Meet The Expert - Rob Koch, RWK Accountancy

Thanks for being with us today Rob. You’ve been an Industry Expert with South West Leaders for two years now so we know you well but can you give us a little bit of background about how you found yourself as an Accountant here in the South West?

For a long period of time both Sharon & myself had worked at the ATO.   We had originally been considering a sea-change back in April 1999.  I was going to come down and work for a friend who was based in Dunsborough, in December of that year.  In between April and December, my friend became pregnant and I ended up buying the business from her and she worked for me.  The rest is history.

2020 has been an extremely busy year for the Accounting industry. How have you found it this year, particularly staying on top of the new directives and legislation coming out due to COVID?

This has been one of the craziest years I have ever had.  The hardest part was when Co-vid first hit and the staff were working from home.  We had all of the stimulus measures being bandied about but the measures were continually changing.  Until the legislation had actually been passed it was a moving feast but the devil is always in the detail.  Working out the best way to communicate with our team and to also have them communicating with all of our clients was definitely a challenge.  I am pleased to report that for the majority of our clients they have managed to get back on their feet and didn’t qualify for the second round of stimulus measures.

We believe there will be a real need for our clients to do some serious tax planning prior to 30 June 2021 as the impact of all of the stimulus measures flow through.

Will the current fiscal policies be enough to guide our businesses through the tough times ahead?

In WA I think they have been good for the majority of businesses.  There are always a few businesses that will continue to struggle until we get back to the pre Co-vid environment.  If WA or Australia has a second wave then all bets are off.

In fact, one of the biggest issues currently facing businesses, especially in the Southwest, is the inability to hire more staff.  Perhaps the changes to Jobseeker disincentivised some people from looking for work?

And, finally, what should business take into consideration to get through the downturn in our economy?

You need to regularly communicate with both your customers and your suppliers.  Find out what challenges they are facing and how you can work with them.

The other thing that every business will need to do is to be ready to embrace change and be open to adapting to those changes.  With people working from home and buying online, those businesses that can’t adapt to the new reality risk being left behind.

Rob Koch is based at RWK Accountancy in Dunsborough:

2/18 Griffin Drive, Dunsborough WA 6281
08 9755 3049

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