1. Why don’t you just retire and take it easy?
Yes, we have worked hard for many years and following the sale of our earlier business a few years ago; we could simply retire and take it easy. But that will never happen!
Both of us are hopelessly passionate about the world of the business owner, their families and their futures. We have learned so much about how to help them in all aspects of their lives. That can’t be simply turned off.
That’s not to say that we don’t take “having fun” seriously ourselves. Our families are central to our lives and as you all know, we love our holidays and lifestyles. All of which are far more achievable thanks to the reach of modern virtual technology.
2. What about the relationship between you and Fordham Perpetual?
We both started at Fordham as graduates. We both spent decades there as partners. We worked hard to build the unique service model that placed the firm at the forefront of accounting and advisory practices in Australia. We genuinely want their success to continue.
Indeed, we are still engaged as contractors (through Fordham) to assist with specialist services for their clients. As well, Fordham provides our firm with specific specialist services such as sale of business, due diligence, capital raising and valuations that we do not undertake. We are also grateful that we have been allowed to work directly with a select group of Fordham clients.
We have a great ongoing working relationship with both Fordham and Perpetual and we expect that this will never change.
3. Who will do your work?
Most of our clients have sophisticated accounting systems and already provide accurate and relevant accounting records. We don’t need an army of junior people to undertake this work. This enables us to use senior people for all of the work that we do.
We also know a lot of great people who once worked for us and who now seek challenging and engaging part time employment. Strangely, such work is hard to find. We embrace this and provide our people with the technology to work as it suits them.
We know that clients hate the feeling that they are paying for some junior graduate to learn on the job.
4. Why fixed fee?
Certainty. We have been doing this long enough to know what is involved with managing a client’s affairs. We know that we have people with the right skills to get the job done properly the first time.
So it’s only sensible that we offer this certainty on to our clients. We look at the work required, including any tax planning and consulting work needed and package it all together.
Sure, things happen that fall outside the scope. Circumstances arise such as; an approach by a third party to buy the business, a downturn in business that requires careful planning and management, an acquisition opportunity, a tax audit or even just a fresh review of the world. Life is full of unexpected things.
Fortunately, we are here to help!
5. Where are your offices?
We may well be encouraging our people to work virtually, but we have real physical offices with meeting rooms, white boards, telephones, desks, filing cabinets and windows (the type that you look through).
We are located on level 7 at 140 Bourke Street in Melbourne’s CBD. Right near Parliament Station and several great restaurants. We share the floor with Burgess Rawson, one of our fabulous clients.
6. How big do you want to be?
Right now, we are small. A bit too small.
So we want to grow to about 5 or 6 EFT staff (equivalent full time people to be technical). That’s about the right size to be efficient but still of a size that allows us to maintain a close working relationship with our clients.
Hence, we will be working to grow our client base over the next couple of years. And yes, we are looking for new clients that would benefit from our unique skills and client services model.
7. Why do you say: “have fun, make money & be respected”?
We developed this saying 25 years ago to help us explain to our firm to prospective employees.
We focused on what we felt was important in a person’s working life.
Fun. ‘Fun’ should be what drives you to get out of bed every morning and go to work. Sure, there are always times that work is challenging and not pleasant, but overall, it has to be really enjoyable. It is said that if you get a career that you love, you never have to work a day in your life.
Our business owner clients know this feeling!
Make Money. Well, that’s why you are here. Be smart and make the most of your opportunity. Be strategic and structured. It’s amazing how things just fall into place when this happens.
Well-run businesses should always deliver premium rewards to the owners.
Be respected. For us, this was paramount. It is probably the biggest driver for most people. We wanted our people to enjoy the feeling that they were specialists for business owners. They were responsible for making a difference to people’s lives. They would be known and respected for this.
Business owners are the quiet achievers in our community. They deserve the acknowledgement and respect for their role in employment, innovation, economic contribution, effort and entrepreneurial spirit. They have very special talents.
So, we loved the saying ‘have fun, make money and be respected” so much back then (and we haven’t told it now for so long) that suddenly it fits again. Right now. For our people, for ourselves and most importantly, for our clients too.