Case Study: Starting or Buying a Business
An IT advisory and management service provider, working with the Department of Education, faced the significant transition from employee to sole trader. Lacking any prior experience in the world of business ownership, the necessity for sound accounting guidance was paramount. The decision to place trust in an experienced accountant for over a decade not only ensured sustainable business success but also allowed diversified income with the engagement of subcontractors.
Tim Samaras is the owner of TLS Networks Pty Ltd, an IT advisory and management business contracting to the Department of Education. Previous to becoming a business, Tim had always worked as an employee. However, when the time came to transition to a sole trader role, he was in need of accounting support to successfully mitigate the world of business ownership. He explains,
“I’d never operated a business before. I had no idea what to do. So when a friend I knew in Albury recommended Cumulus, I started working with them. They handled the entire process from registering a business along with the BAS side of things.”
Considering the future, Tim recognised the ongoing need for accounting support beyond business registration. He required assistance with financial administration and a reliable sounding board for operational and strategic challenges that fell outside his IT expertise. Over the years this involved:
- Transitioning from sole trader to business entity
- Navigating the complexities of working with subcontractors
- Modernising accounting systems
- Submission of annual BAS statements
“Accounting is not my forte. Every time I need support Emily (Cumulus Client Manager) has always got the time of day to assist and advise. In the first 5 years, this included making the change from a Sole Trader to a business for work cover reasons.
I also used to have a pretty dated accounting system. I actually feel sorry I ever put Emily through it. She moved me on to Xero in the last four or five years and it has made a big difference and simplified so much.
In recent years, I also took on sub-contractors, however this involved lengthy conversations with Emily over the benefits of an employee versus a sub-contractor to help me make a decision that was right for me.”
With Tim’s business continuing to work efficiently, he anticipates a contented future.
“We’ll continue what we’re doing until at least 2027. At the moment, I’m happy to keep everything as it is.”
For others facing a similar transition, Tim offers valuable advice: find an accountant who comprehends your circumstances.
“My situation is slightly different to others, so it was difficult to find accountants who understood. The difference working with Cumulus is that they get it. They understand my unique circumstances.”
From Tim’s perspective, building a relationship with an accountant that transcends mere business matters is even more critical.
“Cumulus isn’t just a business to me. It’s almost like a bit of a personal relationship. There’s not a lot of accountants out there that would make their clients feel like that. When you own your own business it’s great to just have someone you can chat to about something, even if you don’t end up moving forward with it. When you find someone who understands your business structure and can build that type of relationship, it’s something you won’t want to walk away from.”
Tim’s story serves as an example of what can be achieved with the right guidance and ongoing support, combined with an unwavering commitment to business success. His journey from sole trader to flourishing business is a source of inspiration for anyone looking to embark on a similar path.