Gateway Financial Partners are different to most accountants, and in a way that means good things for business owners.
Our people know about business
Our people understand what it means to run a business. Ivan Willey, one of our three senior partners, is not an accountant – instead he comes from a business background where he has owned small businesses and been a client of accountants. Ivan's understanding of the pressures and priorities of small business owners and their individual accounting needs forms the basis for how Gateway's highly-experienced accounting professionals relate to clients, meaning the advice you receive is unique in its relevance to you and your business.
We know what you think of accountants!
Our approach to our business is led by research we've carried out with existing and potential clients to discover what business owners expect from their accountants. After sifting the comments relating to accountants and personality bypasses :), we discovered what a typical business owner thinks of accountants:
- accountants are expensive
- they lack value and only produce an ATO debt
- the cost is unknown and unpredictable
- accountants offer little or no value beyond compliance with ATO and ASIC regulations
- accountants can leave you worrying about their competence
- niggling doubts about affairs being left unattended
- everyone else's advisors seem to be better
- better the devil you know – similar to banks
- accountants are poor communicators
- they speak in technical jargon
- they are difficult to get hold of
- they have an unhelpful bedside manner
- they are over-protective of the accounting knowledge they hold
- accountants can seem disinterested
- they usually only make contact at tax time
- they are reactive (to tax time, or to a client's phone call asking why a new initiative has not been incorporated into a Tax strategy) and lacking in ideas
- they lack understanding of their clients' businesses
- their work is often seen as irrelevant to the success of a business
- accountants appear inefficient
- fear of errors
- slow turnaround of work
- deadline slippage
Unfortunately, this is probably ringing true for many readers! In short, most business owners think accountants offer poor service.
We are different. We are listening and giving you value for money
We at Gateway Financial Partners have taken this research seriously – how could we not? – and approach customer service differently to all others in the accounting industry.
Our approach has four main elements:
- A whole-hearted belief in proactive management accountingMost business owners have an intuitive sense of the course their business is taking. This is sometimes referred to as the dashboard and relates to the indicators that give you a sense of how your business is performing. Indicators like the volume of telephone calls, the mood of the office, the frequency of deliveries … and of course the condition of the bank statement. However, this dashboard sense is very rarely based on real and accurate financial data. Management accounting involves generating actual financial data to validate and quantify how your business is going. We create and maintain useful and reliable reports which will help you and us to understand the real position of your business. Once we understand how it's going, we can advise you on how to make best use of accounting and taxation law to maximise your profits.
- Regular visits to your businessYou are very welcome to visit our offices whenever you like, but we believe in coming to you. Not just once a year; usually every three months. This approach means we keep up-to-date with where your business is at and can best advise you on how to take advantage of current laws to minimise your tax. It also means completing your tax return is never a last-minute rush as accounts are managed at each visit. The feedback we receive from clients about our regular visits is that this connection with our people produces feelings ranging from relief to excitement (yes, excitement) – quite different to how the typical business owner feels about accountants!
- Establishing the business owners' desired outcomes and working closely with them to achieve those outcomesWhen running a business we know it often feels like you have a million everyday tasks taking up every waking moment of your time, making it all too easy to lose sight of the reason behind all the risk, effort and stress. That's why we've decided it's our job to help make sure your business stays on track to achieve what you want it to. As part of our initial meetings we will work with you to determine what you want from your business. We'll then:
- help you develop a Business plan
- work beside you, literally, regularly throughout the year to help you make sense of how your business is going
- advise you about steps you could take to help your business succeed.
- A fixed feeDon't be afraid to pick up the phone and ask us a question – we're not charging you by the hour! We'll agree an annual fee, usually to be paid monthly, with you at our initial meeting and that fee will hold true. There will be no unexpectedly high annual invoice, and no unexpected charges. We work on the same principle as most small to medium sized businesses – if the work doesn't change, then neither will the price.
For an obligation-free meeting, at your place or ours, with our partners to discuss how Gateway Financial Partners could help your business please call us on 07 3226 1800 or complete our contact form.