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Counting on each other: Finding friendship beyond the finances

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Vladka Kazda

Aug 2, 2021

For many advisors and their small business clients, the turbulence of FY21 proved that their connection is about much more than just numbers. In this series, we ask what they’ve learned from each other, and how their relationship has evolved through one of their toughest years yet.

In all aspects of life, going that extra mile for those you care about is often what sets great relationships apart from good ones. This is especially true of the connection between Justin Jones of JCP Facility Services and Joshua Gloede of The Financial Foreman. With a ‘5 percent extra’ rule embedded into their values, the pair go above and beyond – not only for their respective clients, but for each other too. Read on to discover their unique small business-advisor bond for yourself. 

Tell us more about how you came to work together. 

Joshua: When I became an accountant over five years ago now, I worked with lots of local tradies here in Adelaide. And while they were all total pros when it came to their crafts, I found that very few had a strong grasp of their numbers. So when I decided to go out on my own with The Financial Foreman, I chose to specialise in the trade and construction industry. 

I came across Justin and his wife Annette three years ago through a mutual connection. As soon as we met, I knew they were the types of people I wanted to have on my books. They’re hard workers who are passionate about what they do, and I was keen to help them reach new milestones.

Justin: Up until the pandemic hit last year, JCP Facility Services had been growing rapidly. And that’s where Josh’s support as a specialist in finance and advisory really shined through for us. Not only did he know accounting like the back of his hand, but it was clear that he cared about us and our company.

Joshua: It was Justin and Annette’s drive that instantly stood out. To this day, we meet at least every month to run through their goals and plan our next steps – they’re always looking ahead. The Xero platform plays a big part in that. I’ve been on the cloud since day one while Justin and Annette have used Xero for over a decade – thankfully, I don’t come across any paper receipts in my practice. 

What did you learn from each other through one of the toughest financial years yet? 

Justin: For about four months last year, everything stopped for the commercial building industry. It was really tough on us and our team. I read in Xero’s Emotional Tax Return survey – a campaign that uncovers some of the emotional tolls of running a small business – that most (68 percent) Aussie business owners said last year was more emotionally draining than any other year they’ve been in business. And this certainly rings true for my family. 

But despite all the ups and downs, Josh was our rock solid support system – both personally and professionally. I talk about the ‘5 percent’ rule in my business, and it means treating everyone as though they’re your best customer. We feel that in the way Josh looks after us too. It’s the simple things, like bringing us coffees whenever we meet, that make all the difference. Josh is more than an accountant – he’s become a close friend. 

Joshua: I’m forever grateful to Justin and Annette for what they’ve taught me about the true meaning of success. Early on, they showed me that if you exceed client expectations, you’ll never have to spend a cent on advertising. Instead, referrals will lead to organic growth – and that’s exactly what’s happened to me. 

What makes a great advisor-client relationship?

Justin: A relationship with an advisor is just like any other; if you’re not happy and it doesn’t work, it’s time to move on. My advice would be to find someone who understands you as a person, as well as your business’ needs and goals. There’ll be an accountant out there that’s the perfect fit for you –  just keep looking. 

Joshua: I’m selective about the clients I work with, and I think it’s a good way to be. So much of our time is consumed with work. In fact, the Emotional Tax Return survey finds that the majority (81 percent) of business leaders say running a small business takes away from their personal lives. That commitment means you want to be sure that you’re spending your working days with people who you genuinely trust.  

I always say I became an accountant because I have a passion for numbers; I stayed in the profession because I love working with people. Like Justin said, at the end of the day, we’re just good mates who care about seeing each other succeed. 

To find an accountant or bookkeeper that’s right for you, head to the Xero Advisor Directory. Use our match-making tool to explore advisors all over Australia or filter by industry and location based on your business’ needs.

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