Geographically, Johnsons MME’s client base is broad and reaches around Australia although the majority of our work is for clients based in the Southern NSW Riverina and North East Victoria regions.
Based in the regional centres of Albury/Wodonga and Wangaratta, we work for many different types of clients such as privately owned companies, family businesses and high net wealth individuals. We have a critical mass of business clients who are in the agriculture, manufacturing, construction, transport, local government, registered clubs, tourism and education sectors and so have a particular knowledge of these industries.
Many of our clients use Johnsons MME because they are seeking a full range of services that they would normally only be able to find from a larger city based practice. With Johnsons MME, they have the business services and chartered accounting advice that they require, right on their doorstep.
Lewis Dickson Homes
Lewis Dickson Homes is a family-owned and operated building company with an outstanding reputation for integrity and uncompromising building quality. Pictured: Facade of new display home opening on 6th April 2024.
The company was formed in 2020 through the merger of two local building businesses, Lewis Homes and Dickson Builders. John Lewis from Lewis Homes decided to reduce his workload after 30 years in the industry, paving the way for Reece Corcoran and James Dickson to step in.
Reece had been with Lewis Homes for 13 years, and James was looking to expand his own business (Dickson Building). The merger was a strategic move to combine the strengths of both businesses.
Lewis Dickson Homes employ local trades people with the emphasis on quality from start to finish. Showcasing a large range of standard designs, Lewis Dickson Homes also offer an in-house design team who can design to suit your custom requirements, while also committing to making the design energy efficient.
Lewis Dickson Homes and Johnsons MME
We asked Reece Corcoran about working with us. He commented:
“As the existing accountant for Dickson Builders, Stephen Hogan, from Johnsons MME was involved with navigating the merger.
Johnsons MME provided structure advice relating to asset protection, tax minimisation, risk management, and future succession. They prepared the necessary documents to obtain Warranty Insurance, which is vital to operate as a builder. And they assisted setting up new software and provided initial and ongoing training as required.
Four years on, with Lewis Dickson Homes managing their accounts in-house, Johnsons MME now provide more strategic services through Jane Bowran and Stephen Hogan. This has included advice in regard to asset purchases, regular reviews of the business and finance figures, the provision of advice to legally minimise taxes and ensure a profitable business.”
Achieving goals together
The ongoing success of Lewis Dickson Homes is a great example of how working closely with an accounting firm who understands your goals can contribute to your ability to navigate challenges and make the most of any opportunities for success.
The relationship between Lewis Dickson Homes and Johnsons MME is rooted in our commitment to achieving goals together. It is reflective of a mutual understanding of the importance of strategic financial planning and advice in realising long-term business objectives.
Pictured: Facade of new display home opening on 6th April 2024.
Indigo Power is an electricity provider based in the Border region.
They offer local customers a competitive electricity retail offer with generous feed in tariffs to support customers who own a solar power system (NSW 12.0 c/kWh and VIC 7.2 c/kWh).
You don’t have to have solar to join and it only takes 5 minutes to switch. For further information about joining Indigo Power head to their website, indigopower.com.au.
Indigo Power has three divisions.
- an electricity retail team
- a clean energy project management service
- a community service that manages and maintains clean energy assets like community batteries and public electric vehicle charging stations.
Indigo Power has about 950 community shareholders and is a certified social enterprise, which means that 50% of any profits go back into our local communities to support more community clean energy initiatives.
Ben McGowan, the Managing Director of Indigo Power says about working with Johnsons MME…
“Ours is an unusual business, and given we’ve a large amount of shareholders we need a high quality accounting service.
JMME’s service has been thorough and careful. The checks and balances they have in place as a part of their accounting process means that we have every confidence in the financial statements we present to our auditor and our shareholders every year.
JMME are my recommendation to other businesses for accounting services, especially those businesses looking for a smooth audit process.
For a reliable accounting service you can rely on Johnsons MME, but for well-priced electricity and the best local service reach out to Indigo Power today.”
Beechworth Bakery made the decision to move their accounting operations back closer to home in 2017.
In this 2022 interview, Beechworth Bakery Managing Director, Marty Matassoni, and Johnsons MME Managing Director, Paul Goonan, discuss the reasons behind this decision and how Johnsons MME have supported Beechworth Bakery for the past five years.
We started by asking…
“When deciding to change accounting firms, what were you looking for and what was your thinking behind that decision?”
Well, to start… Beechworth Bakery had been dealing with our company accountant in Western Australia for 30+ years and had a very strong relationship with them. The principal director, Richard, was dealing with us. He had a very close relationship with Tom and Christine, the founders of Beechworth Bakery, having been a part of the journey of Beechworth Bakery from the first day.
Richard was heading towards retirement, which led to an opportunity to bring that part of the business back closer to home.
I wanted to have somebody who would be part of Beechworth Bakery’s long-term vision for the next 30+ years that could work with me to help me grow the business. Like what Richard had been with the first part.
I was looking for a company that knew accounting very well, was professional, and had a team that was across everything that was going on with all the changes. I was looking for an industry leader for our new partnership.
At the end of the day, that really strong relationship with an accountant is so critical to Beechworth Bakery and to me. Going back to the beginning when Richard helped us build the company in those early days, I wanted somebody to help me take it to the next level. That’s what I was looking for, and I found it with Johnsons MME.
I am also not someone that studied much at school leaving at the Year 10 from Beechworth High school to work at the Beechworth Bakery as an apprentice Baker Pastrycook. So to say my understanding of balance sheets and accounting has never been a strong point. What I do know well is how my company runs and the Profit and Loss statements. Paul Goonan, at Johnosns MME, has helped and is still helping me piece it all together so we can reduce and understand our liabilities.
How have you found working with Johnsons MME?
I’ll start with where the business was at the time we started working with Johnsons MME.
I’d been in my role as Managing Director for 10+ years and had been with Beechworth Bakery for 20 years. I had just come back from 12 months leave travelling around Australia- time I had taken off with my wife Jo and two kids to work out what I really wanted to do and to just have a good break.
It was at that time, of returning into the business when I met with Johnsons MME. One of the first things we worked out was that I really did want to grow the Beechworth Bakery and increase my ownership interest in the business.
So, we bought a couple more bakeries to add to the Beechworth Bakery mix taking it to 8 across regional Victoria/NSW. We bought Yackandandah and Bright very quickly, and Johnsons MME helped us work through that process of buying those businesses within our current structure.
The next stage was to start thinking of succession planning, because Tom was 70 and he’d been on the public talking circuit for 20+ years and was heading towards retirement. So, we needed to start the next transition of Jo and myself becoming a 50% stakeholder in the business.
Johnsons MME played a big part in documenting the various changes in the business as it grew over the last 38 years. Everything from 1984 was in Richard’s head (the former accountant), so it was quite complicated and difficult to go back and piece it together.
It was a complex situation with a history of multiple owners and trusts. There were different companies that had been set up and other things that just needed tidying up before we could transition and set up the 50/50 partnership.
Johnsons MME were able to piece together all those complexities, understand them and guide us through the negotiation process.
What was the negotiation process like?
The process took time, as we needed to understand the history of the company, be mindful of our emotions and to make sure we did it as best as we could. Tom, Christine and I have been working together for over 30 years so keeping a strong relationship was super critical. It’s a big journey when looking to restructure ownership and piece it all together. Negotiating is always hard, though I felt we all worked together to achieve a similar goal that suited both parties who are in different stages of life.
I think what Johnsons MME helped us do really professionally is look at the negotiations from both perspectives, from Jo, myself, Tom and Christine.
They helped us to look at the process from the business point of view to say, “What has happened over the years and what are the reasoning behind it?”
Then it was a case of gathering as much information as we possibly could, and sitting down and having an open, honest conversation.
Paul Goonan, from Johnsons MME, led that group discussion well. We sat around a table as a group and discussed everything, including having the difficult conversations.
I remember at the end of the meeting, Tom saying “That was a great meeting. We got a really good outcome from it and I felt Paul led that conversation really well.”.
In my mind, that says we did it as well as we possibly could.
Now you’re a 50/50 owner in Beechworth Bakery. What does the next journey look like for you?
I think now Johnsons MME have really learnt to understand our business, not just on paper but why Beechworth Bakery is successful on so many other levels including our culture and why we do things a certain way. So now it’s about the next stage of growth and transition while maintaining what’s important to keep us Australia’s greatest bakery.
I’m still passionate about growing the bakery to whatever the next level is. I think having Johnsons MME onboard to help us guide us through the next stage of growth and succession is important.
What Paul and I have done well over this period, is that we’re meeting quite regularly. Sitting down and just working through stuff. I think the more that we continue doing that, we can understand what we want to do with the company and what the next transition of ownership is going to look like.
The next couple of years is really going to shape the foundations on where we can take the company.
Mcorp Building Services
Mcorp Building Services (Mcorp) has been in operation for over 18 years.
They assist a wide range of commercial clients with:
- office fit outs
- building condition audits
- minor works, assisting the facility managers in coordinating trades for work. This includes:
- air conditioning system replacements
- carpet and painting
- general base building upgrades.
Additional services that Mcorp provide include:
- clearing out offices, factories and sites
- recycling redundant items by listing them online for sale via Grays online.
The aim here is to seek secondary use for items that would otherwise be simply dumped into hard waste.
Mcorp facilitate the end to end process of completely clearing out these sites including assistance with Make Good at the end of Lease.
How Mcorp Building Services and Johnsons MME have worked together
We asked Paul Comensoli what working with Johnsons MME has been like. Here’s what he said.
Mcorp transferred from another local firm to Johnsons about 12 years ago.
At the time we were considering a Melbourne accounting firm as we are based in Melbourne.
However, our work covers most of Regional Vic and we have always found communication and interaction with JMME from afar as no problem.
2020 and most of 2021 have been challenging years for most businesses and we are no exception as we have simply not been able to allow the general public access to many sites.
This effectively closed that portion of our business, which is a significant component of our turnover.
During the past 18 months, in particular, Johnsons MME have been rock solid in their support and assistance in many ways.
Gary and the team have provided:
- assistance in seeking government funding
- writing letters of support
- looking out for opportunities for assistance with support
- keeping in regular contact and offering encouragement during the difficult times
- Of the greatest assistance, JMME were able to assist our cash flow significantly with flexibility around fee arrangements. This in particular was so incredibly helpful.
Without the assistance of JMME , the stress and strain of the past 18 months would have been significantly worse.
What does the future look like for Mcorp?
As we start to come out of lockdown, Mcorp have an upcoming online sale of ex government farm machinery and equipment at the former Rutherglen Research Station.
Mcorp are now looking forward to opening up their full business services again and are feeling positive about the future.
Johnsons MME look forward to continuing to work with Paul and the Mcorp team to support their ongoing success.
Big River Roofing
We were new to the business world and were very nervous about embarking upon our new venture, Big River Roofing.
Our accountant and business advisor, Paul Goonan from Johnsons MME helped to settle our nerves pretty quickly with his professional advice and business planning ideas to support our dream of running our own successful business.
Paul is always there to help us make decisions to move our business forward.
Most of all Paul gives us the confidence as business owners, taking away the worry because he is there every step of the way.
Dean Mount, Big River Roofing
Jayco Albury Wodonga
In today’s complex business operating environment with pressures on profitability and growth funding, Paul has been fundamental to the success and expansion of Jayco Albury Wodonga.
Paul instils in us the discipline required to keep our business on track with rigorous business planning, monitoring and adjustment of strategies.
It feels like Paul is a member of our team as he is easily accessible and makes himself available to our managers for guidance as an independent and informed sounding board.
Michael Houlihan, Jayco Albury Wodonga