at home. So, Michelle knew there had to be a better way of doing things.


It wasn’t until she attended a few medical appointments that she noticed that most specialists have specific days each week when they see patients – a very standard practice in the medical field. Which begged the question… if a patient is happy to accept this from their doctor – why would they not accept the same from their accountant?


So, in 2015 Michelle’s practice implemented something they call Client Days. These are two scheduled days per week purely dedicated to meeting with clients, meaning the remaining days are free to spend getting through the workload. With balance restored to their days and stress levels lowering, the team also decided to start sending two team members into every client meeting so that the client always had multiple people to contact if they needed help. It also meant that if someone wanted to take leave or was off sick, the client’s needs were still being met, and the business could keep ticking along. 


This simple change instantly impacted the staff and created a lifestyle change that allowed for greater productivity and flexibility – while still delivering high service levels to their clients. With their streamlined processes, the team can balance their work and home lives and thrive in both. 


Michelle has a lot to be proud of, from their humble beginnings in 1992 to the vibrant business they have built today. So, on the 16th of Sept 2022, MJM Accountants will celebrate its 30th year in business, and true to Michelle’s style the party will be a big one. 

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