When it comes to making major shifts within a company, Cruisemaster Australia has gained a level of confidence and reassurance with the help of DFK Hirn Newey.
Cruisemaster Australia, based in Brisbane, is Australia’s leader in all-terrain towing technology. The company designs and manufactures specialist suspensions and couplings for the caravanning industry and also does vehicle preparations and upgrades on caravans and towing vehicles.
Finding the right fit
Managing director Chris Goddard said they were outgrowing their existing accountants.
“I had a conversation with the bank and said ‘can you recommend anyone?’,” Chris said.
“We didn’t necessarily want to go through to the big end of town, because we didn’t want our accountant to go from being too small to being too big.”
Chris was recommended DFK Hirn Newey. That was eight years ago.
“The first thing I liked was they came into the office and they didn’t have ties on. And I thought, ‘oh, I can deal with these guys’.
“They were big enough to have all the things we want as we get bigger, but small enough that we’re key to their business as well.”
Four years ago, DFK Hirn Newey were able to quickly provide advice and guidance when Chris was approached by someone to buy the company.
“They’re pretty flexible, which is good for us, because smallish companies have to be very agile.
“They’re not the biggest, yet they stay pretty well up with technology.
“For our needs, that works really well.”
Confidence with key projects
Chris said a key project for the company was a reorganisation with the help of DFK Hirn Newey partner Gavin Johns.
“The company was owned by myself and my wife,” Chris said.
“For asset protection and other reasons, they did a restructure for us.
“They made some good moves in that the company was fortunately at the right size where we received a number of tax concessions in the move that enabled us to do it very economically.
“We ended up with a structure that was really tax efficient and it gave us asset protection at the same time.
“I’m a cautious guy and I don’t want to do things that are a bit too close to the edge, so in going through that they had everything underwritten by the tax office.”
Accounting with convenience
Another big project DFK Hirn Newey was brought in for was changing the company name 18 months ago.
“But it wasn’t as simple as that. We had to form new companies, we had to hold names and we had to change names in one company to another company,” Chris said.
“A few things went wrong at the time and they were very good as we went through that.
“We came out the other end achieving what we wanted.”
Chris said from a practical point of view, during that process and other accounting matters throughout the eight years it was nice to know DFK was only down the road when needed.
“For us, it’s 3-4 minutes down the road. I can give Gavin a ring, say ‘can I talk to you about something? Are you free?’ and it works.
“I love the easy-going way they work.
“It’s mainly been a good match between the way we operate and they operate. You stumble across that occasionally and it takes a lot of stress out of it.”
DFK Hirn Newey is a leading accounting and business advisory practice based in Brisbane. It specialises in accounting, taxation and compliance requirement and helps businesses move to the next level.