DFK Everalls in Canberra has played an integral role in aligning SQC Architecture’s business structure as its needs have evolved during the 20+-year relationship.
It was a fledgling business seeking a new accounting firm when the two began working together and is now a mid-sized Canberra architecture practice primarily focused on social infrastructure, including early learning centres to universities, the aged care sector, churches and not for profit organisations.
SQC Architecture was trading as a Unit Trust with a trustee company and began looking for a more suitable business structure. It enlisted the services of DFK Everalls.
Building relationships for the future
Founding director Ric Small said it was the late ‘90s and his then business partner had seen DFK Everalls director Melissa Healy speaking at a seminar.
“We were questioning our accounting support at that time,” Ric said.
“We were looking for an accounting firm with good service that was very competent. Melissa seemed to be a very good match for us.”
SQC Architecture now appreciates the longevity of the relationship, with DFK Everalls fully understanding its business and challenges.
He said Melissa had journeyed with the business through its growth, regularly going beyond simply helping with annual returns.
“We’ve always had good internal record keeping and staff that have managed our books and then interacted with Melissa or DFK Everalls as we’ve needed support,” Ric said.
Helping shift business structures
“The thing that Melissa has given us in addition to those standard accounting services is she’s helped us align our business structure as the business has changed and grown.”
DFK Everalls’ support has also extended to succession planning and ownership/structure changes over the years.
“Principals and/or their share of the business have changed at times and there’s been the need to provide a valuation and provide advice through those processes,” he said. “That has been very helpful.
“DFK Everalls has also helped restructure the business, including last year moving from the Unit Trust structure to now operating as a private company.”
This change now makes it much simpler for new partners to join the practice and it smooths out profit distributions, which is helpful given the volatile nature of the industry.
It also has side benefits of crystalising some tax-free capital gains.
“In small business, relationships are really important.
“The fact we have a history with them, we’ve established a high level of confidence in them professionally and we appreciate them relationally, that means a lot.”
A team approach for support
As well as working with Melissa on the business, Ric has worked with DFK Everalls managing director Robert Shelton for personal taxation advice.
“I do think they’re a great team together,” he said.
“So for me, that extension has been something I’ve valued and I value the trust that goes with that.”
DFK Everalls is based in Canberra and provides specialist business and taxation advice to SMEs and individuals, giving you the time to focus on why you got into business in the first place.