Not everyone who starts their accounting career at Deloitte gets hungry to explore the industry from different angles.
But that’s exactly what drove Unni Ashok to work across the spectrum of accounting firms and gain the experience that led to founding his own firm—and using ChangeGPS to run it.
Shifting the needle.
Like a lot of changemakers, Unni was driven to make a difference.
“Deloitte was great, but working across smaller firms taught me just as much—even the ones based in home offices. I saw first-hand how many practices were stuck focusing on reactive tax services. I wanted to shift the needle for clients, to change their lives”.
For Unni, that meant a focus on advisory.
The right start.
Like a lot of accountants, Unni worked hard to stake himself into building a practice. 4 years ago he chose Success Tax Professionals Consulting Group as an umbrella group.
“We love it—we’re not restricted to any territory, we choose our own fees, and choose how we market”.
The independence suits Unni—he’s free to follow his drive, and focus on making a difference where he sees it most matters to clients.
Rising to challenges.
Unni hadn’t heard of ChangeGPS when he started STP—and for two years spent a lot of time on systems. “I started from scratch, trying to invent it all” he says, “it was tough at times doing it alone”.
But STP’s focus on advisory meant value creation was front and centre in their billing model. “I was lucky to have good people around me recommending that pricing approach—and it made ChangeGPS a great fit”.
He’d looked around at software that could communicate with clients. “Doing convincing marketing is really the bullseye for accountants—so I definitely wanted help. But nothing out there hit the mark. I’d heard of ChangeGPS—I just didn’t know what it could really do”.
When COVID hit and threatened to overwhelm Unni’s clients—and even his own practice—ChangeGPS got back on his radar.
“They were first to solve things for us accountants—they produced a continuity plan document to send to clients. Suddenly I was on the front foot, answering my clients’ questions before they’d even asked them”.
Software that matters.
Unni had been looking for software that could help war-game the ‘what-ifs’ in client advisory—tools that lined up with STP’s model of making a difference for their clients. When he found out ChangeGPS was built for just that, it was the final nudge needed to join.
“It was just time”, says Unni, “onboarding to ChangeGPS was easy—and it supported us pricing for value”.
For STP, it paid off fast—through tax planning services we achieved on average $12k in tax savings and $10k in Super contributions for our clients—all in the first year.
All that—and with happier clients.
“Not only do we bill for the value—ChangeGPS communicates the value to clients—so they’re calling less, paying more, and know they’re saving money—there’s just no downside”, says Unni.
It’s not surprising then when Unni says the biggest change that’s come from using ChangeGPS is a growth in his practice confidence.
“Tim and Dave are thought leaders—they fully understand that we’re changing lives, and I get to tap into that”, he says. “Then there’s the community—I’m looped into a Facebook community of smart accountants with insight about other software—like Karbon and XPM”.
For Unni, it’s about being part of something bigger.
“I’m plugged into a network of people trusted by ChangeGPS—people like Lightyear docs, who we just used to secure a $5k client” says Unni. “That alone paid for our whole year of ChangeGPS.
Unni likes the industry webinars and events too.
“Who else would do a week-long information session on trusts and deeds”, says Unni. “I learnt stuff I hadn’t learnt in 12 years of practice”.
More than the bargain.
Unni’s gotten more than he bargained for—and used it to stay on mission and make a difference.
“We had no idea how fast we’d be able to get information out to clients during a tough year”, he says. “I’m getting gifts from happy clients, Christmas cards—people’s lives have changed”.
And it’s changed his practice too—through loyalty and word of mouth.
“I’m updating clients on their industries before they‘ve even heard of any changes. And they’re winning in their financial lives. They’re literally lining up to make us video testimonials!”, says Unni.
Book a time to discover how ChangeGPS can help you change your practice where it matters—and change your clients’ financial lives.
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Like all great change-makers, Ben Duthie is driven by purpose. A Partner at Blue Edge—a boutique accounting firm in Perth—he helps small businesses and high-value individuals succeed through advisory that matters.