Ray Nielsen is currently the single principal at R. Nielsen Consulting Pty Ltd. As a management consultant with an engineering background, Ray finds himself involved in big multi-nationals, petro-chemical and electronics companies and has spent plenty of time in the mining industry and working with government and utilities.
Ray had a personal and business accountant for his prior business venture when he met Michael Mekhitarian 10 years ago, but they formed a friendship and kept in touch through business networking and referrals.
The consequences of poor business advice
Working with small businesses or medium enterprises, locally based or multinational, Ray’s work has taken him overseas, to outback NSW, remote mining areas in WA and to power stations in Queensland …
It’s Ray’s job to work with his clients on bespoke process improvement.
He gets businesses back on track. But at one stage things weren’t as robust in his own business …
His prior business started to need some attention and performance was starting to suffer.
Ray had taken on a new client but business was getting off track …
“I started to experience trouble with cash flow. I was getting advice from my accountant at the time, but some bad business decisions led to tax issues – a consequence of poor advice. That trading entity went in to administration, followed by further bad decisions and misleading legal advice, and I was in the unenviable position of having used up my available funds and having an unrealised left over personal tax liability.”
A fresh start
It was at this point that Ray knew he needed to work with a new business accounting firm, and he reached out to Michael to set him on a better course with his new business.
“Ten years after my first business folded, I received a nasty shock from the ATO about an outstanding tax liability the administrators had not dealt with. Michael conducted a thorough review and analysis of what had happened to my business up to that point and got the full story. He and the team at ATB gave me excellent advice, negotiated on my behalf with the ATO and ultimately got my potentially devastating issue resolved.”
“Beyond traditional accountancy services, there was a significant benefit from having Michael’s excellent business knowledge and experience and his professional approach. He has been responsible for my personal and business accounts ever since.”
The ATB difference
“If I look in comparison, when you select a professional services provider or a financial planner, you trust them because they have the relevant accreditation and they work in your best interests. But in some cases that’s not true and they let you down or are not always reputable.
In contrast with Michael and the team at ATB, it’s a different story. I like the man personally, and I’ve been with him while his business has grown. Michael has always been straight with me, always telling me when I’m not doing something in the right way. He is professional and demonstrates excellent standards in business and how he conducts himself.
He didn’t need to help me with my old tax issue, but he chose to! That is what makes Michael and his team different from accountants I have worked with in the past.”
“I see Michael when I need business advice, usually a couple of times a year. We get together for an annual review and when I submit my tax return.
We discuss how we can move the business forward, what’s working in my favour and what’s not and what we can do better.
In addition to scheduled meetings, he is always there for me when I need him. He’s a busy man but we keep in contact through phone or email when not face to face.”
More than just the numbers
I would classify Mike as a friend and a professional partner. He has always been approachable and able to offer guidance, mentoring and advice based on his wealth of experience.
He offers good counsel when making decisions for my business.
He is certainly far more experienced in the world of business than I am – I came from a corporate background, but I had shortcomings when it came to running a small business, with tax and regulations, wages and banking…
Mike’s knowledge and experience have been really helpful in those areas and in helping me to plan for the future.”
Worry and anxiety begone
“He tells me when I shouldn’t do something one way and guides me on what I should be doing instead to keep my business on track, even with the simple things like putting my financials and statements together properly.
He takes the worry and anxiety away when dealing with the tax office.
And above all else, Michael saves me from my own naivety.”
A comfortable retirement
“I’m trying to make sure that I am prepared to retire, perhaps a bit later than I’d hoped, but I’ll continue to work with Michael to achieve the most that I can out of my business.
There will still be decisions to make, cost savings to be had and regulations to comply with, and Michael will be there to guide me.”
“ATB Partners can offer a lot more than I’m taking up at the moment; I’ve been a bit stubborn, and I’m not yet in a position to invest. But their financial planning services are yet another string to their bow and I look forward to working more closely with them to plan ahead.
In the future I see myself comfortably in retirement, with my feet up gazing out onto the ocean without a worry in the world.”
Sounds good to us.