Childcare businesses tend to operate with boom-and-bust cash flow. Income typically arrives in bursts three times a year while expenses are spread throughout the year. Nikki needed more from her accountant than just a set of accounts – nine months out of date – and the statement,
“Here’s how you did and this is how much tax you owe.”
Nikki also found her Sunday afternoons were filled with financial admin, which ate into precious family time. Data entry isn’t really the best use of time for a business owner but someone has to do it – or else add the significant overhead of a bookkeeper.
When Frank came on board, Nikki was in the process of growing her first childcare centre. We helped her grow the business and make it more buyer-ready by changing the structure of the reporting to focus on EBITDA, which is the measure that matters most to prospective purchasers. Then we supported her throughout the transaction and oversaw a successful outcome.
Nikki came to us with the expectation that her accountants would earn their keep by finding savings that covered their bills. Frank achieved this in year one and has since gone on to add much greater value. In addition to setting up solid systems, Frank worked with Nikki on financial strategy and provided an independent set of eyes and ears to assess all major decisions.
Shifting to an efficient cloud-based accounting ecosystem has saved Nikki the best part of a working day each week. In practice, this means she got her weekend back. Similar sized or larger organisations have been able to scale back their use of bookkeepers to just one or two days per week, with the money saved going straight to the bottom line.
Nikki treats the Frank team as business consultants as well as providers of reports and interpreters of numbers. In addition to helping with day-to-day compliance, Frank also volunteers insights garnered from similar businesses. As she puts it: “Without telling me the confidential details, they can share ideas.”
Nikki can now see what’s happening in her business in close to real-time.
“I now receive my accounts when I want them, not nine months late and with multiple issues,” she says. Especially now we're on Xero, it is actually quite hard to know what accountants really do to prepare my accounts, but I know I need them.
She has also noticed a big difference in her workload. Sundays are no longer swallowed by admin, and she has more time to look at the big picture, take a break and seek out growth opportunities. As she says,
“That’s time I can work on my business, develop my skills, go to yoga or spend with my children.
In her own words:
“When I think back about the hours I spent entering data…my life is so much easier. Each step of the way has made my life easier, and quicker. I've got a lot more time.