A perfect partnership with our accountant - from one side of the world to the other

For Nick Cassella, President of the IPS Plumbing Division in Memphis Tennessee, knowing his business is able to be run efficiently and effectively from the other side of the world is crucial for the continued growth and success of their product line.

“ATB Business Accountants have an extensive amount of local market knowledge, and this is a key factor in the success of a venture like this.”

IPS Corporation

You might imagine it would be a difficult job managing and operating the business administration of a large multinational American company from an office in Parramatta, Sydney, Australia. But instead of being difficult, it is a well advised, well-oiled machine, thanks to the knowledge, expertise, care and diligence put in by the accounting team at ATB Partners.

A great story

And there’s a great story behind it.

“When we bought the business in February 2015, the previous owners elected to keep several territories we wanted, like Asia and some parts of Europe. As a sweetener, they suggested they add Australia to the offer.

We were delighted, as the construction methods in Australia are similar to the USA, and we felt we could add our products into the basket of products already sold in Australia.”

“We understood we needed an Australian director, and we were impressed with Michael and ATB Business Accountants at that point.”

It’s a big job. ATB handles all of the administrative business processes for IPS Corporation, right here in Australia:

A Perfect Partnership

• Warehousing
• Invoicing and shipping
• Payroll
• Taxation
• Human Resources
• Superannuation
• Compliance and code requirements,
• Technical contracts for code requirements

… And there are two direct sales people here full time.

“It’s a business we’ve managed for 20 years,” says ATB Partners Michael Mekhitarian.

“With a change of business owner two years ago, the head office moved from the UK to the USA.”

So impressed with the management job ATB were doing, the new owners elected to continue the operation here.

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The advantages of using Australian company ATB to run an American operation ...

“It comes down to experience,” says Nick Cassella. “ATB have experience with the product line and plumbing wholesale business behind them. Being so far away and being relatively unfamiliar with the territory, it was a huge advantage to continue to use ATB to look after all our business needs.

Michael is an accountant with a great ‘business head’. He’s flexible with our requirements, and he’s got enough marketing knowledge to help with customer issues.

He has a great understanding of what our sales team goes through and he’s flexible enough to change what we need, when we need it.”

Nick says there are many advantages for an ownership company so far away, but a major contributing factor was local market knowledge.

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Quality and accuracy delivers complete confidence

Director Nick Cassella saw the quality of the accounting work ATB were doing for the previous owners, when they were undertaking due diligence prior to finalising the sale. “We were looking at other options in other parts of the world, but the financials weren’t looking good … however Australia was. We had a high level of confidence in the reporting of the numbers.”

After conference calls, and face to face meetings early in February 2015, IPS and ATB closed on the deal. IPS were confident that Michael and the team had their business requirements under control and they would be represented accurately and fairly.

Proactive change = a positive result

When the new owners came on board, Michael realised there were some areas they could act more proactively on … and add more value to.

“Looking forward, we focused on adding more forecasting and sales requirements for the business. At our monthly meetings, the sales team, the US team and I ensure there are no logistical issues.”

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Parramatta is a long, long way from Memphis, Tennessee

Initially, Nick from IPS made the trip from the United States to Australia twice a year.

However, the confidence he has in ATB Business Accountants has meant he has been able to reduce those trips to once a year. This trust has meant that other valued key staff members have been able to make the trip to discuss key issues like product development and engineering resources.

ATB delivers ...

IPS already had a freight system up and running but realised there were some issues with the existing freight carriers … specifically delivery and security which were impacting on the business.

Michael and the accounting team at ATB did their due diligence and research and made a successful change of freight companies. The result was that the cost of freight didn’t rise, but the service level rose dramatically.

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Extraordinary service and results

“I was, and continue to be, surprised by the depth of knowledge ATB has about our business. They’re not in the manufacturing business, but they know an incredible amount about what we do, who we sell to, where our products go, what codes and standards we have to comply with.

It’s so refreshing to know that a service level business knows as much about a manufacturer’s business as they do. That’s what gave me the confidence to say, “We don’t need to make any changes in the management.’ 

This company knows what they’re doing, we will be able to move forward with them. Our numbers are strong, and we are getting more than our fair share.”

And the bottom line is … impressive growth and market share

Top line sales volume for the IPS product range has increased by 20% since the business changed ownership two years ago. This figure is expected to rise to 30% as new products are added to that bundle.

So what does the future hold for a multinational US company and its Australian management team?


It’s no surprise the IPS Corporation is delighted with the smooth transition and level of service that ATB Partners provide them.

Besides the obvious advantage of local market knowledge and expertise, Nick says that the high level of professionalism ATB brings to the partnership is very rewarding.

Here to stay

“We have some businesses in other parts of the world that are not running anywhere near as smoothly as this transition with ATB, and this has a lot to do with Michael, his global view on business and the level of professionalism he demands from his organisation.

We’re extremely pleased. We’re going to continue to grow in Australia and plan on staying partners with ATB for a long while.”

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