After 35 years as an accountant, Gomersal’s Mr Dean Hoklas will retire from his role at Barossa Accounting and Tax Services at the end of this month.
He is a familiar face at the Nuriootpa business, being asked to join the company by Barry Swan, soon after completing his accountancy studies in 1985.
Dean said that he is indebted to Barry and Heather Swan for giving him the opportunity to work in this profession.
Dean continued to work with the business, adding more skills and knowledge and became a partner in 1996.
It was this move that coincided with the redevelopment of the premises at 23 Gawler Street.
Dean was a partner in the business for 20 years, selling his share of the business to Mr Nick Schuster in 2016 and remaining an employee, reducing his days gradually since July last year.
It’s the contact with the clients that Dean will miss the most and he says he has enjoyed being able to help businesses along the way.
Dean will also miss working with the friendly manner and professional attitude of the staff at Barossa Accounting and Tax Services. He has worked with some of the staff for more than 20 years.
Accountancy wasn’t his first port of call after leaving school at 15.
Dean worked for 11 years in the wine industry, beginning as a cellar hand, running a bottling hall and embarking on a wine science course. His path changed after being diagnosed with cancer which resulted in the loss of his left leg.
Part of Dean’s recovery was retraining as an accountant but those years in the wine industry assisted him in forging strong links with his role at Barossa Accounting and Tax.
This background coupled with his own personal interests in viticulture and farming has assisted him to provide services to clients.
“I like dealing with farming clients and have always been a person that likes to see them at the kitchen table or meeting people where they are,” said Dean.
There are some clients that Dean has looked after for 35 years and he’s quick to say these clients will continue to be looked after by one of the team at Barossa Accounting and Tax.
Dean has seen a lot of changes in the industry, saying that when he started many locals used the services of accountants based in Adelaide.
“Eventually Barossa accountants gained the trust of the locals and that has emanated in a number of firms here,” said Dean.
He is about to embark on a new chapter in retirement, which is something that he is ready to tackle.
“I have a small vineyard to look after and a lot of things to fix and clean up that I haven’t had a chance to do for 20 plus years,” said Dean.
Dean intends to continue volunteering in the community, and together with his wife, Julie will also be able to spend more time with their five grandsons.
Reflecting on his journey, Dean said he will miss coming to work each day.
“The opportunity after having some illness issues to become a partner of an accounting firm and work in the same business for 35 years has been exceptional,” said Dean.
“I need to slow down and that’s part of life.”