About Allan McKeown: Prosperity Advisers

Allan McKeown is the CEO of Prosperity Advisers. He has over 25 years experience providing business growth advice, corporate assurance, and strategic taxation services to a range of business clients. Asset Magazine has rated him as one of Australia’s “Magnificent 7” Financial Advisers and he has extensive experience as an independant Director of businesses in a number of industries including Power, Ports, Banking and Professional Sport.

Double Accolade for Advisory Firm

Prosperity Advisers selected as national finalist in two categories of the 2017 Hillross Financial Services Awards.

Prosperity Advisers is delighted to confirm that Hamish Landreth, Financial Adviser has been selected as one of three national finalists in the prestigious Hillross Financial Services award for Adviser of the Year. This significant achievement recognises Hamish’s genuine commitment to his clients by making a tangible difference in their lives. Prosperity Wealth Advisers Director, Gary Dean won the award last year.

Prosperity Advisers has also been selected as one of three finalists for Advisory Firm of the Year. The award recognises overall professionalism, operational excellence, superior client service, advice delivery and implementation.

Allan McKeown, CEO and Founder of Prosperity Advisers Group says, “We are very proud to have Hamish as part of the Prosperity team and are delighted that his hard work, knowledge and passion for his clients has been recognised.”

“We are also very proud of the collective efforts of our people across our Newcastle, Sydney and Brisbane offices. To be announced as a finalist in the Advisory Firm of the Year is a wonderful recognition for the tremendous effort our team has demonstrated showing ongoing excellence in providing personal financial advice as well as a clear passion for clients.”

The winners will be announced at the AMP National Advice Summit in Sydney, 17-19 January 2018.

Prosperity adds SME specialist practice

  • Supplements stellar growth in Brisbane practice
  • Holistic service offering key attraction
  • SME sector not well served

Roger Ng & Co – a specialist SME Brisbane-based Accounting & Tax practice has joined the Prosperity Advisers Group.

The SME sector is the engine room of the Australian economy and Queensland has a burgeoning small business sector. A key client group for both Prosperity Advisers and Roger Ng & Co, the SME sector features prominently in Prosperity’s growth plans. Joining forces means greater access for Roger Ng & Co clients to an expanded group of services and is a boost to Prosperity’s SME and private client network.

Combining the long history of both firms in delivering quality accounting, tax and advisory services in the Queensland market made a lot of sense for Prosperity Advisers’ Founder & CEO Allan McKeown, “We’ve experienced double digit growth at our Brisbane practice in each of the last four years including 12% year to date, so when the opportunity arose to merge with Roger Ng & Co we were excited by the prospect.”

Prosperity is a leading adviser to SMEs and HNW families with specialist teams in the Medico and Hospitality sectors and possessing a well-resourced Asia Desk. Expanding its client base in each of these areas is a key factor in its growth plans. “Our project to build the Advisory Firm of the Future involves embracing technology changes in order to advise clients using the latest thinking. Being a progressive firm was attractive to Roger Ng & Co and we welcome the more than 120 client groups and the team, from Roger Ng & Co that have joined Prosperity.” says McKeown.

“We are pleased that both Karen Ng and her father, Roger will continue with our firm. Their specialist SME knowledge will be invaluable in assisting Prosperity to cater for a market that is often not well served by its advisers; many of whom are trapped on the compliance treadmill.”

Following a searching selection process, choosing to join with Prosperity Advisers was a logical next step for Partner Karen Ng, “Prosperity offers a complete service for our clients from financial planning, accounting and business management using the latest technology, through to tax consulting and structuring, employee benefits and superannuation. It’s a one-stop-shop where our clients will benefit as they grow their businesses and family wealth. In addition Prosperity’s people really stood out for us as very approachable, client nurturing, highly knowledgeable and leaders in their respective fields. We are delighted to be on board.”

Prosperity creates opportunities for professionals to thrive

Prosperity is delighted to be a finalist in this year’s Australian Accounting Awards across two categories.

It follows recent awards for excellence among our team – Hillross Adviser of the Year for Gary Dean and 2016 Rising Star of the Year for Alex Hardy. Siobhan Sellick has been announced as finalist for Partner of the Year while Prosperity’s Professional Development Program is also shortlisted for recognition at this year’s Australian Accounting Awards.

Staff feedback surveys tell us that what sets Prosperity Advisers Group apart from other firms is our collaboration, professionalism, learning culture and team ethos – especially the lengths that we go to make a difference for our clients and to support each other.

This recognition builds on firm and individual successes awarded in 2016. We have been recognised again for the contribution our people make in helping to create stronger financial futures for our clients.

In becoming a finalist for Partner of the Year, Siobhan Sellick consolidates her 20 years of business advisory, accounting and tax experience working closely with individual, family and business clients.

Siobhan says: “I like to spend time with my clients getting to know them well. I meet with a client’s team, partners, children and people who influence or rely upon them. Prosperity gives me the freedom to work with other teams and the time to get close to clients and their families. I am not restrained in my approach so that I can provide holistic solutions and not just piece meal advice.

Mentoring my team to go beyond traditional compliance accounting has reaped rewards for individuals who have stretched themselves and discovered new skills and knowledge. It’s a very satisfying part of being a Partner.”

The Professional Development Program award recognises achievement for innovation in program development, implementation and outcomes achieved. Prosperity’s Learning Organisation approach underpins how we engage with each other and how we work with clients. For us to be recognised as the Firm of the Future we are embracing technology, changing how and when we advise and engage with clients and reshaping how we build enduring client relationships.

HR Director, Tanya Craft said “Personal and career development is an important consideration when people join Prosperity and our program aims to address the balance between technical, personal and professional growth.”

Category winners will be announced on 26 May at a gala dinner in Sydney.

Senior appointments cap Prosperity’s Bumper New Year

Award winning financial advisory firm, Prosperity Advisers, welcomes new talent in Brisbane & Sydney.

Senior leadership additions in both Brisbane and Sydney heralds continued growth for the firm and new opportunities for Prosperity’s clients. Joining the firm’s director team is Michael Mahabeer, specialist internal auditor and risk adviser and Michael Bode, business and personal taxation specialist.

Speaking about the additions to Prosperity’s talent line up, Chief Executive and Founder Allan McKeown says “The calibre of our directors is testament to the quality of work we undertake for our varied clients. Without quality clients and exciting and challenging work we would not be able to get the attention of candidates like our two newest directors. I’m excited to see the impact that our new starters will have on our clients and team.”

Michael Mahabeer boasts an impressive track record in senior leadership positions across internal audit and risk management. He led the transformation of the internal audit function at a large government owned corporation in Queensland and has held previous senior roles with Suncorp and PwC. Michael is an internal audit expert with specific knowledge and technical competency of the public and finance sectors. 

Michael Bode specialises in providing advice on Australia’s complex tax system for corporates, businesses and individuals. Having previously been director for many years in the tax consulting division of a global accounting firm, Michael has considerable experience advising on all aspects of taxation for international inbound corporate entities and high wealth private client groups, including mid-cap and family owned businesses. Michael is known for his straight-forward approach and skill at translating complex matters into every-day language.

These appointments capped an outstanding year for Prosperity. The firm picked up three industry awards; moved into fresh new workplaces in Sydney and Brisbane; and launched our Future Thinkers Program and Business Advisory Academy to ensure our people are ‘future fit’ for a fast changing professional environment.

Prosperity Wealth’s Gary Dean recognised as ‘Most Trusted Adviser’, securing Adviser of the Year Award from Hillross Financial Services

Gary Dean - blog

“To me this is the most important aspect of a financial adviser – someone who can take all the stress of managing the money on my behalf and at the same time be able to convey to me the knowledge and confidence to rest easy about the decisions I make.” Client, 2016

Prosperity Wealth Advisers is delighted to confirm that Gary Dean, Associate Director, has secured the prestigious Hillross Financial Services award for Adviser of the Year. Highly sought after, this award recognises not only the expertise which Gary brings to his dealings with clients and the industry, but the depth and meaning with which his clients view their relationship with Gary.

Allan McKeown, CEO and Founder of Prosperity Advisers Group says, “In helping our clients to create stronger financial futures, Gary has secured a position with his clients which is based on trust, mutual respect, genuine care, and of course, excellence. We are very proud to have Gary Dean as part of the Prosperity Wealth family and are delighted that his hard work, knowledge, abilities and passion for his clients has been publicly recognised.”

Independent client research through the Beddoes Institute was instrumental in deciding the award winner as was demonstrating a commitment to ongoing excellence in providing personal financial advice, robust and high quality advice processes and a clear and demonstrable passion for clients.

At the ceremony Prosperity Wealth Advisers was also recognised for a further year as a leading advice practice securing its status as member of the Elite Strategist Group among Hillross licensed financial advice firms.

Speaking about the award Gary Dean says, “To me it’s simple, I get to know my clients as individuals. Providing financial advice is personal and that’s the approach I take. Working with my clients gives me incredible satisfaction, I highly value my interaction with them and the trust they place in me and Prosperity. I am very grateful and humbled that my clients provided such great feedback which contributed to winning this award.”

For more information, please contact: Anne Adams (02) 8262 8718

7 business strategies for 2017!

youth-active-jump-happy-40815

(First published in Kochie’s Business Builders)

What can you do this year to ensure 2017 is their best year in small business yet? Here are 7 important strategies to help put you on the road to success.

# 1. Rest and read
As we know the whirlwind of being a business owner operator can provide a tremendous sense of achievement, however it can also take its toll mentally and physically if you don’t take time out regularly to recharge the batteries. Waiting for a time when things are quiet will mean the break may never come. A good friend of mine got me into the habit of booking a few breaks at the beginning of the year before the pendulum starts swinging. That way you will find it much easier to step out of the furnace.

Make sure you take a good book with you as well to improve your business skills. As business growth guru, Verne Harnish likes to say those who don’t read, barely have an advantage over those who can’t read. Exponential Organisations, the best seller by Salim Ismail was my choice over the holiday break and should be on your list.

# 2. Understand disruption
The book Exponential Organisations by Salmi Ismal is a good start to get an understanding of what all the talk about disruption is actually about. Moores Law – the doubling of computer processing power each year doesn’t just mean cooler iPhones. Coupled with some smart thinking, advances in technology are changing business models and all of our businesses will be profoundly affected over the next five years. It’s not all bad news though as your small business can benefit from better technology, higher efficiency and lower costs together with the fresh opportunities that change can bring.You need to start thinking now about:

  • What industry is my business really in?
  • What industry will my disruption come from?
  • How can I future proof my business and take advantage of these rapid changes

# 3. Embrace innovation
Innovation is not just about creating a new revolutionary app, it’s about ways of doing the same things better. Technology enables all of us to take advantage of these innovations to run our businesses better, faster and cheaper. The challenge for you as an owner operator is to commit the time to understand what’s available, what will help you serve your customers better and make your team members more productive. Don’t be distracted chasing every ‘bright shiny thing’ but there will be two or three systems or processes you can implement to radically transform your business.

# 4. Minimise your largest expense
Most small business owners don’t think about it this way but taxation is usually your largest expense. While we don’t advocate tax avoidance in any way there are many opportunities to legally reduce your tax. As the late Kerry Packer famously said “if anybody in this country doesn’t minimise their tax they want their head read because as a Government I can tell you you’re not spending it that well that we should be donating extra.

”You will need good advice though and if you don’t think you are getting it, there are plenty of good accountants that would be happy to review your position.Some very substantial changes to the Superannuation system have recently been passed with an effective date of 1 July 2017. While this sounds like a long way off, but depending upon your age and the amount of assets you have inside (or outside) of super, some planning opportunities may be available.

# 5. Plan to succeed
A recent Research report from BStar revealed that 72% of SMEs don’t have a formal business plan with only 34% allocating any time at all to strategic planning. Economic growth and opportunities are not evenly spread throughout Australia. Labour markets, population trends, business and consumer confidence are all influenced by local factors and we also have the impact of innovation and business model disruption. Business planning approaches have evolved to see the wasteful 20-page document become a thing of the past replaced by concise one page versions that can help you and your team understand the critical success factors for your business and stay focussed on implementing the necessary actions to achieve your goals.

# 6. Get great advice
Not even the great sports people can achieve success on their own. Business owners have clear needs for advice and assistance. You need an experienced sounding board, someone you can trust to discuss your plans and issues with and ideally keep you accountable to achieving your goals. There are many names for this role – mentor, guide, coach or adviser. It may be a friend, colleague, accountant or lawyer with some larger businesses forming a proper ‘board of advice’.Find the right person or structure that suits you, take some time out to think about where you want your business to go, get to work on your strategic plan taking advantage of some smart technology and you will be well placed to avoid the perils of disruption while you build your superannuation nest egg.

# 7. Have fun!
Don’t forget to take some time out to enjoy the ride.

Major US Tax changes imminent following Trump victory

486624026

Prosperity through our extensive international alliances provides local knowledge with a global reach. In a time of rapid regulatory and commercial change these personal relationships will ensure we stay abreast of developments that may be of interest to our clients and friends.

With the recent victory of Donald Trump and the Republican sweep of the U.S. House and Senate, it is likely we will see significant tax legislation as early as 2017. President-elect Trump has proposed some of the largest tax cuts since Ronald Reagan. If Trump sticks to his campaign promises, here are the major changes his administration wants to make on individual taxes:

  • Reduce seven federal tax brackets to three. Rates for joint filers would be 12% (less than $75,000); 25% ($75,000 to $225,000), and 33% (over $225,000). Brackets for single filers would be half of these amounts. Currently, the top tax rate is 39.6%.
  • Increase the standard deduction from $6,300 to $15,000 for single filers and from $12,600 to $30,000 for joint filers while ending personal exemptions.
  • Head-of-household filing status would be eliminated.
  • Itemized deductions would be capped at $200,000 for joint filers and $100,000 for single filers.
  • Repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the related 3.8% tax on investment income for higher income taxpayers.
  • Repeal the alternative minimum tax and the estate tax.

For business taxpayers:

  • Reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%.
  • Extend the 15% corporate rate to pass-throughs (e.g., S corporations, partnerships and LLCs)—but only “small businesses” would enjoy the lower rate. “Large businesses” would be required to be taxed as C corporations to get the lower tax rate. However, no guidance has been provided on what the threshold is for a “large business.”
  • Repeal the corporate alternative minimum tax.
  • Firms engaged in manufacturing in the U.S. could elect to expense capital investments and deduct interest expense only to the extent of interest income.
  • Deemed repatriation of corporate profits held offshore at a one-time tax rate of 10%.

The House has proposed a platform that is similar to the Trump plan. Even though there is significant overlap in the two plans, we have a long way to go in predicting the specifics of the 2017 changes. However, we expect that significant changes are on the way.

Prosperity Advisers Recognised Globally for Technology Innovation

lea-award-siobhan-sellick-and-allan-mckeown-for-prosperity-blog

This month in Shanghai, China Prosperity Advisers Group was privileged to receive a global award for Internal Technology Innovation of the Year. This highly competitive award recognises the achievements of Prosperity Advisers Group in technology and how the firm has embraced new ways of doing things to support its team internally and in connecting with clients. The award judging panel was chaired by US based professional services technology scion, Gary Boomer.

The prestigious award is part of an annual excellence program led by the Leading Edge Alliance (LEA) – an association of 200+ independent accounting and financial advisory firms from around the world across 620 offices in 106 countries.

Accepting the award on behalf of the Prosperity team, CEO Allan McKeown said “This award is testament to the dedication of Prosperity’s team, and seeing the work of Australian advisory firms recognised on the world stage is tremendous! Today our staff and clients expect accounting and financial advisers to have the latest technology and to quickly embrace emerging systems and cloud based solutions. The technology we developed which is the basis of this important award is the cornerstone of our practice because it is our client relationship and intelligence ‘hub’. Clients are the lifeblood of our firm and how we work with them through our people and technology to deliver smart solutions is what sets us apart.”

Also in Shanghai to celebrate the award win and to participate in international tax sessions with other LEA firms was Prosperity Director, Siobhan Sellick who says, “Technology is integral to the success of the accounting and advisory firm of the future. Prosperity Advisers is at the forefront of the push to embrace smart technology and software that will help us to serve our clients better, so they too can better compete and win in their respective fields. We are very proud to be recognised on a global scale for these achievements.”

The conference included working sessions on how professional firms across the world can share best practice initiatives for the benefit of our clients. Naturally, there was also a strong Chinese flavour that unmasked emerging opportunities from this economic powerhouse.

This award continues a string of accolades for the firm. Prosperity Advisers has recently taken out the NSW/ACT Accounting Partner of the Year Award from Xero, and was further recognised as finalist in two categories at the Australian Accounting Awards – Diversified Firm of the Year and for emerging leader Alex Hardy who was awarded Rising Star of the Year.

Paving the way for women in finance

2fd6d243-e08b-4d27-a11e-a26e75d60d99

We all know there is a large gender gap in the finance and accounting sector. A recent report showed that in financial institutions, women are holding only 19% of senior positions, 14% of board seats, and a shocking 2% of CEO roles.

Many firms are struggling to reach appropriate levels of diversity, even though gender-diverse workplaces have been shown to perform better. While this gap has been shrinking in recent years, it is still an issue when looking at leadership positions. At Prosperity Advisers, you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at our senior roles. Over 47% of our leadership team are women.  We sit squarely within the finance sector, and hold a total staff count of 60% women.

We have celebrated rapid growth within the company across our offices in Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane. With this growth, there has been a strategic shift in management and staffing requirements. Prosperity is proud of our eight recent internal promotions, of which five went to women within the company – from accounting to the management team to Human Resources. The current promotions will bring the leadership team to almost 50% female.

Chief Executive, Allan McKeown said, “Our goal at Prosperity has always been to foster an environment that supports the growth and involvement of our people. We provide challenging professional experiences and deliver the right tools and support to assist our people to drive their careers forward.”

We are proud to have created a working environment in the financial sector that builds women and men up equally. Our unique work environment fosters the growth of the individual and business together.

One of the recipients of the new internal promotions is Kelly Chard. Kelly has elevated from the Business Services and Tax team to become a new Associate Director. Having worked for the firm for 10 years, Kelly is a role model to others, representing Prosperity’s equal love for mentoring others and promoting the firm’s vision.

Kelly’s career has evolved over time: “At the start of my career I thought a great accountant would just get the numbers right or find the best tax outcome. With the internal training and mentoring through Prosperity I was able to extend this mindset and focus on getting to know my clients on a more personal level so that I now advise them in far broader areas including growth planning, managing their time efficiently and financially protecting their families.”

Stephanie McCauley is another great example of the career diversity evident in Prosperity. Having worked for the firm for many years, Stephanie initially started in administration, and then moved through marketing before landing in Human Resources. She has just been promoted to Manager within the HR team. She was able to test her strengths and support our growth plans across many different departments. Highly capable, Stephanie has earned her promotion through dedication and a strong work ethic.

Katrina Brooker has been promoted to Team Leader within the firm’s Smart Drive group. Her expertise and management prowess ensures efficiency and high quality service to our clients. Kerry Kreutzer in the SMSF team has been promoted to Supervisor, and Ashley Read from our Outsourced Payroll team has been promoted to Payroll Officer. These promotions show the range and extent to which we are dedicated to raising all of our employees to their best potential selves.

When considering where to work, flexibility is a big part of the equation for professionals in today’s world. Prosperity strives to make this possible for both women and men. Kelly said, “I’ve worked part time and at times remotely to juggle my study and family commitments during my time with Prosperity which has been really important to me and my family.”

Prosperity’s Director of Human Resources, Tanya Craft says “the right cultural fit is integral to our success. We have clearly articulated our Prosperity DNA so we closely align values and beliefs with those of our team and prospective team. This alignment supports our high standards of performance and ethics and a strong culture of learning, development and achievement.”

Women are thriving in all offices at Prosperity Advisers, proving that the gender gap within the financial sector will hopefully soon be a problem of the past.

Are you hungry, smart and humble?

Team player

Image source: The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues Hardcover – April 26, 2016 by Patrick M. Lencioni

 

An organisation is only as successful as the great people that go above and beyond to see the company succeed and to make clients happy.

Success is a team sport and there are various theories on what makes a great team player.

As our old friend Verne Harnish says those who don’t read barely have an advantage over those who can’t – one of the latest books he has recommended The ideal team player“ (by Patrick Lencioni) reminds us of the key attributes that we should look for when we are recruiting new members to the team.

Lencioni explains it like this ….

The Concept
An ideal team player embodies three virtues: humility, hunger and people smarts. The power this combination yields drastically accelerates and improves the process of building high-performing teams.

Hungry
Ideal team players are hungry. They are always looking for more. More things to do. More to learn. More responsibility to take on. Hungry people almost never have to be pushed by a manager to work harder because they are self-motivated and diligent. They are constantly thinking about the next step and the next opportunity.

Smart
Ideal team players are smart. They have common sense about people. Smart people tend to know what is happening in a group situation and how to deal with others in the most effective way. They have good judgment and intuition around the subtleties of group dynamics and the impact of their words and actions.

Humble
Ideal team players are humble. They lack excessive ego or concerns about status. Humble people are quick to point out the contributions of others and slow to seek attention for their own. They share credit, emphasize team over self and define success collectively rather than individually.

We have a great team here at Prosperity and this also resonates with our Prosperity DNA (Passion = Hungry and Team/Integrity= Humble) and our Brand promise of One Team, One Plan, Smart Advice.

Do you know if you have the ideal team players in your business? Do you agree with the ideal team player attributes that Lencioni discusses?

Did you know that Prosperity Advisers Group has business consulting services that can benchmark your business performance against others? Benchmarking is a great way for SMEs to measure the effectiveness of their team and their business against their competition in order to improve internal processes and ensure they stay one step ahead of the game.