DFK Gooding Partners Chartered Accountants’ consistent level of service and personnel earned it a place on the Baileys Group team.
Throughout its history, Baileys Group has brought on and sold different entities that have required the support of a skilled accounting team.
The group started as a family-run marine fuel business over 30 years ago with just one fuel outlet in Fremantle in Western Australia before going on to become a national marine fuel business. The business was sold to Caltex in 2011, with only a couple of residual outlets still in the group’s ownership.
From 2006 to 2016 the group owned a ferry business, Rottnest Express, which was sold to a private equity group.
The group now remains with a few residual fuel assets and a tourism project.
Guidance in divesting decisions
In its early days as a smaller company, Baileys Group began with a small suburban accountant. Its growth meant it required advice from a firm that could help it grow further.
Director Guy Bailey said it was a personal relationship between individuals in the Baileys Group and DFK Gooding Partners Chartered Accountants (DFK GPCA) that prompted the business relationship, which has now been going for about 20 years.
“Now, they’re part of the team,” Guy said.
He said the relationship and support went beyond being tax advisors.
“Not only have we grown businesses but we’ve also been divesting,” he said.
“We’ve had a couple of big divestments in our business life – one being the fuel business and another being the ferry business.
“They’ve helped us with those divestments, which were big deals for us.
“They do the normal accounting function of course, but when we have something big or tricky they’re good at that sort of advice where you sit down and have a good conversation about the pros and cons of doing something or not doing something.”
Becoming a trusted advisor
He said he often would pick DFK GPCA managing partner Stephen Bushell’s brain when he had an idea, describing the relationship as “mates as opposed to just business colleagues” he said.
The relationship has evolved to where we will introduce Stephen into various strategic business decisions, he will “sit in the room at the start of the deal, and he’s right there through to the end”
“We didn’t plan to get there, it’s just one of those things that’s happened over time.”
He said the accounting firm was good at the strategic side of business.
“For me, it’s more the strategic advice and attention to detail and when I want something, it happens very quickly.”
Consistent service level valued
One of the elements Guy values is the longevity of the relationship and reliability from staff.
“The service level hasn’t changed since we first met them to today, even though they’ve become bigger. Then when they became part of DFK, they still delivered the same level of service.
“When you’re in business, that’s one thing I want to see – that consistency. I don’t want to go to a firm where Stephen no longer handles your account.”
He said it was the exact opposite of what happened at his bank, where he’s been through five different bank managers in five years.
“At DFK GPCA I’ve had consistent service and consistent personnel and that’s what I value.” He said that didn’t mean he only dealt with Stephen, with assistance from Melanie Cleave, complex tax matters dealt with by Liz Peterson, and Baileys Group using DFK GPCA’s IT expert and financial planner.
“They’re a one-stop shop with Stephen and his team.
“They’ve been there in the pivotal moments in our business life. If they weren’t good, they wouldn’t be there. They’ve earned their place on the team.”
DFK GPCA is a leading accounting, taxation, and business advisory firm based in Perth, Western Australia. It specialises in providing services to a portfolio of sophisticated clients, including family-controlled and privately owned small businesses and high net-worth individuals.