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Melissa Browne

Entrepreneur, accountant, financial advisor, author, speaker and shoe addict

That’s how my business card describes me but if I had to choose a few more words to describe myself they would be socially awkward, introvert, accidental entrepreneur, disrupter, innovator, frequently irritating, writer, child-free, chocolate-addict, passionate advocate for women’s issues and over-dressed. Always.

I’m often described as ‘not your normal accountant’ and I’ll happily accept that portrayal. I delight in making complex problems and concepts appear simple and in demystifying the world of business strategy, tax and money. All things that are often popped in the too hard basket, left in the dark or swept under the carpet. My job is to help switch on the light and help remove some of the ick factor so we can start to talk about and deal with subjects that are often seen as beige, boring or sometimes even taboo. And I don’t always stop at talking money, business and tax. Perhaps because I’m used to talking about difficult subjects, I’ll also happily wade into talking about relationships, being child-free, women’s issues, choice and whether crocs are really shoes.

In my day job, I have founded three businesses which may seem disparate but are connected in philosophy and strategy. I’m the founder & CEO of an award winning accounting & advisory firm A&TA (previously Accounting and Taxation Advantage), co-founder of the financial planning business for Gen X and Gen Y The Money Barre and co-founder and Director of Business at the long-day preschool that is based on play with purpose, Thinkers.inq. All three businesses are pushing the boundaries in their fields, questioning what is possible and striving to be game-changers in their respective fields. After all, my philosophy if you’re going to be in business, then you may as well create real change and do something interesting.

I lose myself in books and have always loved to write. Which is why I’ve written three gorgeous, different, in two cases illustrated books which are business and finance books you’ll actually want to read. My first book, More Money for Shoes compares building a business to building a wardrobe. my second book, Fabulous but Broke contains thirteen financial fairy tales designed to challenge your money mindset and my third book Unf*ck your Finances will show you how to move from despair to resilience to financial wellness. You can buy them at good bookstores or on this site.

I write a fortnightly column in Wednesday’s Money Section of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age called Well Heeled and have been featured in or written for Madison, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Gloss, Cleo, Cosmo, Harpers Bazaar, Latte as well as regularly appearing on The Today Show, Weekend Today and Weekend Sunrise (ssshhh, competitors). In 2016 I was listed as one of the Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence.

I am also regularly asked to speak to groups, organisations or at conferences and have been described as an entertaining and thought-provoking speaker who has the ability to make topics people don’t normally care about interesting. That’s because I think we need to have more conversations about money, numbers and a whole lot of other things we’re not talking about when it comes to business, finances and life choices and I’m happy to be a voice that will do it in a new and interesting way.

But this is all simply what I do which is all because of my why. My why, or personal mission is to create courageous communities by inspiring, empowering and educating women and girls to find their voice and become both business and financially savvy. That’s because for a long time I lost my own voice. I didn’t speak up when it mattered and I truly believed I was limited by where I came from, my circumstances, what I’d lived through and what I saw as my lack of resources. What I now know to be true is I am who I am and where I am because of all of those things that I once thought kept me small. I discovered once I acknowledged my own story, it actually made me stronger, more resilient, more empathetic than I knew. In other words, I finally believed my own advice. For so long I’ve told my clients to be the author of their own story and finally, I’ve picked up the pen of my own life.

So if you’re after someone to help you find your voice, to help you write your own financial fairy tale, to help enact your business strategy I just might be right for you. If you’re after someone to speak at your conference/event or write a thought provoking piece that will make people think, perhaps challenge them a little and start them talking and sharing, then I’m your gal. If you’re after someone who will just leave you alone to comfortably and conveniently keep your head in the sand then perhaps I’m not the one for you.

Until then, click, read, buy, follow, like and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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"Because there are no unicorns, fairy godmothers or magical shoes coming to save you." Melissa Browne.

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