Phil Aris, Countplus’ new chief executive described the business, named Blue789, as a growth facilitator, “partnering with businesses that are already successful, whose principals want to retain their branding and entrepreneurial control, and that have the opportunity to grow in their market”.
Mr Aris said current market conditions demand that accounting practice principals have access to succession solutions, and effective responses to industry changes and trends such as regulation, offshoring and technology disruption – both to stay competitive and to grow.
“While corporatised accounting firms can provide these benefits, we’ve also observed a common barrier to growth. When owner-operators sell 100 per cent equity, revenue and earnings can remain flat as principals are disincentivised to drive growth,” said Mr Aris.
“We are meeting the prevailing market with an innovative, and well-considered, shared equity business model.
“Practice principals will benefit from access to specialist and proven corporate expertise, funding and growth resources. Our hybrid corporate / owner operator model has received exceedingly positive responses from target businesses whose principals want both shared equity and corporate support to facilitate growth, particularly at key hurdles,” said Mr Aris.
This model is consistent with the previously announced direct equity plan for existing Countplus subsidiaries where principals and senior employees are able to acquire direct equity in their businesses.
Barry McGee has been appointed Blue789 chief executive.
Countplus Limited last week reported a half-year consolidated net profit before tax result of $8.73 million (down 7.4 per cent) and a net profit after tax result of $6.08 million (down 10.3 per cent). Excluding non-recurring financial planning loyalty payments ($1.61 million after tax), consolidated net profit before tax was up 20 per cent, while after tax it was up 18.5 per cent.
These half-year results, a significant increase on last year’s, reflect both strong performance from non-accounting businesses and continued challenging conditions in accounting and business services,” said Barry Lambert, Countplus chairman.
“Our diversified portfolio of businesses contributed strongly to the group result, while accounting business revenue was flat for the period,” Mr Lambert said.