• Michelle Meehan | Feature Writer - intouch

CORE BELIEFS, Culture and Respect Key to Exceptional Service


When it comes to money matters, the one common goal most people share is the pursuit of financial peace of mind. And that’s exactly what Newcastle-based accountancy and business advisory firm DFK Crosbie has been focused on providing for the past 53 years.

Founded in Mayfield in 1965, the company split itself across three locations after their original office suffered extensive damage during the Newcastle earthquake of 1989. Around 25 years ago the company was reunited under the one roof at Warabrook, spending the next few decades consolidating and growing its business to become one of the largest regional accountancy firms in Australia.

The business now has offices servicing clients in Newcastle, Sydney and the Gold Coast, with around 101 full-time equivalent staff. Those staff will have even more room to move (and grow further) in 2019, with the company planning to take up one-and-a-half floors of the new Gateway building currently under construction in Newcastle West.

Among those who have been there for much of that growth is DFK Crosbie Partner Kirsty Porteous, who last month celebrated her 25th anniversary with the company.

She believes the success of the company comes down to its core belief, its culture and the respect it has earned in key markets.

“DFK Crosbie is a business service and advisory firm. Our main goal is to provide peace of mind to our clients by helping them through whatever they need help within their business and tax affairs,” she said. “It's about making sure that they don't have to worry about their business. It's about making sure they don't need to worry about their lodgements, or if their compliance applications are taken care of.

“It’s about making sure that we're contactable; if they've got something they just want to run past us, that they can get hold of us on the day that they need us. We like to make them feel comfortable just to ask any questions they like. "

“And it’s also about knowing that they can depend on us for advice and to make sure that things are looked after so that they’re not having to worry.

“We’re one of the largest regional accounting firms in Australia, and I believe that success comes down to probably two things.

“One is a couple of the niche markets that we've established, we have a specialist skillset in the hospitality industry, so we do a lot of clubs and pubs and not-for-profits, and so we're known particularly well in that industry.

“The other is, I think, just the way that we approach our work. We genuinely care about our clients, and we like to be involved. We form really close bonds with our clients so that we can actually help them with all aspects of their life, because it's not just about business and it's not just about making business decisions, it’s about how it impacts them quite holistically.”

Aside from working with businesses in the hospitality and not-for-profit sector, DFK Crosbie also specialises in providing business advice across a range of other industries and markets including health services, self-managed superannuation funds, wealth management and business finance. Their services include everything from the preparation of financial statements and business activity statements to business advisory and due diligence on business acquisitions or assistance with the sale of businesses, as well as audit and assurance services.

Kristy believes it is vital for businesses to seek outside advice in order to ensure they are in the best financial position possible. “I think it's critical,” she said. “There are so many moving targets in all aspects of business, there are legislation changes, there are compliance changes, there are so many different moving parts, and I think if they didn't get outside of their own business, they'd certainly be lost in it. I think it’s important that they reach out, not only to us as business advisors, but reach out to their business networks.

“You don't know what you don’t know. So if you're just confined in your own business and not reaching out to all of those different advisors and networks, then it’s quite scary what you could be oblivious to.”

DFK Crosbie is also focussed on reaching out, not just to new or existing clients, but to the communities in which they operate.

The company has a strong track record of community involvement and charity work, supporting everything from the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, Ronald McDonald House and the Hunter Medical Research Institute to Newcastle Civic Theatre and Home of the Arts on the Gold Coast, among a long list of others.

“We have a really heavy community involvement, at the moment, for example, we're one of the main sponsors of Charlie’s Run 4 Kids, and we’re the main sponsor of the Mai-Wel Comedy Debate,” Kirsty said.“We also have regular charity events in-house to raise money for charities that the staff can choose where they want the money to go.

“I think it's important because we see the benefit of giving back to the community. Obviously it feels good, and I guess we feel a level of corporate responsibility as well.

“It's a good opportunity to engage with the community, to engage in areas of the community that we might not otherwise get to have involvement with, and it's also a way of engaging our staff and getting them involved as well.”

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