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Our Team

Jim Hawkins

Founder & Managing Director

Jim’s career in I.T. started many decades ago, soon after completing a Diploma in Accountancy at R.M.I.T.   


In his early years on the Gold Coast, the rise of IBM and compatible PCs enabled the business software systems that were bread and butter to Jim. These became available on hardware economical enough to be acquired by even small business users.  Jim’s software systems were selected by a new McDonald’s franchise that opened in the Brisbane suburbs in 1985.  The payroll and accounting systems were adaptable enough to use in that franchise.  Jim’s work with the staff soon identified the need for an opportunity to add specialised modules such as inventory control, ordering, staff scheduling, sales analysis, etc. for that franchisee.  The systems were so successful that they became used by more and more McDonald’s clients over the ensuing years – and the business — Abcom grew into a supplier of such systems and associated services to the Australian franchise industry.

Peter Dessaix

​Business Development Consultant

Peter's professional journey has been a dynamic and multifaceted one, reflecting a wealth of experience and a commitment to excellence. After a successful history in FMCG Account management roles, Peter embarked on a unique entrepreneurial path by joining forces with his wife as a Licensee, taking ownership and operation of four McDonald’s franchises on the vibrant Gold Coast from 1998 to 2016. This venture allowed Peter to gain comprehensive insights into the intricate functions and processes essential for a McDonald’s Licensee, equipping him with an acute understanding of the needs of Licensees, both internally and externally.

Following this, Peter briefly explored the hospitality sector as a café owner and delved into various investments. In mid-2021, he transitioned to Abcom, a testament to his adaptability and desire for professional growth. At Abcom, Peter took on the role of developing users in the Xero accounting platform, spearheading financial conversions and comprehensive training programs. From October 2022 onward, he has assumed the leadership of Abcom's BOC projects and other pivotal business product developments, including the implementation of Fathom Business reporting.

Every Monday, Peter dedicates his expertise to processing payroll for Abcom's esteemed clients, ensuring a hands-on approach to the everyday functions of the product and its evolving requirements. His passion for problem-solving and collaborative engagement with clients drive his quest to discover innovative ways to enhance their business operations continually. Peter's diverse and extensive background, combined with his commitment to client satisfaction and product improvement, makes him an invaluable asset to Abcom's mission of delivering exceptional services and innovative solutions to its clients.

 

Jason Batty

Regional Accounting Systems Manager

Jason embarked on his professional journey with Abcom in February 1995, a time when he was simultaneously pursuing an Associate Diploma of Business with a specialisation in Accounting. Jason's unique blend of academic and practical experience has been instrumental in shaping his career.

Drawing from his first-hand experience in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) franchise industry, where he dedicated six years to a multi-site McDonald's Franchisee, Jason brings a wealth of industry insights to his role at Abcom. His deep-rooted understanding of the intricacies of this sector is a testament to his commitment and passion for the field. Throughout his extensive tenure at Abcom, Jason has steadily risen through the ranks, progressing from a role as a Store Systems Support Consultant to his current position in Accounting Systems. This upward trajectory underscores his dedication and proficiency in his chosen domain.

Jason's vast knowledge spans bookkeeping and systems within the QSR franchise industry. He plays a pivotal role as a key team member, contributing significantly to Abcom's success in implementing and facilitating these systems for our expanding client base. His expertise ensures that Abcom remains at the forefront of delivering top-notch solutions to meet the evolving needs of our clients.

Stuart Hitchcock

National Business Systems Architect

Stuart commenced with Abcom in December 1992, after working for a McDonald's franchisee for over 6 years. In 1990, Stuart commenced his Bachelor of Computer Science at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), specialising in system analysis and design. 
Throughout his 30 years with Abcom, Stuart has worked in Field Services, Client Support of both store and administration systems, Payroll and HR implementations, Design, Development, and Testing of products, System Customisation for New Clients. He is also the manager of significant projects with major clients both domestically and internationally. Stuart's current role encompasses architectural design concepts for our store and administration systems, internal consultant for Abcom’s Development team, POS interface consultant, and data conversion for 3rd party products. 

As one of the longest-serving employees of Abcom and combined with his vast experience and knowledge within the QSR franchise industry, he is a key member in improving and developing Abcom’s products and client base. Both now and in the future.

 

Amy Robinson

​Systems Consultant

In early 2023, Amy joined the dynamic team at Abcom, marking the beginning of a promising chapter in her professional journey. Before joining Abcom, Amy had been an integral part of the Tania and Peter Cowey Franchise owners' establishment on the Gold Coast, where she honed her skills and expertise.

Amy's impressive career trajectory is characterised by her unwavering commitment to the McDonald's brand, which spans over two decades. Her remarkable journey in the world of fast food commenced at the tender age of 14, demonstrating her dedication and passion for the industry from a young age. This extensive experience has enriched her knowledge and instilled in her a strong work ethic and a profound understanding of business operations. In addition to her vast practical experience, Amy has also invested in her education and professional development. She holds a Certificate IV in Bookkeeping and Accounting, showcasing her dedication to maintaining up-to-date knowledge and skills in her field. This certification attests to her proficiency in managing financial transactions and accounts with precision and accuracy.

Looking ahead, Amy harbours ambitious aspirations within the realm of accounting. Her ultimate goal is to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a testament to her dedication to advancing her career and expertise in the financial domain.  Currently, Amy serves a pivotal role at Abcom, focusing on the conversion of Abcom's Accounts Payable clients to the advanced platforms of Xero and Fathom. Her expertise in this area ensures that Abcom's clients benefit from streamlined and efficient financial management processes. Furthermore, she actively contributes to the continuous development and enhancement of Abcom's Back of House operations, a testament to her commitment to the company's growth and innovation.

Rod McClernon MBA

​Learning and Development Specialist

Rod's career spans several decades and encompasses diverse roles in the food service and hospitality industry. He began in the early 70s as a teenager, working at Pizza Hut in Melbourne. Afterwards, he embarked on a seven-year stint with the Victorian Police Service during the notorious “Underbelly Years.”  Rod returned to Pizza Hut, this time as a Restaurant Manager. He eventually became the State Manager for Tasmania in the early 1980s.

Seeking new opportunities, Rod joined Ansett Transport Industries in Melbourne and played a role in the launch of Denny's Restaurants in Australia. In the mid-1980s, he relocated to the Gold Coast, where he embarked on a journey with McDonald's. He started at the Labrador and Coolangatta locations and later moved on to open Ballina and Lismore in northern New South Wales. Under his management, the Ballina McDonald's earned the prestigious AAA award twice, a testament to Rod's commitment to excellence.

In 1995, Rod became a Licensee and purchased the Mount Isa McDonald's in western Queensland. He successfully operated the franchise until 2003 when he decided to leave the McDonald's system. Rod then relocated to Townsville and ventured into a small family business. In early 2011, he joined the Abcom team, marking a new chapter in his career.

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