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Our clients come from many industries and every single one requires a unique approach.
We’ve helped the Kimberley Aboriginal Law & Cultural Centre (KALACC) achieve greater financial insight. In turn, they’re now in a better position to allocate funding to their programs and create an even greater positive impact on their community.
KALACC is an Aboriginal corporation, which is a specific type of not-for-profit legal entity. They support the traditional cultural practices of the 30 Aboriginal language groups of the Kimberley region in Western Australia.
KALACC receives funding from up to 30 streams at any time, including government bodies and private sector corporations. Therefore, their financials are especially vast.
When GeersSullivan first started working with KALACC in October 2015 their financials were approximately 6–12 months behind. This made it difficult to aptly allocate funding to their activities or know exactly what was left to spend within their grants.
Additionally, with programs often funded by several grants there’s more to track than your average not-for-profit. As Wes says, KALACC’s finances are “a bit like a juggling act – there are always balls in the air and things being shifted from one place to another!”
GeersSullivan’s role can be likened to an external Chief Financial Officer and accountant in one. As well as completing financial reports and assisting with grant acquittals, we also help with strategic planning, provide guidance regarding salary issues and so on. Tom even travels to Broome every 6 months to be part of KALACC’s Annual General Meeting or brief the Board.
It’s a collaborative relationship where we’re responsive to KALACC’s specific needs, such as holding training sessions with staff. We translate the financial things so that KALACC’s team can make informed decisions about how best to spend their funding.
In fact, Tom exchanges emails with Wes most days and has such an extensive knowledge of the organisation and its staff that he feels like one of the team. You might say that we’re KALACC’s southern division, 3,000 kilometres away.
GeersSullivan has helped KALACC by:
- Implementing systems that increase operational efficiency and the effectiveness of financial data
- Providing a comprehensive, up-to-date snapshot of their financials
- Increasing the timeliness of reliable, accurate information
- Allowing for better allocation of funding streams to relevant programs and eliminating incidents where funding has had to be returned
- Empowering staff with the knowledge and surety to make informed decisions and plan strategically
- Allowing Wes to divert his attention to more pertinent matters for the organisation, such as sourcing new funding and developing new programs
- Listening to the staff’s needs, helping them to learn and building their confidence in their own financial management
Through our work with KALACC we’ve seen the subtle yet large impact this increased financial insight has had for their organisation and the wider community. It’s very rewarding work.
“I really appreciate how enthusiastically GeersSullivan has entered our juggling act – learning about our organisation, really understanding what’s needed, being extremely responsive and working in a collegial way. It’s good to work with people who have such a commitment to us.” – Wes Morris, KALACC Coordinator
We’ve been right alongside the owners as they’ve grown their real estate business from a two person partnership to a 25-strong team.
When the daily commute to Rockingham became too much for Scott, we helped him transition out of the business and begin working on new projects.
Roger and Scott initially approached Chris in 2005 to do a valuation and due dilligence on a local real estate agency they were considering buying. The numbers made sense and they went ahead, with Chris handling the ASIC secretarial work to move the transfer along without a hitch. In 2006 the Perth property boom hit, enabling Roger and Scott to grow the business rapidly. All throughout this process, Chris provided periodic reporting and analysis and discussion of business metrics, managing the expansion and looking at what effects the commitments in leasing and staff numbers had on the business. This level of collaboration meant the partners could pursue their goals without stretching themselves too far.
In time, Scott decided he wanted to pursue other projects and together we began working on a succession plan that would provide a fair outcome for both owners.
Chris’ longtime relationship and regular communication with Roger and Scott meant that the conversation around succession happened naturally and in the course of their meetings. This allowed Chris to develop a plan more efficiently than if they had been a brand new client without the benefit of history and assured compliance.
A considered and carefully structured succession plan allowed Roger to buy out Scott’s share of the company and Scott to exit with a handsome return on his investment—with minimal tax implications for both. Roger took over the reins with his wife Melinda, continuing to grow the business and establishing a second office in Baldivis in 2013. They now have over 25 staff and Chris continues to work closely with the business.
“My decision to work with Chris was the best business decision I ever made” Roger Moorhouse
We developed a tailored strategy to allow the company founders to exit through a gradual management buyout.
Our relationship with RM Surveys began as an independent company accountant. (Both owners have their own personal accountants.) In addition to handling the company’s Tax Compliance, we would meet quarterly to look at their results, define KPIs and talk about where the business was going. A couple of years ago the conversation turned to succession and both owners were looking to exit the business with slightly different timeframes.
There were a number of good young people in the business who the owners wanted to develop into a strong management team and give them the opportunity to take over the business gradually. Along with the owners, we created a bespoke funding model for each individual to show how they could generate funding and buy into the business over time—something that made everybody happy.
As the company accountant, our role is to ensure continuity and the best result for all shareholders of the company. Three people from the management team bought in a year ago and are now looking at their next buy-in. The owners now have a succession model in place timed over 7 years to allow them to phase out their involvement and sell their equity in the business.
We helped the owners of Welltech define, execute and exceed their 5 year strategic goal in 3 years.
At a tax planning meeting in May 2011, Andrew asked David Henderson (CEO) where he saw the business in 5 years. As is normal when discussing Succession Planning, he posed the tricky questions that every business owner struggles with: What’s your next step? What are your growth plans? How are you going to get there? What’s your exit strategy? After some serious thinking, David and his business partner, Ben Campbell, came back with a well defined goal of what they wanted to achieve within a 5 year period.
The core of the approach was to build up a strong management team and strengthen the brand so its continued growth didn’t rely on the day-to-day involvement of the two owners. The byproduct of this was that the business turned into a great investment stream. We worked out the profitability needed to achieve their valuation target, then went into the business and did a thorough analysis of every part. Meeting monthly and breaking the approach down into 3 phases with small focused steps provided clear actions to work on at a manageable pace.
The owners reached their desired profitability figure in less than 3 years. This paved the way for an important part of phase 1; appointing a General Manager to take over the daily management from David, allowing him to take a more strategic role. We’re still meeting every month and have now set an even more ambitious goal to build momentum and turn the business into a larger and more autonomous operation.