For such a long period of time, the accountant was the guy you went to visit once a year. They sat in a corner office in some high rise Collins Street address, the receptionist would usher you into an office with an immaculate view, they would waltz in and ask you how you are and what have been up to for the past 12 months, you would hand them over a box of paperwork, files, receipts and invoices. Any insights you managed to get about your business were after the fact, so you couldn’t change anything to ensure you had reached the financial goals you had in mind for your business. So you would drudge home – pretty much depressed at the whole process.
Well fast forward 30 years and watch out, there is a new breed of accountant in town.
Stacey Price, from Healthy Business Finances (Chartered Accountant, Registered BAS Agent and self-confessed numbers nerd) knows all too well the above scenario after working in a Collins Street accounting firm in her early career days. Frustrated with the lack of communication and relationships with the clients, Stacey now runs her own Financial Coaching business. Focusing on helping business owners, entrepreneurs and startups to understand their numbers by providing training, coaching, management accounting and bookkeeping services.
The “people’s accountant” – Stacey realized that she thrived on knowing her clients, building lasting relationships and sharing in the highs and lows of running a business. But what Stacey also realized, that whilst many tax accountants now have a more flexible approach to business and a Collins Street address is not the be all and end all, what was still missing was the lack of communication and that many entrepreneurs and business owners in the startup phase were not forming any relationship with accountants.
They were running their business blind, had no understanding of their ATO obligations and really were “winging it” from a financial perspective. Plus they hated dealing with the numbers, but felt they had to do it all themselves because they only had to speak to their accountant once a year.
The failure rate for small business owners is so high, that something had to be done to encourage these entrepreneurs in the startup phase, to speak with a qualified accountant to ensure their business idea was viable, their pricing structure was conducive to making a profit and that they could make informed business decisions based on accurate financials.
Enter Healthy Business Finances and Stacey. Far from leading the traditional, corporate Collins Street life, Stacey works remotely via shared office space, communicates via social media and skype, conducts training sessions via online platforms from the comfort of anywhere, uses cloud solutions to ensure she operates a paperless office and uses cloud accounting software such as MYOB, Xero and Quickbooks Online to reach clients Australia wide.
“I wanted to get my clients to feel that no question was too silly to ask. I wanted them to feel they could call me to ask about those issues they are facing in their business. I wanted to empower my clients to understand their numbers. And I wanted them to have fun doing it. I didn’t want to be someone they spoke to only once a year”.
Kate Hamer, from ethikate runs a legal practice specializing in Intellectual Property and Trademark Law. Kate says “Having a qualified person be on top of my business on a monthly basis is a life saver. Not only from a time perspective, but when I needed to hire staff, Stacey knew the forms that needed to be completed, how to setup the employees in the software, and what needed to be done with the Tax Office to ensure I was complying for both Payroll and GST. It was simply all done for me, and I knew I was in safe hands. That is the kind of person I needed on my team”.
Stacey’s plans for the future growth of Healthy Business Finances is to establish a financial training and education centre so that she can service more clients and help coach them through the financial hurdles of the startup phase.
I believe that everyone can enjoy the financial side of their business, you just have to have the right advisors on your team. I want that to be available to all business owners, all year round.