BLOG IMAGE Joanne McCauley

Joanne McCauley, Principal, Jigsaw Tax & Advisory

Joanne McCauley is not your stereotypical accountant. Embracing creativity and fostering business and financial knowledge sharing is at the heart of what the Founder and Managing Partner of Jigsaw Tax and Advisory does. On top of leading her own thriving accounting practice across multiple locations, Joanne also hosts a podcast about small business in Australia, Money Honey, and an online content hub Tradie Wags to support the partners of Tradies who run the business side, to be empowered with financial understanding.

Tell us about your business advisory services, and how you are helping businesses to achieve their goals.

Accounting is much more than processing transactions and preparing tax returns. Business is tricky, there is so much to navigate both in compliance, financial literacy and understanding the drivers of a success business. Having a business advisor with a strong understanding of tax helps client to know they are doing things the right way.

We work with the client to build a business plan, set yearly goals with actionable steps. We help develop cashflow budgets and we provide ongoing support and accountability. Business plans and budgets can be overwhelming to a business owner. We take them out of their normal environment so they can work on their business. Business advisory can be a formal quarterly catch up or engaging us to work on one off projects. I enjoy seeing businesses become successful and the business owners enjoying the work they do and the benefits it brings them.

Who have been some recent guests and topic areas on your podcast Money Honey?

Recently I have interviewed a mix of amazing business owners. While Money Honey is not exclusively for women, many of the people I have interviewed recently have been female entrepreneurs from a diverse range of industries. I also interview experts on a variety of business topics and recently I have interviewed some developers of apps for Tradies. I enjoy the diversity of learning about the challenges and successes of other business owners, and it is great fun as well.

Tradie Wags is for partners of Tradespeople who run the business side. Tell us about your online Xero training that can help small businesses learn how to do their own bookkeeping?

My aim with Tradie WAGS is to provide the partners of Tradies with knowledge to help them run their businesses as efficiently as possible. Xero is our accounting program of choice and we offer a cost-effective online training alternative. The training is broken into modules so you only need to do the parts that are relevant for you, and you can watch the videos numerous times as your needs change.

Having on online training platform allows us to keep the training up to date as the program changes. We also offer one on one training for those who need a little extra help. I am hoping to add more online courses to our platform in 2022.

Why is it important for businesses to stay on top of their compliance obligations, and how does this impact their business performance?

While you may be able to stick your head in the sand with some things, the ATO does not give up when it comes to chasing lodgments and debts. We see businesses who ignore the responsibilities and their debt gets out of hand. It is almost impossible to come back from that. Knowing your obligations and ensuring you meet them are the key to a successful business. If obligations remain outstanding the authorities issue fines, charge interest and it can be incredibly stressful, and all of this could be avoided by staying on top of compliance.

There’s a terrible myth that accountants aren’t creative, how are you busting that?

Accountants are numbers people which seems to be the direct opposite of a creative person. I have always said I am the least creative person I know, but I have been challenged on this with my involvement in Southern Tablelands Regional Arts as a Board member. Creativity is more diverse than being able to paint a picture. I write, I podcast, I create online training and I am always coming up with new ideas for my business and other businesses.

Creativity is about imagination and if you open your mind up, we call all be creative in our own way.  Business and tax planning also involves imagination. The idea of a creative accountant usually conjures up images of someone who is pushing the boundaries by making up transactions. I believe to be a good business advisor, accountants need to embrace their creative side, not by breaking the law but by being imaginative.

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Mother, wife, daughter, determined dreamer. Lover of books. Background in Human Resources leadership in global organisations.