Helping our client be better prepared for big changes ahead
In June 2011, an IT client was referred to us. For the sake of this case study, let’s call our client John.
John’s business had a turnover of $7m and had 20 staff. John had been in business for many years and had planned on making some significant changes to his business in the next few years.
John’s previous accountant only offered year-end financial reporting, and he felt that he needed advice that was more proactive, so that his business could be better prepared and could capitalise on the developments that were underway
We began by conducting a complete business health check, needs analysis and structural review. We found that two companies had been established for John many years before, and this arrangement had never been revisited to determine whether the structure was still appropriate for him.
Since John intended to sell one of the businesses in the next few years, we recommended a restructuring of both companies, which would help to reduce capital gains tax liability.
There were also problems with the class of shares that had been issued to shareholders of the company, who in this case were also employees. This posed a significant risk to the business and we advised on the steps that needed to be taken to rectify the problem.
We reviewed succession planning principles with John, so he could begin putting into place a strategy to assist others to step up to leadership and ownership roles when required.
We undertook risk and estate planning with John to safeguard his assets and to prepare for the future.
We identified a number of ways John could legitimately minimise tax and set out a schedule so that he would know the amount and due date of payments.
We also documented a step-by-step strategy of all the actions that were required so it was clear who was responsible for what, and when it needed to be completed by.
Finally, we completed all compliance work including end of year accounts and tax returns.
As a result of our comprehensive business review and our strategy planning, John was prepared for the eventual sale of the business in May 2015. With our detailed planning, we were able to access the CGT Small Business Concessions and save over a million dollars in tax.
John is well on his way to a successful retirement with plenty of funds to be able to live comfortably and enjoy his passions for boats and cars.
Taking the time to fully understand our client’s business
A furniture importer was referred to us who had previously been receiving minimal accounting services from his provider. Let’s call this client Steve.
Steve’s lawyer, a client of ours, recognised that Steve was struggling with some of the financial aspects within his business and recommended he make contact with us.
Steve was looking for an accountant who would get actively involved in his business, understand his business and the challenges it faced.
We visited Steve’s premises a number of times in the initial period, so that we could fully understand his business and the systems that were used to operate it.
This included reviewing stock systems, stock pricing, stock control and valuations, as well as the IT system and the way Steve’s firm dealt with foreign currency issues.
Our review identified that Steve’s company’s systems and processes needed significant improvement.
We also identified a number of potential shareholding issues, and several limitations in the way Steve’s business was structured.
We provided Steve with a full report on the problems that existed within the business and recommendations on how to solve them. This report also detailed the steps that would need to be taken, and a timeline for completion.
By taking the time to make multiple visits to Steve’s premises, we were able to fully grasp the situation, and the obstacles and opportunities that existed.
This meant that we could quickly identify solutions that would overcome several pressing problems, and provide advice that was specifically tailored to address Steve’s needs.
By proactively dealing with problem areas, such as business structuring and the class of shares held by shareholders, Steve will be able to avoid significant financial and organisational difficulties down the track.
Now, a number of years later, the business is going from strength to strength, and Steve does not have to worry about anything except running the business.
Providing our client with a yardstick to measure performance
A healthcare professional was referred to us, as they felt that they needed more ongoing support from their accountant than just the year-end reporting. Let’s call this client Dave.
Dave wanted the ability to be able to manage his business with greater certainty and precision.
We introduced a full management accounting service to assist Dave and we identified the type of information that would serve as an accurate predictor and measure of his business performance.
Together we developed a number of customised and relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), cashflows and budgets.
We also introduced the discipline of holding a quarterly meeting, at which we would collectively review any cashflow or budget variances, assess KPIs and determine if any corrective measures were needed.
Dave feels reassured about the activities and direction of his business as a result of having clear benchmarks to measure progress.
He is equipped with meaningful and up-to-date data, and is in a better position to make business decisions.
By having regular meetings with us, Dave also benefits by using us as an ongoing sounding board to plan the future development of his business.
Now a couple of years later, the business is more profitable than ever. Any decisions that need making can be made in a timely manner, and because of this Dave has never been in more control.
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