Our Member Spotlight is a Q&A with our member which covers some of the key issues in their sector, and gives an a greater insight into the firm and their operations.
I am an optimist and so of course I am going to say that the profession has an outstanding future. I also believe this. Even with all the ingredients of Cloud and Artificial Intelligence I believe experienced financial and tax advisers will be sought after for many years and certainly well beyond my tenure. I also believe we need to embrace digital changes coming through and then our services will be of a higher value and more intuitive. If we look at the changes in our Practice through Cloud and XERO for example, we can provide ongoing management and taxation advice without delay by simply having instant access to up-to-date general ledger systems. Our view is we should be agnostic when it comes to general ledger systems we provide advice through in Portal terms.
We have an annual growth budget of 10% plus per annum organically and we are lucky enough to see this work come through other Tricor offices and our domestic referral network. That does not mean to say we don’t look for marketing opportunities and referral opportunities such as BOKS. I am a long time international referral believer and have done very well out of it over many years of being involved with networks internationally.
I see our firm doubling in size organically over the next 5 years. I also see at least one acquisition in Australia which will double the size again. This will place us in the Top 50 rankings in Australia.
Without doubt it is maintaining our present culture and adding senior staff who fit in to this readily. We are lucky enough to have an average tenure exceeding 5 years and it is most important that we maintain this for clients as well as for the firm. We rarely lose clients but it is a far bigger event if we lose a senior staff member. As Hal Rosenbluth said in his book ‘the customer comes second, your people come first.
Our international percentage has been approximately 10% for many years but this is now growing and will probably end up being 30%. When I say international work I am including looking after international clients who are setting up in Australia. The only international tax work we don’t do in Australia are transfer pricing assignments which we refer to one of our partners either in Australia or overseas.
Business advisory and consulting, M&A, tax compliance, management accounting, corporate secretarial, bookkeeping, outsourced CFO services, payroll processing locally and international.
Referrals and networking with other like minded firms and advisers.
BOKS will need to double in size over 5 years with additional interest groups coming on and an active referral portal where we can monitor the success or otherwise of all referrals. This is most important to a successful network. In addition, I believe that a law and accounting network is the place to be in the future. This can include finance if the opportunity arises. Exclusive accounting networks are fine but broadening the referral base adds value.
A typical domestic client would be a corporate turning over anything from start up to $100 million. A typical international client would be from $10 million to $1Billion with an Australian office. We do not promote personal returns also we have a dedicated staff member who manages these if they come along. I cannot tell you how many little gems we have had out of this area!
In the last month we received opportunities from various international companies to provide back office services for large international companies and most of these are likely to become clients. Our typical services for these clients, including those already on board, would include payroll, bookkeeping, management accounting and taxation services in Australia. On the other side of the coin we have just restructured a $50 million organisation who have left Australia to make their head office in USA utilising the benefits of the so called Trump Tax Amendments. This was a complex assignment with a positive outcome for the client.
I find people ask me this question often and my answer is always that the diversity of our client base provides diversity in services and advice. For example, the travel industry is an area where we have clients with a gross margin of 10% if you are lucky. By applying some of the principles of other industries we assist clients to improve this margin and bottom line results by digitising and reducing overheads. I believe if we specialised in travel agents we would probably not see the wood for the trees! Hal Rosenbluth developed a billion dollar travel business by centralising operations to a major extent out of town and was the first to do this. There is always another way to do business!