Accountants are like financial doctors and Covid19 is like all your patients are sick at once | Jamie Beresford
Accountants are like financial doctors and Covid19 is like all your patients are sick at once | Jamie Beresford
“Whereas from a hacker’s perspective, it’s easier to trick then hack, and it’s about access security, okay? They go after the endpoint. They try and trick somebody into entering a password or they try and infect the computer and log keystrokes so that they can steal legitimate access via somebody’s accounts, okay? Now with the work from home thing, all of a sudden we’ve got these digital outposts in a business. Whereas before they were all physically inside this perceived perimeter in an office and an IT company looked after them. All of a sudden they’re out in all of these different environments, and you could have … There is a tonne of increased risk in those environments.
So you’ve got home wifi that aren’t as robust and potentially a hobby wifi hacker as a next door neighbour. You’ve got shared computers that have a higher propensity to infection, because other team members, especially kids, tend to click on things that and aren’t quite as savvy in what they click on. And you’ve got this whole blending between personal computing coming into the working environment. ” Jamie Beresford
Accountants and IT Specialists interpret the word ‘Cloud’ differently … and this could be wasting your firm money
How technology has changed for accountants and where accounting professionals can identify cost savings and efficiencies in IT
Security considerations accountants and bookkeepers need to adopt when working virtually or working from home
What Jamie learnt the Accounting Profession during Covid 19
How he manages his team virtually while working abroad in Bali and the Philippines
How flexible work conditions may be adopted in the future
How the book ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins had a profound effect on my thinking and that’s why he takes a long-term approach to commercial relationships.
In the interests of transparency, I’d like to let you know I do work with this team, though I believe I have still delivered a measured and interesting interview. You can read more about the way I work at EndorsementDisclosure.com
Heather Smith: Hey, Jamie, thank you so much for being on Cloud Stories today. Really looking forward to interviewing you and speaking with you today. Can I start off by asking you, icebreaker question.
If you were a superhero, who would you be and what would your special power be?
Jamie Beresford: I’d have to be Superman so I could fly.
Heather Smith: Easy, easy one. Awesome, thank you very much for sharing that. Did you hear that Daniel Radcliffe is playing the next … Oh no, he’s playing the next Batman I think. We’ve had a few people like Batman as well.
Can you share with our listeners a bit about your background please?
Jamie Beresford: Yeah, sure. I’d say, probably a pretty sort of average sort of kid grew up in Margaret River, WA on the very southwest corner of Australia. It wasn’t till around about age 19 or so when I decided that I couldn’t, things needed to change that I jumped on a plane and went to the UK by myself. And it was really that sort of travel where I sort of learnt and grew and got a good understanding of sort of who I am. And then that flowed through to starting out in business when I was about 25.
Heather Smith: How old were you when you left?
Jamie Beresford: Yeah, sure. I was 19. So I went to the UK for a couple of years and sort of found my feet as a human over there. Obviously a big learning curve of jumping into, coming from such a sheltered country town, and then came back to Australia at age about 22. And I realised that the downside of all of that is I’d sort of grown and changed too much to go into my beautiful town and grow up that I loved. And it was probably the most difficult thing I ever did where I realised, “Look, I need to go and do a little bit more here.” And I jumped in my car once again, with my car this time and not a plane, and drove across to Nullarbor and set up shop in Brisbane. And that’s when I started the IT services side of the business at age 25.
Heather Smith: So you literally drove across to Nullarbor Plain from Western Australia, from Perth?
Jamie Beresford: Yeah, yeah. That was as sane as that.
Heather Smith: All right, what road did you take? Did you go down towards Adelaide or did you go up through Ayers Rock, , Alice Springs?
Jamie Beresford: Yeah, with the bottom one.
Heather Smith: With the bottom one, all the way down, oh my goodness. How long did that take you?
Jamie Beresford: Takes about five days of driving and then I think I did it in two weeks or so. But yeah it’s sort of this innate, sort of couple of times there, that history of going to the UK then driving across to Nullarbor, it was periods in my life where I just went, “Okay, something’s got to change and I need to get off by myself to figure out what that is.”
Heather Smith: Sounds like an ABC TV drama movie, going across to Nullarbor.
Jamie Beresford: It does.
Heather Smith: As long as you don’t bump into anyone too dangerous you’re okay. But I encourage our listeners to go and have a look at Australia to see the sheer route that Jamie took, which was quite astounding for me.
Can you share with our listeners, please, a bit of an overview of the two businesses that you currently run?
Jamie Beresford: Sure. Practice Protect is a software business. It provides security and control for cloud accountants and bookkeepers. So we’ve established a solution to a need that we saw arise in around about 2016 as the cloud phenomenon has gathered momentum around. Just helping accountants and bookkeepers maintain control over the myriad of applications and log-ins that they’re requiring. On the Freshmethod side of the business, that was the initial businesses and is sort of personally my trade if you like. That’s an IT services business that is all about reducing cost and complexity or modernising IT for accountants and bookkeepers.
Heather Smith: Absolutely. Thank you very much for that. So when I explain Practice Protect to people, I explain it that it’s like this giant cyber bubble that they get inside and are protected by. Like one of those ones you hire and that you can play in the pool with. So, but thank you for that.
What is your role in the business today?
Jamie Beresford: So, I’m founder CEO. At an operational level my role is to do this sort of thing. So podcasts and webinars and speaking side of things. But mainly my role now is just about I’ve got six direct reports and it’s really about making sure they have got what they need and are feeling empowered and I’m not getting in their way.
Heather Smith: Excellent.
Jamie Beresford: That’s my number one focus every day.
Heather Smith: So you’re still involved, but you’re still doing the business development side of things. So this is a question I’m sure everyone wants to know the answer of from an IT service department.
How many times do you have to say, “Reboot the machine.”
Jamie Beresford: A lot I think, because it does clear out any issues. But most people, you know what, that’s something that, I’ve been in this business since the late 90s and people are pretty good these days. Most users have usually already done that. They don’t want to call you anymore than you know, so yeah.
Heather Smith: I think you’d need a game or a drinking game around reboot the machine.
On the May the 28th year tweeted, “I’ve learned more about what accountants really do for business in the last two weeks then I have over five years. You guys are like financial doctors and this is like all your patients are getting sick at once.” What prompted you to write this?
Learnt more about what accountants really do for business in the last two weeks than I have over five years. You guys are like financial doctors and this is like all your patients getting sick at once.
— Jamie Beresford, Practice Protect CEO (@jamie_beresford) March 28, 2020
Jamie Beresford: It was brain fart to be honest. I actually was getting around, it certainly wasn’t premeditated. I think between the thought bubble and where I was hitting sent was for about probably five, 10 seconds. But my perspective is, I’ve only been working with accountants since 2015, ’16, and I don’t … I’ve learned a lot about them and I thought I knew a lot about what they did until … And when COVID hit, then I realise it hadn’t hit me. And I look back now, so how stupid. But I hadn’t connected the emotional impact of looking after someone’s financials. And I guess what that was, it was a way of communicating that was like, “Oh my Goodness, you’re actually kind of having all this emotional baggage, accountants and bookkeepers, from clients.”
Heather Smith: Yes. Thank you for sharing that. It was a very emotional time and it is a very emotional time. And I know I was in a meeting with a group of candidates yesterday and all of us were actually bouncing off marriage counselling tips for each other, for our clients. Because we do get very emotionally involved with them and finances is a big part of their life.
Over the years, how has technology changed for accountants and bookkeepers or the profession?
Jamie Beresford: Yeah, it’s an interesting one, because in IT circles, when I talk about the fact that I worked with accountants, a lot sort of industry guys are, “Oh, that must be hard, they’re all traditional resistant to change.” And that’s completely untrue. Accountants have moved faster to the cloud than any other professional services industry. And we’ve got Xero initially to thank for that at the early part of last decade, 2012, 2013, when it all started.
Jamie Beresford: But accountants are actually from a technology perspective really forward thinking. They actually want to benefit from technology. They want to be on the front of this. They understand that things are changing rapidly. And to a certain extent from that market roundabout 2012, things have matured pretty quickly. You’re not having conversations anymore about, “What is cloud?” It’s more about how, we’re onto the next wave now where it’s like, “How do I integrate my cloud apps? How do I modernise the IT platform underneath my application stack? Because most of them are cloud now and I don’t need most of that complexity.”
Jamie Beresford: So yeah, it’s in the word cloud, I think the word cloud means something different to an accountant to what it means to an IT guy. What cloud, the term cloud to in the accounting world means computing in a browser. IT guys will often grab that and try and turn the word cloud into private cloud, so servers in the cloud. And I think what happened there, a step along the way, when accountants and bookkeepers went to their IT guy and went, “Look, I need to get on this cloud movement.” The IT guy turned around and said, “No worries. I’ve got a cloud for you.” And simply moved servers into their own hosted environment, which at the time there was a value proposition for that.
Jamie Beresford: But as internet connections have improved and as hardware has, the old Moore’s Law, lowered in cost and increased in performance and reliability, it has caught some firms out to a certain extent. Because now once, it’s almost like your mechanic owning your car where you’re locked in, you’re actually more locked in then you were if you were on-premise with your server environment and then for you to start to migrate towards what I believe the cloud isn’t in line with accountants and bookkeepers, and that is computing in a web browser, where there’s no server required.
Heather Smith: You’ve really connected a lot of dots for me in terms of why people have done things that I was like, “Why have you done that?” And it’s that interpretation and definition of the word cloud. And they may well have done it innocently in terms of putting in to what they felt they were getting asked to do.
Jamie Beresford: Well, it’s created the split where the apps in the ecosystem and the cloud accounting aspect has raced ahead. And then you’ve got this traditional IT platform sitting under it. And your local IT guy who often works with a lot of industries and has a standardised way of delivering business technology that’s probably built for industries that require a heavier footprint with more non-cloud apps. And there’s been a bit of a disconnect somewhere along the way, and it’s almost like an elastic band. The apps have gone so quickly and now it’s time for the IT platform to catch up.
Jamie Beresford: And we’re realising that what’s happening now with COVID where everybody’s reviewing everything. It’s sort of a time where everyone’s stepping back and going, “Okay,” especially from a cost aspect, and a big line item is that IT platform and the services around it. And a lot of firms are sort of assessing the relevance of that now and starting to look, because the apps, let’s face it, the IT platform is only there to support apps that accounts and bookkeepers use, okay? The apps have changed and now it’s time for the IT platform to change.
Do accountants need servers? Do any accountants need servers?
Jamie Beresford: Yes, it depends on the situation, okay? And the reason I say that is because it’s not necessarily all about cloud, because changing practise management systems is like ripping the spine out of a firm. So we’re not about in and going, “Well, you use AE and you should be cloud.” Because it’s almost become more of a buzzword now this whole cloud thing. Although ideally, your cloud app’s going to be great, it simplifies everything. It gives you greater remote access, et cetera. But some of these server-based platforms do have good, they are solid platforms, very mature platforms and if firms happily using them, you’ve got to assess the need for change. Especially if it’s a more established firm or a larger firm. And when I say larger, I say sort of 25 to 50 seats or more.
Jamie Beresford: What I would say though, that if you are a server based firm and you’re not going cloud right now, you’re probably looking at that in the next, it’s probably on your horizon. But like I say, you’re not quite ready right now to go ripping the spine out and changing core of your business tools. I would look at the way you’re procuring that platform or those servers, because things have changed very quickly in that space. Especially sort of since 2015 to now, you can procure and have that kind of servers running at a far lower cost and get far better performance from it and get those remote access functionalities that server-based firms thought they couldn’t have before until they moved to cloud.
Heather Smith: Excellent. Thank you for sharing that and shedding some light on that situation for me.
Where are the areas that accountants can identify cost savings and efficiencies?
Jamie Beresford: Sure. So first of all, how you’re procuring the server, the actual hardware cost is far less than we’re led to believe sometimes, okay? Further still, things don’t lose screen when you look at them funny anymore, like they did in the days of NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 server, okay? We’re kind of past that, and it doesn’t cost as much as it used to for an IT services company to make sure everything runs. Backup software is far better than it used to be. You’ve got online disaster recovery tools that are very mature. I think the consolidating that side of things also reduces a tonne of the management complexity as well for your services provider and what that means is, then being more available to user issues because they still stand. Even though the platform stuff, the backups, the servers, all of the infrastructure, it has commoditized somewhat.
Jamie Beresford: Users still forget passwords, get passwords wrong. Things still break. We still get in on a Monday morning, there’s been a power outage on the weekend, or somebody can’t access a document or have lost a file. All of these things still happen and you need to be right on to them. And that is where the value is these days, because when people are having to wait, no matter how little the problem, when team members are having to wait, it’s very frustrating for them.
Jamie Beresford: And in accounting teams, what that means is it becomes frustrating for the partners, right? Because partners are very focused on their clients and any internal issues becomes a very sort of source of frustration for them. When they’re hearing about their team unable to print, unable to do things around the office. And solving that problem for them is number one. The other thing is advisory, specific advisory, the modernisation journey. And I use the term modernisation instead of cloud. I believe that all firms need to move cloudward at their own pace, okay? But there is also a modernisation aspect of that.
Jamie Beresford: So having really industry specific advice where your IT platform is aligned with your App Stack and the opportunities to evolve your App Stack within the ecosystem is really important. So infrastructure kind of consolidated, the cost and complexity reduced on that side, better user experience and faster user experience for team members, and getting the right accounting specific advisory so you’re going on that modernization journey as an accounting or bookkeeping firm.
Heather Smith: I absolutely agree with your statement that they need to move at their own pace. However, I have so many accountants and bookkeepers say to me, “I wish I’d moved faster.” So many of them say that to me. So it is interesting, because I never push people or tell people what to do. I say, “Here’s the solution. Here’s the solution. I’m not the coach to move you there.” But then so many people, and I’m just like, “Why didn’t you do it two years earlier?” Jamie, what does your dream work from home technology setup look like?
Jamie Beresford: Nice and simple to be honest. Standing desk, dual screens. I try not to go overboard with screens, because I think screens are like a drug. Once you start getting used to too many of them, it’s hard to go back to your laptop. So I’ve weaned myself back to two dual screens in my home office. But look, we’ve moved around a lot. I’ve been living in Bali for the last few years. We’ve just come back to Australia with COVID and made a decision to move on again with Bali being in the situation it’s in. So I don’t have a lot of opportunity now to get my full-time set up. I’m often just on a laptop and a-
Heather Smith: Nicole Lynch from Streamline Management has a screen that is taller than her.
Jamie Beresford: Wow.
Heather Smith: She has this photo of herself with it.
Jamie Beresford: Wow.
Heather Smith: So as you just touched on there, you’ve managed your company from Bali in the Philippines.
What was it like working in Bali or the Philippines before COVID obviously? Is it the dream that we think it is?
Jamie Beresford: Yeah. It’s I think, wherever you go, you take the weather. So happiness depends on you, no matter where you are. I don’t think you can just move somewhere and be happy. But yes, fantastic. I think the main thing for me was just coming out. Probably the first half of my career was extremely stressful. And for a long time I thought this whole business thing was some kind of sick joke. I felt like I was 18 months from greatness for about 10 years. And an incredible amount of anxiety and stress went into kind of struggling my way through business and trying to get whatever there was. And I can say that eventually, eventually it just started to kind of click into gear as I sort of developed myself personally.
Jamie Beresford: And I think to a certain extent all businesses have crap going on. We all have processes that need to be fixed. Growing a business means you have more people to deal with and solve the crap. And that’s really what it is. All businesses make mistakes. Anyway, to answer your question that allowed me then to kind of move into the next phase and go, “Okay, there is a God, there is something in this business thing. I’m glad I went through all of that.” Now I have some freedom, before my kids get to old, let’s go and use that. And I used that time to move to Bali and get sort of really focused on the health side of life and just really pull myself out of the ops of the business physically and see what hit the floor, see what broke. And I think when you’re around as a leader, people will always look to you when you’re there on a day-to-day basis. And it was my way of going, “Okay, I’m getting out of here guys. Let’s see what balls hit the ground.”
Heather Smith: Excellent. Thank you very much for sharing that with us.
You have had extensive experience managing a virtual workforce. Did that prepare you for the COVID-19 lockdown?
Jamie Beresford: Most definitely, yes. And the global aspect of it was difficult, because you have different jurisdictions and different sort of stages of the wave that different countries were through. And so in multiple countries made it hard, but yeah, we were all geared up. We already had the rhythm in place to work remotely.
Heather Smith: Awesome, and circling back to the word global.
Do both Practice Protect and Fresh Methods work globally?
Jamie Beresford: They do most definitely, yes.
Heather Smith: Okay, thank you for that.
Moving forward, how do you see flexible working conditions being adopted?
Jamie Beresford: It’s a really good question, Heather, and it’s just going to be fascinating over the next few months. I think that the struggle is going to be to make it fair for everybody and getting some structured flexibility. So, we’ve already got people talking about like a late shift and an early shift and then a band of time in the middle of the day for collaboration. But in our own business, there’s certain people that don’t have that luxury. So such as our business development account management team, they need to be available for our customers. And then you’ve got other team members just by nature of what they do they have more chance for flexibility. So I think it’s going to be kind of be really interesting in how businesses adjust and who actually does … How much effort is put into it.
Heather Smith: No, it certainly will be. And whether they’re available in that nine to five sort of bandwidth of working hours. I mean, I know for someone like me, I rarely touch base with the client in real time. It’s normally task-based and virtually. But again, that’s something that I’ve driven for the last decade to do.
Jamie Beresford: Well, I’ve noticed working with you, Heather, you’re very structured and very organised and that is not always the case. I think as Australians, we’re very good at interrupting each other. And when there’s a thought bubble that pops into our heads, some, a client calls us and we just answer it because, and that client might just happen to be driving at the time and had 10 minutes and looking through their phone for someone to talk to and we drop everything. Whereas if you do what you’re doing, Heather, and actually structure that time and go, “Okay, let’s chat. Here’s a time.” You get a lot more control over your day because interruptions are killers.
Heather Smith: Yeah, they absolutely are. And this many people listening in will know, I actually don’t answer the phone and I don’t give out my phone number. And unfortunately at the moment, it’s just calls from hospitals, so. I don’t want it to ring any way, so. Such is life. So following on from that, what advice would you have, and I know it’s potentially not going to happen right now, but for someone wanting to manage their business from abroad? If someone’s thinking like you did, “I want to go abroad, I want to follow what Jamie’s done.” What advice would you have for them?
What advice would you have, for someone wanting to manage their business from abroad?
Jamie Beresford: Obviously having the right people in place, that’s a sort of given with this. Apart from that sort of leadership aspect, really getting your structured rhythm around your meetings, your daily huddle rhythm. Check out the scaling up daily huddles and that rhythm that they, methodology that they have. It takes about a month to get in place. But once you’ve got that in place, it drives accountability. It drives cohesion remotely, and you’ll be surprised how much you can get right once you’ve got that in place. And you really only need to fly in and out of wherever your market is once a quarter, if that, to go and meet with all of the people you need to meet and top up those face-to-face relationships and go back to wherever you are.
Heather Smith: Yeah, it is a funny world we live in, in that accounting conferences, which is where I always saw you. I had no idea you were working overseas, because like hi, I’m always physically face-to-face at the accounting conference and that’s where me the hermit would come out from my cave and you would come out from Bali. And so everyone’s like, “Oh, they’re always around.” But no, no, we’re not always around. So, going on to sort of another topic, what are some security considerations that accountants and bookkeepers should adopt while they’re working remotely or working from home? Now, I don’t want to scare people, but I know that sort of this is your area. What are some security considerations? Because I did actually see on the ABC that they actually think that this is going to be the next big thing, cyber security breaking through while everyone’s freaked out about other things.
What are some security considerations that accountants and bookkeepers should adopt while they’re working remotely or working from home?
Jamie Beresford: Yeah, it’s typical. And I was actually talking to Cameron from Etani this morning about this. Because when you talk about security, people think data security, they go, “Okay, where’s this app’s data located? Where is my data stored? Yada, yada, yada.” Whereas from a hacker’s perspective, it’s easier to trick then hack, and it’s about access security, okay? They go after the endpoint. They try and trick somebody into entering a password or they try and infect the computer and log keystrokes so that they can steal legitimate access via somebody’s accounts, okay? Now with the work from home thing, all of a sudden we’ve got these digital outposts in a business. Whereas before they were all physically inside this perceived perimeter in an office and an IT company looked after them. All of a sudden they’re out in all of these different environments and you could have … There is a tonne of increased risk in those environments.
Jamie Beresford: So you’ve got home wifi that aren’t as robust and potentially a hobby wifi hacker as a next door neighbour. You’ve got shared computers that have a higher propensity to infection, because other team members, especially kids, tend to click on things that and aren’t quite as savvy in what they click on. And you’ve got this whole blending between personal computing coming into the working environment. And that is in a nutshell the end points. Protecting your ends points, forget where data is stored, okay? You’re not going to get better data security than Xero or Microsoft Azure or Power BI, whatever those applications are. It’s about the end point and how people access that sort of thing. And really all work from home’s done is increase the risk because the end points have a higher propensity to infection.
Heather Smith: Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. How have your businesses been navigating COVID-19? I know you recently publicly shared up on LinkedIn that Practise Protected had hit 800 clients, congratulations. How have you been navigating everything?
How have your businesses been navigating COVID-19?
Jamie Beresford: So far so good. Maths wise, we’re trucking along. No, the Freshmethod side is significantly the one that’s blown up because of the reduced cost aspect. We’re finding that a lot of firms are very aware of what’s going to happen over the next couple of years inside of the economy and are looking to make changes to their expenses in preparation for that. And really that’s thrown Freshmethod to the fore of our business at the moment.
Heather Smith: Yeah, it is interesting that COVID-19 has encouraged a lot of people to review their cash flow and adopt some really good habits when it comes to cash flow, which is about reviewing expenses and actually understanding expenses. And you know, this is something that both accountants and our business owners should be doing as well.
What technology tools do you actually like using, either at work or personally?
Jamie Beresford: Pretty much all standard stuff. I’m a Microsoft guy. It’s a bit like the mechanic’s car. I’m not really a massive geek, my Fitbit app, my watch. Yeah, so and I have good headphones. I like quality equipment, but I’m not a sort of a massive gadget man, to be honest.
Heather Smith: Really? This is a shock to me.
Jamie Beresford: I was, back in the day, now it’s, I mean, I do get a kick out of having a schmick work setup, but there’s no apps outside of the ordinary that I would use that nobody else does.
Heather Smith: Okay, no worries. So you did mention before that you spent time sort of working on your personal development. And I know that you’ve mentioned to me that there’s some books that inspire you. So I’ll touch on them. That’s interesting. And maybe you can share with our listeners, pick one of them, and why it inspires you or why the genre inspires you. So it was Remote: Office Not Required, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier. Jason Fried wrote that other book, which was about getting started really quickly, didn’t he? I think he wrote that book. Good to Great, which you’ve mentioned, Jim Collins, Scaling Up, Verne Harnish and The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle. So what is it about? I possibly butchered those names. I apologise if I did. What is it about those books that inspired you?
Jamie Beresford: Oh, it was four books there. So the Remote: Office Not Required is written by the guys from Basecamp who built a completely remote business years ago. And I followed a lot of the sort of the mantra that they’ve used. Scaling Up, Verne Harnish is pretty much the MBA for entrepreneurs or SME business. It’s a nonacademic way to scale. It’s a methodology to scale a business and it’s everything I talked about. And being able to move overseas, et cetera, was learned from that book. Good to Great taught me consistency and that a long-term strategy and sticking to your knitting was, no matter … Regardless of external forces, helped me understand exactly where the true value in what we do is, and to stick to that journey and take a more longer term approach to it.
Jamie Beresford: And the other one, Eckhart Tolle has helped me being more present. So it’s about sort of being … I mean, kids come along, you’re so distracted with your devices and so much going on. The speed of information is really hard to kind of get on top of, and that kind of move to Bali. Reading that book was a bit more of about a journey of kind of getting present and getting a bit more control about how my brain works if you like.
Heather Smith: Absolutely. I always think, my children are 20 plus now, but I always sort of been frightful that motherhood as it typically was done 20 years ago was that I took the time out from work and actually got to focus on what’s happening around the children. And I do think that this time has actually brought a lot of people much closer to their family as well. Which is what you achieved by potentially working from overseas, which is hopefully a good thing for a lot of people. So thank you for sharing those with me. And they’ll be in the show notes for people to check out. So you did-
Jamie Beresford: May I ask?
Heather Smith: Yes.
Jamie Beresford: Yeah, tell me a little bit more about that,
Heather, what was it like? Were you working at the time? Were you running a business when you had kids?
Heather Smith: When I had children, I was living in Canada.
Jamie Beresford: Okay.
Heather Smith: I had my children young in Canada and then at, when they were about three and a half and five months, I moved back to Australia. I walked into a community event on the Gold Coast with people that I knew there. I met an old school friend and she literally handed me her old job, which was teaching accounting at the Griffith University on the Gold Coast. And so I taught at the universities, all of them, for about three years. And university teaching is, you can do around your children.
Heather Smith: And it was from there that I evolved. And I started teaching foreign small business management. And I realised, “Why are all these people running businesses? Why aren’t I running a business when I have all of these qualifications? What’s happening here? Why are these people with no qualifications running a business and I’m not?” And so I thought, “I need to practise. I’m going to experiment and start a business.” That’s what I did. It was my school project, and I did it. I’ve done it completely around the children. So I was working, using terminal services from day one.
Jamie Beresford: Wow. That’s awesome. At the end of the day, family and kids is sort of what we’re all doing here. It’s all for them. And so, you’ve had access to those tools and you had that thinking in place. Now there’s so much more available if we think about it in a different way and make sure that we are putting that foremost in our life.
Heather Smith: Absolutely. I know, at the very early days, and I went to a course run by Wayne Schmidt and he said, “This is how you use terminal services.” And he explained it all to us. Bam, we adopted it. And that meant I was able to work five hours remotely from home every day. So that’s 25 hours a week, which was perfect for me around the children. But yes, so that’s a little bit of my insight. So back to you turning the tables on me, back to you. Now you did mention something to do with Bali there. So what is next for you? I know it’s a bit of a difficult time to understand what’s going on, but what’s next?
Jamie Beresford: I’m moving to New Zealand with my family.
Heather Smith: In the travel bubble?
Jamie Beresford: Not quite ready to. Yeah, yeah. So I’m just waiting, clicking refresh, waiting for that bubble to open. Because yeah, not quite ready, a couple more years. I want to get a snow season or two in, and then we’ll eventually return to Australia, so yea.
Heather Smith: Because you’re in New South Wales, aren’t you?
Jamie Beresford: Yeah, I’m in Byron Bay at the moment.
Heather Smith: The Queensland bubble is going to open up for travel to New Zealand before the New South Wales bubble.
Jamie Beresford: I hope so.
Heather Smith: No well, I mean, our bubble’s going to open up. Queensland’s going to open up to New Zealand before New South Wales will.
Jamie Beresford: Yeah, okay. Yeah, interesting I will say. Yeah, we’ll see what happens. I think we’re at an interesting stage right now, because today they’ve just announced that there was a case from the BLM rallies. And that’s going to tell us a lot. If that blows up, I think that’s going to change things too. It’s make or break. If nothing comes out of that, they’re going to realise that, “Okay, we can probably go a little bit faster.” If that blows up into a cluster, it’s going to slow things down.
Heather Smith: Yeah, absolutely. And look, we do need to focus and make plans for the future and that’s a great plan to go to New Zealand, but we do need to be mindful of what’s happening. And it is interesting, so that’ll be sensational if you can go down there and enjoy. Do you think you’ll just pick one spot, or you travel around?
Jamie Beresford: Yeah, well we go to Wanaka. Yeah.
Heather Smith: Wanaka, is that the one out-
Jamie Beresford: Yes, it’s nextdoor to Queenstown. No, that’s next door to Queenstown, yeah.
Heather Smith: Okay. Thank you. Thank you for that. Excellent. So thank you very much, Jamie for talking with me today.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our listeners and how can they get in touch with you?
Jamie Beresford: Sure. Well, I think we’ve covered off everything that I sort of had no expectations coming in. But I’ll leave it there. Come to me in practiceprotect.com, follow Jamie Beresford on LinkedIn, is probably the best way to connect with me personally. firstname.lastname@example.org are all ways to get in touch and the IT services business is Freshmethod, so freshmethod.com.au.
Heather Smith: Excellent. Thank you so much for sharing that, Jamie. And listeners, you know now how to get in touch with him. Appreciate you listening. Thank you.
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About Heather Smith
A technology and management accountant, Chartered Accountant Heather Smith has a deep understanding of how automated online business tools and accounting apps can be used successfully to streamline operations.
Heather provides practical advice to accountants and business owners on how cloud business tools and apps can be integrated to improve workflow and surface information that can be used to make data-informed decisions. She shares her experience, methodologies, business strategies and work-life balance practices extensively through the Accounting Apps newsletter, Accounting Apps podcast, and Accounting Apps Mastermind Community plus multiple Accounting books, blogs and social media platforms.
Heather is also an FCA, FCCA, FICB, commerce graduate, and accredited trainer.
USA Accounting Today listed Heather as one of 21 people helping shape (and reshape) the accounting industry .