We all know that you can’t run a business on your own. It’s impossible to be a master of all trades, so sometimes you need to find a great team of professionals to help you. Throughout this series, I’m going to feature some awesome fellow bosses who can help you in your business – from accounting to advertising, marketing to virtual assistants, business coaches to graphic designers, and everything in between.
This month, I spoke to Gillian Nathan from Simple Accounting Solutions.
What’s your business and what do you offer your clients?
I am a Chartered Accountant and Registered Tax Agent. As a qualified educator, a core focus of mine is empowering small business owners to know, understand and use their numbers to make informed decisions that allow them to earn more, save more and pay less tax.
We aim to find the simplest solution, use technology to improve processes and believe you should be able to run your business from anywhere, anytime.
We take the pain of paperwork and the compliance burden away allowing clients to focus on what they do – which is more than just the numbers. Numbers are my business.
How did you get into your industry/niche?
In South Africa, my tax practice was established largely around large listed clients and their international tax concerns however since moving to Australia and starting over – I have established myself more in the start-up and small business space. Education has always been important to me, and a belief that if you lay strong foundations on which to build your business on – you are setting yourself up for success.
What made you start your own business?
I have always been entrepreneurial – In South Africa, I had a tax practice, but also owned an events management business, a bridal boutique and a car service repair shop. It was a given that I would look to start my own business in Australia. I just had to jump through the Tax Agent Board hoops in Australia to get there first.
What’s your most popular service/product and which one is your favourite?
I do a lot of tax compliance work (because basically just about every person and business in Aus needs to consider a tax return), but my favourite things to do are
- Simplify solutions for small business so that their accounting processes are easy and less administrative
- Tax planning
- International tax
- Workshops where I get to meet and train small business owners
Do you get asked any really common questions in your business?
All the time! I have a booklet on FAQ’s that I add to on a very regular basis.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Tax Accountant, said no one ever 😉
I went through the “usual” – Nurse, Teacher and famous person aspirations. As I got older it was a toss-up between IT, child psychology and accounting.
How do you stay organised in your business? Any top tips for fellow bosses?
I have a business that is massively deadline driven and am responsible to ensure that my client’s reporting obligations and deadlines are achieved. I have to be incredibly organised to ensure that I don’t miss anything.
In order to minimise that risk I do the following;
- Systematise my business internally so manual data entry processes are minimised or done once.
- Use of Apps and Tools – like Receipt Bank, which I could not live without (and as a note, offer free to my clients as a value-add to them!)
- Cloud-based software – access anywhere, anytime. I love, live and breathe XERO. My blood is blue 😉
- Use One Drive to ensure my team & I have secure access to the latest version of documents
- Use of automated workflow reminders
I only use something if it truly adds value or saves me time. I outsource the stuff that I am not good at. Can I use Canva, yes – but it takes me ages to make something that ends up not looking very professional – so, I rather provide content and get my marketing admin lady to wave her wand and make it very pretty. IN the long run, it saves me money in the time that I save.
Do you have any habits that you think contribute to your success?
Time management for me is critical. Yes, I own my business – but I am firstly a Mom and wife and have two dogs and a cat. I also volunteer on many community committees. My husband travels every week, and I have no family in Australia – so the responsibility for every school drop off and pick up and carting kids to extramural activities pretty much every afternoon rest with me. I have routines set up to make things work and I could not live without my Lists! I also have a monthly calendar that schedules work and family commitments. Sometimes I sleep and less often I exercise.
What’s the one thing you wished people knew about what you do?
I am still a Registered Tax Practitioner in South Africa and a Tax Agent in Aus. If you have interests in both countries – I’m your gal. I can lodge tax returns in both South Africa and Aus, but ensuring compliance in both jurisdictions whilst avoiding double taxation.
What’s your favourite thing to do when you aren’t working?
It’s a total cliché, but my family (hubby, 9-year-old son, and 7-year-old daughter) are my favourite people in the world. Going road tripping, exploring new places and having “off the beaten track” adventures with them makes all the hard work and long hours’ worth it. Reading my Kindle, with a hot chai latte or catching up with friends is also high on the list. Walking on the beach restores my soul and something I try and do as often as possible.
Any upcoming events or things you want to share with us?
The Federal Budget is 3 weeks away, Tax agent filing deadline is 15th May, BAS lodgements by 25th May, tax planning and CPD in June and then the tax filing season starts. So, its head down for the next few months.
If you need help with your bookkeeping and accounting, speak to Gillian. She recently helped me make the move to Xero and sorted out my GST registration (a very exciting time for Cutting Edge Digital!), and she made it all a complete breeze. You can find her over at: