You could say I’ve been a career Chartered Accountant for over 25 years.

I was a passionate accounting practice founder and owner for 18 years and have always been motivated to do biz and life in a way that honoured the important things in my life and that the two could co-exist in a balanced and harmonious way.

There was a time that my practice did dominate my focus, time and energy and I lost my way.

Thankfully I found a better way to run my practice before it was too late!

So after 18 years, I’ve pivoted and am now a trusted advisor, coach and mentor to accounting practice owners wanting to avoid or overcome the same mistakes I made. I help them start or re-design and transform their practices so they are fun, rewarding and profitable and are truly aligned with their vision!

Here is my practice story and how it ticked all the boxes ……..

Family

I have been married to Jason for 23 years. We have two sons, Callum is 18 and Dempsey is 17. Callum is in his first year of University studying Applied Finance and Dempsey is in his final HSC year.

I am the eldest of 7 children – I have 3 sisters and 3 brothers and family means the world to me.

Choice

I chose to start my accounting practice from scratch from my home in 1999 as there was no formal maternity leave policy in the mid-tier accounting firm that I was working in. I had Callum 9 months after I started the practice and Dempsey 14 months after that.From day one I chose:

  • the types of clients I wanted to work with
  • the types of work I would do
  • the technology I wanted the clients to use
  • the hours I would work and rules and boundaries around my availability.

Freedom

My husband and I wanted to create a business that would allow us to have a work/life balance and a business that would grow and and evolve with our family.

We had a sea-change in 2010 and moved to our holiday unit at Nelson Bay an hour away from the office.

I reduced my days in the office to three and we have never looked backed.

This led my to the decision to bring on a business partner, my youngest brother in 2013 and then a subsequent sale of the practice in 2017.

Fulfilment

My goal when I started the practice was to successfully combine my career with motherhood and I believe I have achieved this.

In 2014, my practice was awarded Hunter Region “Business Services” Business of the Year and I was awarded Hunter Region Businesswoman of the Year.

Jason supported me 100%, helped me initially in the practice and wholeheartedly took on the role as a “stay at home Dad” whilst completing a Bachelor of Commerce degree and Masters of OHS and started a part-time OHS consulting business once the boys went to school.

We also felt strongly about giving back to the community and instilling this trait in our children. It was through our involvement in these various groups that our family have gained lifelong relationships and friendships.

The roles of being President, Vice President, Treasurer and Board Member has been extremely fulfilling and include but are not limited to – disability services organisation (Mai-Wel), an aged care facility (Benhome), a surf lifesaving club (Fingal Beach SLSC) and a number of women in business boards (Maitland Business and Professional Womens Club and Port Stephens Women in Business).

Jason’s most fulfilling board roles were as President, Vice President and Board Member of Australia’s second oldest rugby club in Australia, The Maitland Rugby Club.

Money

Money obviously is a very important element of running a successful business and the money derived from my accounting practice was the predominate source of our family income for 18 years.

By having a successful and profitable practice, it ensured I could remunerate my staff well for their efforts, loyalty and commitment to living and breathing my vision for my practice.My vision for my accounting practice was:

  • that it provided professional, proactive and personalised service
  • a highly sought after practice of choice for clients and staff
  • a practice that constantly evolved, innovated and embraced technology and
  • a practice where culture was paramount.

I strongly believe in this quote from Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh “Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.”

Money was never and will never be the main focus of our businesses.

My new chapter ……..

Our mantra has still not changed since 1999 when I started Gascoigne Consulting – “it’s all about the balance, and it’s not all about the money”.

I’m passionate about helping accounting practice owners have practices that are fun, rewarding and profitable.

I’ve developed quite a niche working with female accounting practice owners with children who want to avoid, overcome and navigate their challenges by being guided, supported, coached and mentored from someone who has walked in their shoes.

I love supporting and guiding practice owners through education, empowerment and encouragement and a “hands-on” and “bespoke” way.

I love helping practice owners re-discover why they started their practice in the first place, to help them get clear on what their vision is for their practice and their life and to help them bring their practice and vision to life!

I love the freedom and flexibility of my business model and the wonderful technology that allows me to work with practice owners all over Australia and in the near future, New Zealand.

I’m an advocate for SME accountants and their SME clients and I give my time wholeheartedly and freely to a number of organisations.

  • I’ve been a member of the ATO’s Single Touch Payroll Readiness working group and a number of other ATO STP focus groups since November 2016, representing the voice of tax practitioners and their client
  • I’ve been an author of SME and tax practitioner focussed blogs and EOFY resources for MYOB since May 2015
  • I’ve been a presenter for MYOB at their Chalkboard Talks and at their 2018 Incite Conference in Melbourne
  • I’ve been a presenter for CPA at their 2015 Newcastle Convention
  • I’ve been a mentor in the CA ANZ Mentor Exchange Program since November 2018
  • I’ve been a mentor in the Inspiring Rare Birds Mentor Program since August 2017
  • I’m one quarter of The Business Activators and we tour regional areas of Australia presenting to SME’s on accounting, HR, marketing and WHS. I talk about the importance of SME’s embracing the finance, accounting and tax aspects of their businesses and show them how they can have better relationships with their accountants
  • I also produce educational tax, finance and accounting resources for SME’s and accounting practices under The Biz Buddy brand.