Her chartered accountancy firm, KAS Accounting Solutions, has offices in Darwin and Kununurra. “I understand the challenges facing business, especially small business,” she says.
“I’ve run my own small business and had small businesses as clients for many years. I understand cash-flow issues, staff issues, technical issues… “And that understanding helps me help business.” She lived in Kununurra for 15 years before settling in Darwin, which has given her a broad knowledge of life in the far north. “Darwin is much larger than Kununurra but they are similar in many ways – resources industry, tourism, difficulty of getting staff.”
Jodie is fresh from winning the Telstra Business women’s Australian Small Business Award. She was nominated externally without her knowledge. “It’s not just good for me – it’s good for all women running a business in this part of the world.”
KAS Accounting Solutions, which has an office in the city centre, is keen to grow its Darwin clientele. It offers many accountancy services, including:
• Setting up bookkeeping for companies – or even doing the bookkeeping for them
• Implementing cloud-based accounting packages and then training clients on how to use them
• Business mentoring
• BAS statements and regular payroll processing
• End-of-year tax returns and compliance
“We make bookkeeping and tax as easy as possible,” says Jodie. “We recognise that most business people don’t have the time, inclination or knowledge to do their own. “One of my clients installs bores throughout the Top End. He is hugely successful at what he does – but he doesn’t understand accounting. Why should he? That’s where we come in.
“We’re different from most firms; we’re not a standard chartered accountancy firm. We do our best to make life as easy and simple as possible for business. We’ve automated our systems. We use a lot of technology. We’re about data flow, not data entry. “Our clients don’t have to drive 600 kilometres to our office to sign a BAS statement.”
KAS business mentoring can be the difference between success and failure. “We take the time to understand your business and then give honest, practical advice on how to improve. “We come back to keep checking how things are going and often make further suggestions to ensure any changes are embedded. “Our mentoring gives our clients the confidence to try something new.” The firm has a wide range of clients, including cattle stations, construction businesses, tourism operators and restaurants, ranging from sole traders to fairly large companies.
It also has many not-for-profit clients, including childcare centres, sports clubs, Indigenous organisations and employment agencies. “In many ways, we are the backbone of the not-for-profits. Because of the transient nature of northern Australia, CEOs come and go. But we’re always here, holding that corporate knowledge.
“We do that sort of work very well. “We’re not about big fees from one client but about developing a strong, broad client base with long-term relationships.” KAS Accounting Solutions, which has eight staff in Darwin and nine in Kununurra, has a reputation for training young accountants.
“Like all Top End companies, we have trouble attracting skilled staff to the northern region. So, we grow our own with graduates directly from university.” Jodie remembers the shock of moving from Sydney to Kununurra. But she soon came to love northern Australia, realising that living here is living somewhere different, professionally rewarding and a fantastic community to raise a young family.
Jodie and her family are now happily settled in Darwin. Her husband is a pilot with Airnorth; her eldest child is at Essington School and the younger at childcare. They live on a two-hectare property in Howard Springs. “We’ve lived and breathed the Top End for many years now. We love it here. We’re not going anywhere.”
KAS Accounting Solutions
1/17 Lindsay Street, Darwin 0801
08 9169 1699