Graham Judge worked at Deloitte for 46 years, retiring at the end of July this year. Now with Fisher & Paykel Appliances, he talks to Alumni about his time here at the firm…

What was your role at Deloitte and how did you first start here?

I started in 1972, and specialised as a computer auditor. I became a Partner in 1982, and became Partner in charge of the audit practice in 1985. I subsequently specialised in financial due diligence and did a number of investigating accountant's roles for lenders. 

How did you find working at Deloitte?

I liked it - I've been lucky with the people I've met and the people I've worked with, both people in Deloitte and the clients. They made my life enjoyable for a long time!

I also think Deloitte has been successful for many years and it's easy to work somewhere that's successful. It has a supportive culture, which builds good relationship with clients and staff, and has a respected brand.

How was it to leave the firm after a big stretch of time?

The work I did with Deloitte was mainly conducted in client offices, so I don’t miss the office itself too much. I had a view that it's better to work in people's locations than in the office. Also while it was a big change to leave Deloitte, I was lucky that I found another great home at Fisher & Paykel Appliances.

What do you do now?

I'm CFO of Fisher & Paykel Appliances, Director of Dynasty Corporation and have a number of advisory roles with people that I have worked a long time with.

What does a regular day look like for you?

I leave home at seven and I come home at eight. I don't work on weekends! 

What do you think makes an outstanding leader?

You've got to be able to get on with people, and you've got to quickly understand what a problem is, and how to resolve it.

I've been lucky that people have pushed me up the ladder too. It’s important to be able to build relationships with mentors, and mentors are not just in Deloitte, they can be clients too. You learn as much from them as you do from your colleagues - maybe more.

Was this always the role that you wanted for yourself?

English is not my first language, maths is. When I was at university, what I thought I was going to do is what I do now.

Also as I started in Deloitte, in the accounting profession, the firm was quite small in the industry. Now, if you look in Auckland city, the big buildings are the CA firms. The position of the CA firms has changed a lot - they're no longer accounting firms but advisory firms.

Why do you think that is?

The firms have grown, on successful formulas driven by the big four overseas firms.

What do you do for fun outside of work?

I play with cars and boats. I have too many cars - about eight classic cars in total, with usually two or three getting fixed at one time!

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