Anthony Ryan, Director of Sounding Board Project, is passionate about the Mornington Peninsula and the clients that he and his team work with. Whilst they do the stock-standard accounting functions, their services delve a lot deeper and clients lean on them for far greater range support. They do indeed act as a sounding board, with issues like conflict resolution to buy-out strategies or financing and refinancing assistance. This level of involvement, consultation and advice makes them a valuable resource.
Of course the nature of business has changed significantly of late, so they have had to be as nimble and innovative as their clients to navigate through the rules, regulations and client demands during this time.
"In some ways it’s business as usual," says Anthony. "At the end of the day as much as circumstances around us have changed, business compliance regulations are still in place, so that essential service we provide to our clients is not going to change. Tackling these functions proved difficult during the early stages of the Covid crisis because we effectively had to down tools for extended periods of time to deal with the initial burst of panic that clients went through facing such uncertainty."
Anthony wanted his team to provide as much support and guidance as possible in relation to the stimulus measures. As a result of the scenario everyone was facing they had to talk with lawyers, landlords and tenants trying to make sure that their clients were getting the support they were entitled to. Sadly not all of the commercial landlords have played fair, trying to avoid assisting some clients - who have been very good tenants for extended periods – under the government’s guidance on rent-relief program.
"A lot of time has been spent on the JobKeeper system and helping clients understand their accessibility rights, and when necessary, getting involved with the application process, the registration and the reporting requirements. That has been extremely time consuming across the last four months, and I’d say in that time we would have, by nature of our approach to the program, have gifted around two months of chargeable hours to our client base - offering support at a pro-bono level just to make sure that everyone was able to tap into that eligibility."
Whilst it has been a hectic and volatile period, Anthony believes they are very fortunate in so many ways that the robust nature of their client base has meant that that none have had to close their doors or struggle with being able to bounce back effectively. "It’s a testament to the level and quality of businesses we work with," he says. "Grit and high-level business acumen means they have been able to navigate, and survive, this challenging time."
Government support aside, Anthony believes their clients will be much stronger on the other side of this. "They have been innovative, agile and as cost conscious as possible, reviewing their business models to make sure they survive moving forward."
The general feeling on the Mornington Peninsula community is that we all feel fortunate to live here. The local pride is high and there is a sense of positivity despite what has gone on and the initial uncertainly and panic period we faced when businesses were first being closed down.
"I have seen a very positive approach from the business community we deal with," explains Anthony. "The innovation shown has been so impressive where businesses had to pivot and adjust their formulas overnight. Overall I think the peninsula is really well-placed for recovery, and given the restrictions on international travel I think the area will prosper when lockdown regulations are lifted. Once we enter spring and summer businesses will really benefit from the local tourist trade in our own backyard."
Sounding Board Project services:
- Taxation Compliance
- Financial & Management Reporting
- Self-Managed Superannuation
- Virtual CFO
- Business Planning
- KPI & Performance Monitoring
- Succession Planning
- Estate Planning
- Cloud Solutions
- Business Support Services
Suite G1, 315 Main St, Mornington
0472 695 553