Listen to this episode here: Leadership in the Accounting Field

Welcome to our blog for TALKING NUMBERS with Paul Jansz. Today we share our conversation with Teddy Kosasih, the Managing Partner at Pitt Martin Accountants & Tax Advisers. Teddy is also the winner of ‘AccountantsDaily Accounting Consultant of the Year’, and ‘Public Practitioner of the Year’.

About Pitt Martin

Pitt Martin Accountants & Tax Advisers is a boutique CPA accounting firm with a vision to impact businesses, the profession, and communities by doing small things in a great way. The team tries to empower business owners to achieve their objectives and purposes, by serving communities and people, adding value to the business with patient and humility.

Changes in 2020

Teddy says COVID-19 has changed things. They had a plan with a list of things but had to pause them. They had to adjust and pivot the business to stay on the right track. The job keeper policy came with a lot of work for them. They have to put on more staff to cope with the workload. At the same time, a lot of things got slowed down.

Teddy says it is the nature of the business, and sometimes it’s as proactive as it can be. The accounting industry has to be reactive to governmental changes, and they don’t have a choice. The clients always turn to their accountant first for their advice to get through that gap.

Trends in the Industry

Many people say that there’s been this transition from accounting to consulting over the last decade, or we can call it from compliance to consulting.

Teddy believes there are many opportunities in terms of business advisory. However, compliance advisory is still fundamental for many clients because they need to get on top of government changes and regulations.

Public Practitioner of the Year

When asked about the rewards, Teddy says it was a team effort. The team doesn’t just analyse a client’s financial statements. They also advise on improving profitability, managing cash flow, and performance review. They set up monthly meetings to have conversations on business performance improvement and cloud solutions, which could potentially increase the business’s efficiency. At the same time, Teddy and his team advise clients on tax minimisation strategy and the best structure for the business moving forward.

Most importantly, Teddy says, they also keep checking in with the client to make sure that they comply with the government regulation such as FBT, GST, depreciation, superannuation, income tax, and more.

Another feature Teddy and his team offer is to provide opportunity advice. From government regulation changes to new solutions, they make sure their clients don’t miss out on the opportunities.

Teddy emphasises that collaborating with other professionals in the network is the key to be trusted advisors. Business is not just about numbers in profit. Teddy’s goal is to make an impact on businesses, professionals, communities, and people’s life. Teddy shares that the first thing they do, when a client walks in, is asking such as: “How are you going?”; “How’s your family?” and “What’s your interests?”. Then another important question is “What do you want to achieve in the next five years?”. These questions help Teddy understand the clients and their goals.

Biggest Learnings

Teddy says that the clients come for two things: minimising tax legally and creating wealth. Teddy enjoys helping clients proactively improve their strategy and net value, including leadership, talent, acquisition, and providing mental support to achieve these two goals.

Teddy cites that most business owners don’t have a handle on their cash flow, because they’re too busy running the business. Inadequate cash flow management can cause more problems. He believes it’s their role to step in and help them manage the cash flow. Many business owners are very time-poor, they don’t have time to research or update themselves with the available technology to simplify the process and create more efficiency. Teddy’s job is to keep up to date with a cloud solution that fits the clients’ businesses. Last year, one of their group programmes was introducing the technology to members and clients to streamline their process.

Teddy introduces the ‘Three P’s’ principle. The first P is purpose. Purpose for Teddy is to make a difference in people’s lives through the business and professional journey. His team is committed to serving with high integrity, patient and humility.

The second P is passion. Be passionate about the client’s success. They are committed to working consistently, diligently, responsibly and taking steps towards business goals.

And the third P is people. Teddy believes businesses should invest in the right people and personal development, constantly challenge them to unlock their full potential, so that they can be the best in the market to serve the clients.

Advice for Good Services

Teddy believes that success has nothing to do with what you can accomplish for yourself or how much money you make. It’s about what you do for others. It’s about the difference you make in people’s life. So never start a business just to make money, start a business to make a difference.

Teddy thinks there are three things to ensure good services. The first thing is “service over status”, which means you need to forget yourself and start serving, no matter what titles you hold. The second character of good service is to “overcome the inconvenience”, because when your client needs you, there won’t always be a perfect time. And the last one is to recognise that sometimes we just need to shut up.