Tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying a franchise?
I am originally from Fiji and migrated to Australia in March 1990. While in Fiji I obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Accounting) degree from the University of South Pacific and became a member of Fiji Institute of Accountants and Institute of Internal Auditors. In Fiji I was employed by one of the major companies in the country called Carpenters Fiji Limited, where I worked in their Head Office as a Credit Controller, Internal Auditor, Group Management Accountant and then as Financial Controller for their Carptrac and Shipping Divisions.
In Australia, I became a member of CPA and I have worked in Senior Finance Roles for a number of major Australian Companies including Perpetual Trustees, Qantas Airways, Australian Gas Light Company, Novartis Animal Health, GE Panametrics, Energy Australia, Stryker South Pacific and for the last 12 years, I was employed by BHP Billiton as a Reporting Analyst based at West Cliff Mine Site.
What attracted you to franchising versus started starting up on your own or finding employment?
I had a look into various options and I found business format franchises really worked. The franchise system runs the business and the people in the Ffanchise run the system. The model utilises uniformity and I really like this concept.
The question was, did I want to go into a Food Franchise such as KFC or into something else? The other big question was the required funding. In the end I decided to go into accounting because of my many years' of experience in business, finance and accounting.
Why did you choose TaxAssist Accountants? What research did you undertake?
I did six months of research into various accounting franchises. TaxAssist Accountants are new to Australia and the biggest attractions were the marketing ideas and the shop front style of operating the business.
How did you raise the finance for funding your franchise?
My last employer BHP Billiton recently had a demerger and the mine site I was based at fell into the new company "South 32". As a result of this restructure and the downturn in the mining industry a lot of us were made redundant. I took the redundancy payment and invested it into TaxAssist Accountants and opened the Liverpool shop in March 2016.
What training and support do you receive initially and ongoing from TaxAssist?
The initial training was great and includes technical and marketing expertise. Technical areas covered were the Australian Taxation System, various forms of businesses including sole trader, partnership, company and trusts; Self-Managed Superannuation Funds, Tax Returns, Business Activity Statements, Software and Practice Management. The marketing course has provided me with lots of knowledge and resources, which I am looking forward to putting into practice. I also have ongoing support from the Support Centre for myself and my staff.
What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?
My day starts at 7.00am when I leave home for my office and finishes at 6.30pm. My days are very interesting because the shop allows us to meet different people every day, so no day is the same.
What are your plans for the future?
Throughout my career I have dealt with a number of small businesses and I understand the issues that confront the business owners. My focus will be to improve the growth of my clients' revenue and business values and I am sure as the growth happens, I will benefit from that growth.