ATB accountants give new franchise owner the right support to get started

Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE) franchise owner Laurie Ricci needed a business accountant to support him to get his new business up and running. MBE is a global and Australia wide, multifaceted ‘business centre’ model that provides printing, packing, shipping and post box services in a one stop shop.

More than just reliable accounting services, Laurie also needed strategic business advice from an accountant who could guide him through the process, end to end.


Why choose a franchise business?

New to running his own business, and conscious of his own lack of experience, Laurie was drawn to the franchise model precisely because of the support network and structures already set in place.

“I wanted the comfort of being part of a larger group, but still to feel like it was my own business.”

“MBE had a good support structure in place which gave me confidence in the franchise model.”

Laurie therefore wanted to work with an accounting firm that he could rely on to fill in his knowledge gaps about setting up and running a franchise business.

“As a new business owner with this size of business, it can be overwhelming at the start, so you want to partner yourself up with good people.”

A perfect collaboration

In-depth business knowledge and a mentor approach would prove to be the key to Laurie successfully moving forward.

He needed to be able to ask everyday accounting and business questions and have someone who was a phone call away.

Jim Vass from ATB Chartered Accountants met the brief – and his knowledge and experience assured Laurie that he would get the solid support he needed.


Their partnership is a convenient collaboration of accounting services and business mentoring.


Due-diligence done and dusted

In 2016 Laurie began the process of purchasing an existing business directly from the franchisors.

“Jim was crucial in assisting me, with patience and advice. Knowing there might be times I didn’t understand something, Jim always used black and white language to help me understand it.”

“He always had patience with things I wasn’t familiar with. “

“Using everyday language was very important to me. The more the process went on, the more I understood.”

Jim was of great assistance to Laurie throughout the negotiation process with the franchisors.

“He took my emotion out of the purchase and looked at it from a business point of view. As a new business owner, emotion can get in the way. Jim communicated with the franchisors, and anything he was not happy with he would ask for more information until he was satisfied.”

Jim worked with the franchisors to negotiate the price and extras, making sure the result would be beneficial to Laurie.

“Jim went over and above and gave me peace of mind that my growing relationship with ATB would be positive.”

Assistance with the purchase and business structure

Jim didn’t beat around the bush through the due diligence and purchase phase.

He told Laurie the positives and negatives, all the while taking into consideration the direction Laurie wanted to go in and guiding him on what he needed to do to reach his goals.

Jim attended meetings and oversaw the budgeting, dealing directly with the franchisors on Laurie’s behalf.

“Jim ended up building a relationship with the vendors himself, which was really useful. He left an impression on them and truly fought for me and my goals.”


“With my lack of business experience, I was unsure how to go. I relied heavily on Jim’s advice in setting up and structuring my company. Jim gave me every confidence that I could take on board his advice and I haven’t looked back since.”

About ATB Chartered Accountants - Small Business


The budgeting process was another opportunity for Laurie to learn new business skills from Jim.

“Jim and Samina, who are both fantastic, do my budgeting for me. It is crucial to the process. We go over expectations, expenditure, costs and forecasts – it’s about achieving your goals.

We discuss possibilities and ultimately it comes down to making you think about your business on a larger scale. Everything has to be accounted for.”

BAS and quarterly management reports

“Basically, these meetings give me a good picture of how things are going. Yes, there are times I come out with my head full and a headache brewing but they always end with a smile and a plan! 

They keep me on the ball and heading down the right path. Tackling the hard things is what makes you grow, and as a business owner I appreciate someone telling me the black and white of it.”


The business accountants at ATB are always looking to the future. It’s not just about survival now, but always considering whether you are achieving your goals.


Regular catchups

Laurie has regular meetings with Jim and Samina, a fundamental approach to ATB’s partnership with all their clients.

Jim tells me in plain language how the business is travelling, and at the end of the meeting there is always a plan of attack to get where we need to be. 

We put a plan together with a timeline and look at areas that need addressing …

As a business owner, I think we all need to be accountable for something and that’s good for me that I am accountable to someone. Someone is on my back and following me up and asking me the questions. Someone to answer to who makes me think about things … it ultimately benefits me.”

Business advice, mentoring and more

Jim continues to give Laurie accounting and business advice, now that his franchise is up and running. And Laurie applies this advice all the time.

Beyond the benefits to his business, Laurie sees the improvement personally, in his increased understanding of how to run his business. He is more confident and certain about his future, and he sees that as the greatest positive in his relationship with ATB.

The key to success in Laurie’s relationship with ATB is more than just solid, proactive accounting. He is getting a mentor with a great depth of business knowledge and experience.

“This is a major plus for me – Jim’s mentorship is a simple call away. As a new small business owner, you want to know you have people you can rely on, who you can go to in times of uncertainty. For my business, I am confident that I am moving towards my long-term goals.”

If you would like advice on setting up a franchise business or would like to chat about your small or medium business accounting needs, contact us today; we’re here to help.

Contact ATB Chartered Accountants today