Newsletter - Feb 2021 Edition 2
Cents & Sensibility | Tax News | Views | Clues
1. Welcome Snehal
On 1st March 2021, it is with great pleasure that knp Solutions welcomes aboard new director, Snehal Shah. Snehal has merged his practice Ben Kaplan & Associates (BKA), into knp Solutions. He was the Principal for over three years at BKA and is an experienced Chartered Accountant having previously worked at GMK and Deloitte in senior roles.
After months of discussions between our two firms, a successful merger has been accomplished. Our directors, Andrew, Mei, and Norman met frequently with Snehal to ensure both parties were comfortable working with each other. In the process, these meetings caused us both to arrive at the same conclusion - there was a wonderful cultural alignment between BKA and knp Solutions.
2. Person to Person – The knp way.
Written by Norman Same
Genuine, authentic investment in clients and their needs is a basic tenet of knp. Clearly, it is one that bears fruit, as the following examples show.
In January 2014 I received an email from an affiliate in JHI, the international organisation of which we were then members. The referring partner said, “I have a small bit of work for you, a US company starting up in Australia.” Approximately 24 hours later, JF Hervey the Vice President of Finance at Medallia Inc, a SaaS provider based in Silicon Valley in California USA contacted me. Within another 24 hours, JF and I chatted by telephone. What was initially to be the provision of payroll services ultimately became:
- Registration of ABN, TFN, FBT and Workcover.
- Monthly special purpose financial statements in US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (within 4 to 5 days after month-end).
- Income tax return preparation, including supporting workpapers and schedules.
- Fringe benefits tax return preparation, including supporting workpapers and schedules.
- Bank account establishment including payments to creditors and bank reconciliations.
- Payroll obligations, including salary, quarterly superannuation guarantee, payroll tax and Workcover payments, issuing pay slips, and annual PAYG payment summaries.
- Liaising with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and State Revenue Offices.
To ensure that we had a clear understanding of what our potential client required, I hopped on a plane to meet with JF and his finance and HR teams. Our fee was negotiated, Medallia Australia Pty Ltd was formed and thus began a journey that provided knp with a great client! Whilst some of the services mentioned have been returned inhouse to Medallia (bank account & payment of creditors), we currently provide all other services monthly. These we refer to as knp’s back-office services.
About twenty months later, JF emailed me to introduce Brian Manca, the Chief Accounting Officer who would be taking over from JF who had decided to pursue another opportunity. I wished JF well and encouraged him to stay in touch.
At around the same time, Head Office in Silicon Valley decided to relocate control of Asia and Australia Medallia companies to their European head Office in London. I again travelled, this time to London, to meet with Roger Palmer Medallia’s Controller for Europe, Middle East & Asia.
At this meeting, Roger outlined their requirements, stressing the importance of timely financial statements, due to their consolidation requirements. This was initially within three business days of the end of month, later reduced to two. Today, we complete this task within one day, taking full advantage of the positive time difference!
About six months later, I received a call from JF. “Hey Norman, are you still providing Medallia with the services that you used to when I was there?”. Yes, why? JF was now working for another software company, Gigya, who also intended expanding into the Australian market. We submitted our quote. Thus, Gigya Australia Pty Ltd was born with knp providing all back-office services as we had done for JF when he was at Medallia.
Another 6 months later, I travelled to London (Medallia visit) and to Silicon Valley (Medallia & Gigya) to ensure that we were performing according to their needs. With both firms, the visits resulted in knp taking on additional work in the HR and international tax fields.
This arrangement with Gigya remained in place until mid-2019 when Gigya sold to international software giant, SAP. knp assisted in the smooth transition to SAP assisting on all levels from basic bookkeeping through to liquidation and windup of the Australian company.
Roger had moved on from Medallia, so on my annual catchup with Medallia, I met with his replacement, Asif Livesey, in London. He asked if knp could attend to the accounting and taxation requirements for Medallia’s operation in Singapore. On my return to Australia, I reached out to our former affiliate from JHI days, KLP LLP and their managing partner, Lim Yeong Seng. We engaged KLP to provide the payroll, audit, and taxation requirements for Medallia Singapore Pte Ltd whilst knp provided the accounting requirements and centralised control for this assignment. An arrangement that continues.
As a result of the Singapore experience, we were recently approached by Medallia head office to see if we could similarly take charge of their operations in New Zealand. Again, we approached our former JHI affiliates HWI (now Moore Markhams). We have quoted for this assignment and are waiting to hear from Silicon Valley if we are successful.
Meanwhile, the ex-General Manager of Medallia Australia, Zach Hotchkiss, contacted me in relation to his new position with a start-up IT company based in London. Zach praised knp to his new employer, Unmind, who wanted to expand into Australia. After several Zoom meetings with Unmind’s CFO, David Kay, knp was engaged to provide the back-office requirements for this newly incorporated Australian company. The incorporation services were also provided by knp.
Simultaneously, an ex-CFO of Medallia, contacted me in relation to his new employer who had also recently expanded into Australia and Singapore with discussion currently being advanced.
At one of my previous meetings in London with Roger, he commented that he appreciates the relationship with knp because we take the time to meet in London (& San Jose) and he knows that he can also contact us easily when information is required. He also appreciated our hospitality when he visited us for a site visit a few years ago.
knp values the relationships with our clients. Whilst the face-to-face meetings have been curtailed at present, we make sure regular contact with our clients is a priority. We care about their wellbeing and regularly reach out to make sure that they are coping, as well as making sure we understand their financial, accounting and taxation needs.
As soon as we can, we will resume in-person contact. We know our clients appreciate it and we believe it is what sets knp apart from the others.
3. Return to the Office… Again!
The last 12 months have proved to be most difficult for all Victorians. However, the news from the Victorian Government last week was a welcome relief, lifting the majority of the snap lockdown restrictions.
We have returned to the office in moderation with scheduled face-to-face meetings available once again.
Unlike other firms, knp Solutions cares not only for the financial success of our clients, but also their wellbeing. From our humble beginnings in 1972, knp has always embodied a personal approach with clients, enabling them to feel comfortable when discussing their financial life. It is this approach that encapsulates knp’s values and mission in “building wealth and lifestyle together.”
The last year has been a challenge like no other, and although the future is still unpredictable, we look forward to being in contact should there be anything we can help with.
4. Introduction to FuseSign
We have recently integrated a new software program, FuseSign into our processes. FuseSign enhances the delivery of confidential information to you.
This program has the ability to send multiple documents to multiple recipients, meaning you will be given one link and page to sign all the relevant documents. With this feature you will be able to save valuable time, allowing for both an efficient and successful process.
FuseSign is also mobile friendly, meaning you will have the option to sign your documents from anywhere on the go. Additionally, FuseSign has a ‘view only’ option to allow users to read their documents without initially signing.
Please contact us should you not like to receive your documents via FuseSign please.
Please Note: Many of the comments in this publication are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information’s applicability to their particular circumstances.