The Business Improvement Program

What if we told you what it takes to make your business more Profitable, more Valuable, and more Enjoyable?

And importantly what the best businesses have done to achieve those results?

Plus we help you with the implementation so that you get the results you seek.

That’s exactly what we do at the leading 2 day program designed specifically for owner managed businesses and CEO’s.

Continue reading “The Business Improvement Program”


Top 10 Tips To Move Ahead of Your Competitors & Stay Ahead Of The Curve

Yellow paint burst made light bulb
Yellow paint burst made light bulb

That’s hard to do you may think… And you may be right but let’s explore this.

Right now, you are in a business and you know what your challenges and opportunities are and you may have a clear plan of implementation in progress,  but then again you may not.

We are experiencing challenging times right now regardless of where your business is at and what product and services you provide. There are brilliant opportunities to move ahead of your competitors and win more market share.

I would like to share with you what the best businesses around the world have done to get ahead of the competitors and stay ahead of the curve.

  1. Review, refine and document your vision.
  2. Obtain feedback from your team and clients and incorporate the key comments into your vision to obtain the maximum buy-in to what you are trying to achieve.
  3. Develop a plan of action & implementation that holds all parties accountable for the desired results. The best plans are built on knowing your strengths and developing a targeted approach to build market share.
  4. Develop a winning team culture. Shore up your weaknesses and develop contingency plans to insulate and protect your business as much as your resources will allow.
  5. Celebrate your success with stakeholders.
  6. Clearly communicate your point of difference & deliver loads of value to your target audience and ensure your clients condition is significantly improved as a result of buying from you.
  7. Develop and attract talent.
  8. Manage your critical success factors daily and weekly and take corrective action. Be courageous and act quickly (not hastily).
  9. Know your key financial numbers and breakeven – build a financial dashboard and monitor regularly. Reinforce this with monthly management meetings.
  10. Continue to evolve and innovate. One of the best mechanisms to fend off competitors or theft is to constantly innovate, evolve, differentiate, be bold and stay ahead of the curve.

Fine tune your strategy to be consistent with your objectives in the context of short, medium and long term goals to maximise your return on energy & investment.

There are no guarantees in life however, an action plan supported by a never give up attitude certainly helps.

I look forward to hearing about your success.

Australia & UK Company Collaborate

Australia & UK Company Collaborate

Australia & UK Company CollaborateMSI Global Alliance, a leading international association of independent accounting and network of law firms, has appointed Joondalup accounting firm McKinley Plowman & Associates to its

Membership of the MSI Global Alliance provides McKinley Plowman & Associates’ clients with the combined benefits of working with their local adviser while having access to an expansive global reach of trusted and proven legal and accounting professionals membership.

Alec Blacklawdirector at McKinley Plowman & Associates and MSI area representative for the Asia Pacific region, says clients gain the advantage of accessing comprehensive  professional expertise across the globe at a highly competitive fee structure.

Mr Blacklaw says global expertise and specialist information is accessed on a needs basis, thereby ensuring the client, who has continuity with the trusted adviser who understands their business, only pays for what they need.

“We are delighted to join MSI Global Alliance as it provides our clients and ourselves with a terrific opportunity to access solutions and do business more efficiently across our local region as well as all parts of the world,” Mr Blacklaw says.

“Our association enables us to leverage proven legal and accountancy global expertise for clients at far more competitive rates than those associated with global legal or accounting firms.”

Mr Blacklaw says MSI Alliance relationships are already assisting McKinley Plowman & Associate’s clients with United Kingdom and South African tax matters as well as migration issues through the specialist migrant services of Melbourne legal firm Aitken Partners.

Gordon Lilley, director of UK based Caldervale Technology, a United Kingdom company which is setting up its Asia Pacific regional office in Malaga, says working with McKinley Plowman & Associates provides his company with access to a critical comprehensive range of services extending beyond accounting, legal and business planning.

Mr Lilley says an introduction to Mr Blacklaw through an Alliance member accountant Simon Palmer of Armstrong Watson in Britain has provided for a smoother transition into the Western Australian marketplace and opened the right doors for Caldervale Technology.

“We gain immediate advice to trusted specialist expertise on taxation, legal, accounting and business planning matters and we’ve also been given introductions to relevant and essential contacts in government and business organisations,” Mr Lilley says.

“Alec hit the nail on the head in terms of the introductions that he has given us.

“With Alec’s contacts and introductions we’ve been able to achieve in three or four days what would have normally taken at least a month.”

Mr Lilley says the new Malaga branch will distribute Caldervale Technology’s PE plastic pipe welding equipment and other industry related products to the water, gas and mining sectors throughout Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.

He says setting up a distribution centre in Malaga, which results in a significant reduction in freight charges for regional customers, allows Caldervale Technology to add value for its established client base in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.

MSI’s coverage in Australia and New Zealand, brings together 16 leading independent legal and accounting firms that provide specialist services to local and overseas businesses.

Donal Watkin, chief executive at MSI Global Alliance says McKinley Plowman & Associates are a tremendous fit for MSI in the Perth market.

“I know the firm will make a strong contribution to the continuing development of MSI’s services capabilities in the Australian region, “ Mr Watkin says.

Since its foundation in 1997, McKinley Plowman & Associates, based in Joondalup, has become one of Perth’s biggest suburban accounting companies providing the expertise and resources of large city based firms, while offering the competitive fee structure and personal service of a family based business.

The firm, with a total staff of 40, provides a full range of accounting and taxation services as well as business improvement, financial planning and finance broking.

Clients include individuals, small to medium enterprises, corporations, start ups and entrepreneurs.

MSI Global Alliance Association of the Year

MSI Global Alliance awarded Association of the Year 2013

MSI Global Alliance was announced winner of ‘Association of the Year’ at the 2013 International Accounting Bulletin Awards.

MSI was presented with the Association of the Year award during the IAB awards ceremony held at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in London on 14th March 2013.

Attracting more than 100 nominations worldwide, the IAB awards were judged by an independent panel of accounting experts which saw MSI Global Alliance (MSI) emerge as the winner in one of the most competitive categories with six associations shortlisted.

The International Accounting Bulletin is the leading authority of the global accounting industry and regularly analyses firm performance and best practices. The 2013 IAB awards honour individual excellence, innovative practices and firms that have risen above their peers in the past 12 months.

MSI was praised for effectively harnessing the use of innovative technology to connect with its global members having recognised the fundamental shift in the way in which professional firms, clients and stakeholders communicate.

Donal Watkin, chief executive at MSI, said: “The award is a significant endorsement of our growing presence in the international marketplace, the calibre of our members and our focus on building strong collaborative relationships between firms across the association. It is also a recognition of the strong contribution from our Secretariat team, to whom I would like to express my gratitude.”

5 top tips to succeed in Business.

Alec Blacklaw, leading Strategic Advisor to business owners, shares 5 top tips that  leading businesses employ to enjoy and maintain  their success.


It starts with a dream. A passion to improve the outcomes for people. A product, a service, an idea that will make sure that people get a better result or experience.


Once the dream evolves and takes shape flesh out the vision and alternate strategies to achieve the big picture. Understand the structure that will be required,  designing the culture of the organisation to allow it to differentiate and engage with the target audience. You need to stand out.


Take action and put in place the critical success factors for the business. Talking only gets you so far;  time for the rubber to hit the road.


Measure and manage the important things on a regular basis to make sure you are on track. Watch the trends, the dashboard and take corrective action quickly.

Understand and manage your cash flow. Reward your people for excellent performance.


Always look to improve on what you are doing . One step at a time. Engage . Dont rest on your achievements – continue to invest in yourself, your people, your products and services , your brand.

Sharpening the saw every day and week . It’s a journey not a destination.

Boost your Bottom Line!

You want to get great results from any money you spend with any consultant, service provider, or Accountant. That’s a given.

 I understand that – who wouldn’t?

You may have had a less than perfect experience in the past and want to be more certain that the next choice you make when choosing an advisor is way better.

And you want to achieve much more from the relationship – on a number of levels. Where you will obtain lasting and sustainable results that really add to your bottom line.

Simple clear english – no jargon , with a focus on the outcomes you desire. I get it.

Most people are happy to pay a fair price if they get the results they seek. You are probably no different but you want some certainty.

OK, here’s what I suggest:

  1. Be very clear about your objectives, what you want and when.
  2. Confirm your expectations with the service provider on your first meeting. This  first meeting should be complimentary and carry no obligation so that  you can mutually understand if there is a good fit.
  3. Expect the service provider to prove they can deliver the results you seek, based on their clear advice and track record in the context of  your issues and challenges right now.
  4. Develop a plan of action that defines your objectives and expectations.
  5. Confirm how you will measure the progress,
  6. Mutually understand the value you will obtain from this engagement –Qualitative and Quantitative.
  7. Understand and document the progress, what you will get, how you will benefit, the time line for delivery and your investment and options to pay.
  8. Take Action, be Courageous & be prepared to Implement what is required.
  9. Measure and manage – everything ! And realign based on what you learn .
  10.  Be accountable for results.

You will start to see the results appear which you will be able to enjoy and which will make a huge difference to your bottom line.

Searching for a Great Accountant!

Looking to find a great accountant who can help you with your business?

You want great value for money, someone who listens to you, who understands you and can give you options and clarity on a range of matters affecting you and your business as it grows and develops.

This advisor will be pro active, can act as a sounding board and complement the talent you have inside your business. This may mean different things for you depending on where your business is at right now, in terms of its maturity and your journey so far, your current challenges and opportunities.

You may be at start up, or established but needing a fresh approach, or in growth mode with your own unique challenges or looking to maximise the value of the business on exiting the business in full or in part.

Then there’s the everyday support and pro active advice with compliance in all its guises.

An experienced business advisor and accountant will have the talent you need and will partner with you on these issues, challenges & opportunties.

Top 10 Tips to finding the best advisor for you.

  1. Have a No Obligation complimentary session to see if there is a good fit.
  2. Identify your key objectives and expectations – obtain a comprehensive document that explains in simple English what you get, what the cost will be and when you receive the outcomes you desire.
  3. Someone who will review your business structure to ensure it meets your current and future objectives & confirm the optimum business and legal structure.
  4. Someone who will proactively explore all options to legally minimise your income and capital gains tax – now and in the future. Perform a regular review of your trading performances and know your tax position and cash flow in advance.
  5. Someone to assist you really understand your Critical Success Factors and be able to produce accurate and intelligent reports on your performance – Measure and manage, discuss, taking corrective action regularly (before it’s too late).
  6. Cash flow is everything…. confirms where you are making your profit and understand your break even position – from a cash flow and a profit perspective.
  7. Protect your assets – understand where the real value is and protect your Brand, Intellectual Property, communicating your unique Point of Difference – consider separating this from your trading entity.
  8. Someone who will help you build your wealth & maximise the performance of the business so that the business can operate well without you, so you can exit at a time of your choosing for the value that you want.
  9. Make it fun for you, your partners, your clients and your team. You spend so much time in your business – you need to enjoy it and get the rewards. Your customers and community will be more attracted to you (more sticky) if your organisation is fun to be around. We already assume your products and services deliver awesome value.
  10. Someone who will help you build a winning/high performance culture that emotionally connects with your shareholders, team and target audience.

Passion Focus Capability, the winning combo!

Why is it that some combinations seem to work better than others?

Or that the combination of particular ingredients makes all the difference? Hmmm.

A coincidence or not ? I think not.

The right combination of Passion, Focus and Capability will produce great outcomes.

Are you drawn to people who are passionate about what they are doing, presenting or speaking about? You are more likely to connect with a brand, product or service that evokes passion or arises the passion in you.

So what’s your story? What is it about your business or product or service that stands out and deserves to be listened to?

In a crowded world where competition for your interest is huge, your point of difference needs to connect with my heart and mind!

You need to get my attention and connect with my needs, my challenge, my pain, my problem…

Is that making sense?

Ok , so sit back and review your value proposition and test that your message is truly connecting with your target audience.

Focus is a challenge for most people and most businesses. Understanding and working on what’s critical for your success; employing your time & resources wisely, ensuring all decisions fit with your vision is VITAL.

Continually ask yourself – ” Is what we are doing right now moving us closer  to our objectives? ”

If it’s not moving you closer, then stop doing it. And get back to doing what matters and that will make a difference to your success.

Capability is a minimum standard you might say. But does your business, product or service do what you promise? Is it consistently doing this over an extended period and exceeding expectations? Your feedback, amazing testimonials and increased sales and market share will confirm this.

Is there something in your “Offer” that delights your customer and delivers more than expected? If not,go back to the drawing board,  re-design   & add that missing ingredient.

Think of the great businesses, products or services that you admire… They will all do this.

That’s why they are in the top 5% in their segment.

Be prepared to invest whats required, in advance and stay the course.

Don’t give up, others will.

It’s worth the investment of time and energy.

The journey to a successful business.

Lots of business owners succeed, lots of businesses are doing some great things and achieving their goals.On the flip side there is whole other bunch that are not doing so well. You probably know of some.

If business was like the Olympics or the World Cup, most countries would struggle to consistently qualify. The statistics confirm that the large investment of resources by lots of people does not deliver the results that most seek. And then there is the opportunity cost and huge social and personal implications for those that don’t succeed. Tragic.

There’s a pattern – and it’s not always clear, but like those crazy mazes if you look hard enough it’s there.

Aha – now I see it! – More profitable, valuable and enjoyable.

That’s the three amigos.

Imagine having a business that ticked all 3, consistent with your specific goals and objectives. Not mine but yours. Once you have  those three consistently humming and aligned, you really have something that will win the hearts, minds and dollars of your target audience. And everyone  involved has way more options. Fact.

One is good, two is cool and all three is pretty amazing. It will be the leading business in the segment, by any standards. You will know and admire businesses that are profitable, valuable and enjoyable. You will buy from them, you will want to be part of them, invest in them, follow them… They will be succesful.

Ok, so let’s say your business is profitable but not truly valuable – it is on paper, but you don’t have loads of buyers knocking down your door, wanting to buy you out at a price you would be  thrilled with. Or else the offer is not on terms and conditions that suit all stakeholders.

Or maybe your business is profitable and valuable, but is not a whole lot fun… perhaps not all of the board is aligned, or you are having trouble attracting and retaining the right people, or not connecting with your customers as well you would like. Your target audience is not fully engaged or it’s a struggle… sound familiar?

It’s often the more enjoyable bit that many people relate to and want more of . And it’s the bit they haven’t got right.

The challenge is to create & build a great culture, developing the emotional connection
that is required with all of your stakeholders, to succeed over the longer term.

Look at the businesses that are truly succeeding – on many levels and that are sustainable. They will have all three firing and running smoothly.

They will have a brilliant vision and point of difference that all of their stakeholders will have bought into. Their passion will shine through and you will passionate about them, their
products or services.

That’s why two out three isn’t enough.

Australia & New Zealand’s Leading Advisory Firms to SME Companies

Australia & New Zealand’s Leading Advisory Firms to SME Companies

Welcome to the regional website of the Australia & New Zealand legal and accounting member firms affiliated with MSI Global Alliance (MSI), one of the world’s leading international associations of independent professional firms.

In Australia and New Zealand, MSI brings together 14 leading independent legal and accounting firms that provide specialist services to local and overseas businesses. To view the locations where we can serve your business in our region, view our Locations page.

As a group we are committed to serving companies and individuals both in Australia, New Zealand and around the world. To find out more about MSI’s global membership, please visit the global MSI site.