Proudly supporting Queenslanders and their businesses for more than 70 years

The history of the firm dates back to 1948 when two accountants, Jim Rawlings and Harry Bolton, established the firm of JL Rawlings Bolton & Co. Rawlings had been the Brisbane partner of Joseph Kenna & Co (established in Rockhampton) and Bolton was a partner of GE Jones & Co in Mackay.

The original firm was located in Primac House on Creek Street in Brisbane’s central business district. In the 1960s the firm moved to Cribb Street in Milton – but the expansion of commercial activity in Brisbane saw the practice later re-establish in the city.

Over a quarter of a century, Rawlings and Bolton led the firm through impressive growth and achievement. Both gentlemen retired in 1972, by which time the firm had grown to become a successful Queensland practice with seven partners and a team of professional and support staff.

“My father fought alongside Jim Rawlings in WWI and became his client when he opened the accountancy firm that is now Bentleys. I have used Bentleys my entire life and I am now retired, but my children continue to do so.” – Family Client

“My father first became a client with ‘JL Rawlings Bolton & Co’ around 1951 when he first drew a ‘Soldiers Settlers Block’ off ‘Thurlagoona’ 120km south of Cunnamulla. His family remained clients and I have happily carried on the tradition as clients through to the Bentleys era. Starting in the late ’70s to the present day. We have had the happiest and most satisfactory connection with Bentleys that one could wish for through all those years and generations.” – Family Client

While initially a business services practice in Brisbane, the firm formally added audit services in the 1970s and insolvency services in the 1980s. There was also progress on other business fronts during these decades – for example, in 1971 Bentleys was the first accounting firm in Queensland, and the second in Australia, to acquire a business computer: an IBM32.

In the mid ’90s, Bentleys moved to AMP Place in Eagle Street. This was Bentleys’ ‘home’ for over 15 years. In 2011, to accommodate our growing team, the firm moved to our current premises at 123 Albert Street.

Over the past decade, and in alignment with progress and business growth across Australia, Bentleys has continued on a growth trajectory. This has included the launch of new offices – Bentleys Corporate Recovery in Sydney commenced in 2008 and Bentleys officially established on the Sunshine Coast in 2015 – and the development of new service lines – International Advisory; Innovation, Technology & Strategic Advisory; Finance & Lending; and Wealth & Financial Planning. In 2020, a new office was also launched in Emerald to better connect us to our Central Queensland clients and communities.

The firm – known today as Bentleys Queensland – first became a part of the Bentleys National Network when it joined Bentley Wheeler Cartledge & Co in 1970. This Network started with a membership of five Australian capital city firms. Today, the Network has a footprint of 17 offices spanning three countries.
Read more about the growth of the Bentleys Network HERE.

Today, the firm boasts a team of 25 Partners/Directors and almost 200 team members across three offices. The team work with more than 2500 major family groups, businesses and professional organisations. Many of our clients are leaders in their respective fields. Some have partnered with us for decades – and we are honoured to call many of our clients our friends.

In celebration of our 70-year anniversary in 2018, we collated reflections and stories from our team – past and present.

While a lot has changed since Jim Rawlings and Harry Bolton commenced practice in Brisbane – what remains the same is the pride we take in working alongside each of our valued clients and colleagues. We thank you for your support and trust.

We look forward to all the stories and years to come!

Find out more about Bentleys Queensland