Issue 8 2022

12 Acquisition International - Issue 8 2022 May22414 Most Client-Focused Accountant (ACT): Marianna Agostino Based in Sydney, Australia, Conscious Wealth Creation is a boutique virtual accounting practice working with small business owners “to break the mould and do accounting differently”. Marianna Agostino founded the practice out of frustration with corporate models and wanted to run an accounting practice in line with her own views and values. She wanted to have real conversations with her clients and help them achieve their personal goals, no matter whether these are to earn enough to work three days a week to maintain some work/life balance or if they want to run a large corporation. In light of Marianna’s awards success, we got in touch with the lady herself to learn more about her firm and how it is changing the way accounting is done. onscious Wealth Creation is a team of five operating with core values of integrity, abundance, acceptance, and empowerment to uplift clients and enable them to focus on what they do best. From business mentoring, structuring and advice to bookkeeping, compliance and tax, they cover everything a client could need in terms of putting their finances in order. However, looking beyond the client’s books into the heart of their business, the team believes wealth is defined by more than just finances. From a young age, Marianna Agostino knew she had a gift for numbers – people trust her with numbers and she instinctively knows what to do with them. However, after years of working in business and accounting, she found that numbers aren’t actually what she gets up for in the morning; they are the medium through which she make things happen, because they are how she helps others to achieve their goals. While Marianna had been tempted to climb the corporate ladder to CFO, she came to realise that what she really wanted to do was help people to balance their lives as well as their books. And she is satisfied herself with earning enough to pay the bills while having plenty of time to enjoy life. Marianna says, “I’ve learned that riches aren’t just what’s shown on the bottom line, they’re the experiences we accumulate and the impact we make.” Marianna isn’t alone in enjoying work/life balance either, with her company working entirely remotely allowing her team members to make the most of the flexibility. For example, those team members who are early risers prefer to get work out of the way in the morning and love to have time to themselves in the afternoons and evenings. Whatever keeps the company’s staff and clients happy is what it moves towards. Indeed, Conscious Wealth Creation’s culture is evolving much like the rest of the world. It fosters a supportive and collaborative environment by using online tools to connect and communicate. It also aims to hire based on personalities and value systems that work well together; not being your usual accounting practice, Marianna handpicks team members who suit the company’s mission. Marianna says, “Our clients appreciate our attention to detail and our general understanding of their business and their needs. We are a team of lateral thinkers who assess the situation and design a solution that C will suit the client rather than forcing a particular solution on them. With this in mind, our staff are warm, adaptable and highly competent.” Marianna goes on to give us an insight into the finance industry at present. “I think as finance professionals, we forget about the human element of money and business. Currently in Australia, we are experiencing increasing living costs and stagnant wage growth. This is difficult for much of the population, and I don’t expect things to get better before they get worse. We as advisors need to come to terms with that and realise that our clients are likely to need coping strategies to keep their businesses and investment portfolios intact.” In addition to this, compliance requirements are increasing and regulatory bodies like the ATO and ASIC are closing those loopholes that some were able to take advantage of. Marianna says, “I think that ‘the good old days’ are over. This means getting a little more human and thinking a little more laterally when advising and guiding our clients.” Being a member of the Tax Institute of Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, the Conscious Wealth Creation team is sure to remain in the know when it comes to changing laws and requirements. They also remain open to changes in technology and service offerings in order to provide clients with an unbiased suite of options to suit their business – Rather than trying to fit them into a predetermined model that only works for the company and its processes. Now, the future is looking bright for Conscious Wealth Creation, where there are plans to grow the team and to become known for education, management support and strategy. Marianna tells us, “We find that clients crave support and want to feel more self-sufficient in their business dealings rather than relying on an expensive advisor to do all of the work all of the time.” And that’s just what the company can help them with. Company: Conscious Wealth Creation Contact: Marianna Agostino Email: Website: