Analysis of Key Indicators and Performance Management

Do you fully understand your key drivers of financial performance and profitability? Are all your key performance indicators (KPI’s) lagging indicators when you should be looking at leading indicators? Are you achieving an appropriate return on your business investment? Do you know your working capital needs and requirements?

You need to understand the financial trends underlying your business to ensure you can weather any storm.

Surviving in today's business climate requires you to spend more time working on your business than in it. Outcomes drawn from annual 'stock' financial reporting should be limited to confirming what you already know about your business. This is why we encourage our clients to always plan ahead and equip themselves with action strategies to improve their bottom line right from the first time they deal with us.

Regardless of your financial literacy, we offer specialised solutions for our clients in areas including but not limited to budgeting, competitor benchmarking and cash flow forecasting.

Our extensive experience in business management consulting and strategic planning positions us as a trusted first point of contact for anything relating to your financial & business affairs.

If you have any concerns or queries with regards to your personal or business financial or planning matters we will be able to assist and if not, we will serve as your gateway to a specialised professional network. 


Business Grants

Are you getting all the assistance that you are eligible for in order to innovate, grow and succeed with your existing or new business?

Did you know that there are incentives for research and development, support for small businesses, tax and duty concessions and assistance for industries in transition?

Grants and other funding programs are available for businesses from the Australian, State and Territory governments, and in some cases from local councils.

There are a wide variety of grants in many categories, including developing your business, innovation and education.

We can provide more information about the potential opportunities available to your business and assist with your grant application.


Business Mergers, Acquisitions and Exit Strategies

Buying and selling your business are two of the biggest decisions you're likely to make. Don't leave things to luck or chance. Our experienced advisers can help you navigate the purchase or sale process to ensure you get the best outcome.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Are you looking at buying or investing in an existing business? Don't get caught out by the bright lights and sales pitch. As a prospective business owner or investor, you need to critically assess the underlying value and future earnings potential of your investment.

We can assist you with the purchasing decision, help you navigate the purchase process and mitigate your risk. This typically involves:

  • Providing an independent review of the business' financial credibility and assist with valuation
  • Reviewing your goals and objectives (both from a business and personal perspective) via a clear strategic plan
  • Assisting with the preparations of financial forecasting and budgeting
  • Advising on the potential hidden pitfalls and contingencies by conducting a due diligence
  • Assisting with purchase negotiations and acting as your representative to alleviate pressure from third party involvement
  • Ensuring that you are set up in the right legal structure for the acquisition
  • Leveraging off our professional network of reliable lawyers, brokers and financiers

Buying a business can be one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make. We understand what's at stake and will always put your interests first.

Exit Strategies - What's next? Don't sail unchartered

To ensure the long term success of your business, it is critical to establish a well designed succession plan. Whether you intend to pass the business on to family, sell to an independent third party or simply shut up shop, there are important strategic decisions that need to be considered well in advance.

Our experienced advisors can assist you with:

  • Achieving maximum value for your business and facilitating a smooth transition to new owners or management
  • Critically analysing your business from an independent third party perspective to identify inherent strengths and weaknesses
  • Narrowing the margin on the 'value gap' from what your business is worth now and the maximum return potential
  • Developing contingency plans


Business Value Assessments

There are a variety of situations where a business valuation may prove beneficial. In addition to appropriately pricing a business for sale, a valuation assessment can be a powerful business planning tool to facilitate growth.

Do you know what your business is really worth?

Do not assume that business valuations and assessments are only for business owners deciding to sell their business. More often than not, when an owner of a typical small to medium sized business commits to an exit strategy, such as a sale or succession plan, it is sometimes too late for the business to become 'sale ready' and for the owner to achieve maximum returned value. This can be avoided with a proactive approach and present day considerations of your business through a valuation process.

Valuation assessments can be powerful business planning tools when they are used for ongoing benchmarking and performance management. Such an exercise is an effective driver of business change and growth. It is also commonplace for valuations to be used in situations where you need to minimise the risk of dispute due to the potential taxation, or even legal implications. It may be highly beneficial and often recommended that you consider the following types of valuations which can be performed and when they may be necessary for you:

  • Tax-based valuations (restructuring, group consolidations or ownership transfers/changes - especially related parties)
  • Family law valuations (matrimonial, death or family disputes)
  • Strategic business planning valuations (for ongoing use in business improvement/growth strategies)
  • Business purchases and sales (including succession planning)
  • Capital raising or other financial requirements (financial institutions and insurance providers etc.)

Valuing a business is not an exact science. It is also subjective to the purpose of the valuation and will vary due to the complexity in methodologies that are involved.


Company Secretarial Services

Company legislation requires businesses to perform many administrative tasks that take up a lot of valuable company time. The last thing you need as a business owner is to be caught up in the finer details of ensuring you comply with Corporations Law. Our company secretarial services can relieve the compliance burden and help you to avoid possible penalties for failing to keep up with the changing rules.

Our experienced advisors can assist with:

  • General advice on Corporations Act and ASIC regulations
  • Company formations
  • Filing annual returns on your behalf
  • Preparing all documentation related to minutes and resolutions
  • Maintaining statutory books
  • Assistance with changes of directors, shareholders, addresses and office details
  • Bonus issues
  • Share transfers
  • Registered office facility


Digital Innovations

Accounting software and procedures have undergone radical technological changes over recent years which have completely changed the way we collate and track business financial information. We can assist you with making sure your business keeps abreast of these changes and reaps the benefits.

Our accountants are experts in most accounting software including the new breed of cloud accounting systems.

Depending on your business size, complexity and compliance requirements our services range from fulfilling a completely outsourced financial department function through to systems advice, training and ongoing support.


Due Diligence and System Reviews

Looking to buy or invest in a business but aren't sure if it's the right fit for you? Our due diligence services can help ensure you have a clear picture before making the purchase decision. We can also review the business operations to identify areas where processes could be improved to minimise risk and promote efficiency.

Due Diligence for Mergers and Acquisitions

There are many factors to consider when buying or merging with a business.

  • Are you getting a good deal?
  • Is the business right for you?
  • Can you afford it?
  • Have all avenues for future growth been investigated?

Our experienced advisors can assist. We know the right questions to ask and how to find the required answers.

The services we provide cover every stage of the purchase process - from identifying potential acquisitions and negotiating the commercial elements of the transaction to forecasting the future of the business.

Our services include:

  • A review of your goals and objectives
  • Due diligence services
  • Preparation of financial forecasts
  • Advice on the potential pitfalls and rewards involved in a merger
  • Assistance with purchase negotiations
  • Advice on financing
  • Assistance with preparing a business plan

Internal System Reviews

A review of your internal operational processes will reveal whether your day to day core business procedures are operating as efficiently, effectively and resourcefully as possible.

Most businesses should consider reviewing operational processes for their core financial functions, such as:

  • Purchases/ Ordering and Accounts Payable
  • Payroll
  • Sales and Accounts Receivable
  • Cash and Bank Accounts
  • Non-current Asset Management

Understanding operational processes in detail and examining the internal controls within these functions assists with safeguarding your business by minimising risks and also promoting best practices within an organisation. All internal operational processes should be properly documented and designed so that management can successfully monitor the business' assets, prevent fraud, minimise errors, authenticate the accuracy and reliability of financial data, and promote the efficient operation of the business as a whole.


Forensic Accounting Services

In addition to traditional accounting, we extend our services to a broad range of litigation concerns such as identifying fraud, investigating the extent and effect of fraud and settling disputes based on technical reviews of financial data and information.

We have the experience and leverage to support individuals and businesses in a range of litigation matters as well as assist management to mitigate such future risks and concerns.  Mitigation of future risk can involve and full review of the management accounting procedures and/or advice of how processes can be improved to reduce the likelihood of misappropriation of funds or procedural errors.

In particular, we provide support in the following areas of forensic accounting:

  • Business owner disputes
  • Commercial litigation
  • Business interruption and valuations
  • Divorce and marital disputes (family law cases)
  • Investigate misappropriation of business funds or assets
  • Fraud and general investigative accounting services


Business Structures

It is important to assess whether you are currently in the right tax structure. Not only should this meet your ongoing business operations, but it should also factor in your long-term plans. We will help you implement the right business structure to meet your ongoing needs and protect your wealth.

There are alternative legal structures to house your business operations and accumulated wealth. Each option contains pros and cons that need to be understood.

Are you aware of all the tax and compliance implications when considering the legal structure of your business operations or future investments?

Have you properly considered?:

  • The costs of setting up new legal structures and associated ongoing compliance costs
  • Taxation of income and flexibility to distribute profits and capital, access to taxation concessions and recoupment of losses (if applicable)
  • Legal obligations of all parties involved (differentiating between legal/equitable ownership) and personal liabilities that may or may not be at risk
  • Future changes in ownership (admission of new parties; also requirements on exiting and succession planning considerations)


Outsourced Business Services

Are you on top of the latest changes and best practice procedures affecting your internal financial department? We can help to strengthen your finance team.

Your business requires up to date, detailed and readily available financial information. Outsourcing can help to reduce the costs of routine and clerical or accounting processes, allowing you the time and resources to focus on developing your business.

Depending on your business size, complexity and compliance requirements our services range from providing a completely outsourced finance department through to training, advice and ongoing support.

Have you considered?

  • Cloud bookkeeping solutions - using the latest cloud accounting software our experienced bookkeepers are able to help you perform bank reconciliations, transactional coding, as well as accounts payable/receivable management and payroll functions.
  • Additional training and assistance - we can provide additional support to your current employees, particularly in new cloud accounting software platforms and processes
  • Financial reporting and compliance (internal and external) - we can assist with the preparation of timely management reports and business activity statements etc.
  • Due diligence and review of existing finance department functions - we can provide an unbiased review of your current financial controls or procedures associated with your internal financial records management
  • Company secretarial services - we can assist you to manage your regulatory and reporting obligations and help monitor your compliance and secretarial responsibilities.
  • Virtual Chief Financial Officer (CFO) - Utilising cloud accounting technology our qualified, experienced accountants can work alongside you, providing valuable financial advice to guide your decision making and facilitate the growth of your business. Our outsourced CFO services enable smaller enterprises to access the benefits of high level advice at a fraction of the cost of having an in-house CFO. Cloud technology allows you to share your financial information with your Aspen Virtual CFO, anywhere anytime - providing real time insight to your business finances. Services differ depending on the individual needs of each business but typically could include preparing budgets and forecasts, highlighting market trends and/or issues and discussions around potential business decisions based on sound financial analysis.


Personal Property Security Act (PPSA) Advice

PPSR stands for the Personal Property Security Register. The PPSR is now the national register of security interests in personal property and may have an effect on a wide range of businesses and consumers.

'Personal Property' is a legal term for any property that is not land, buildings or fixtures. This definition can vary considerably from goods, stock, artworks, motor vehicles, livestock/crops, equipment and even intangible property such as commercial licenses, intellectual property and debts/loans.

In short, you will need to register a notice on the PPSR to prove that you have rights over property and secure repayment of a debt or another obligation that someone owes you. The introduction of the Personal Properties Securities Act 2009 has abolished the ordinary legal concepts of 'legal title' and 'ownership'.  

Do you?

  • Sell goods on credit (with or without 'Retention of Title')
  • Rent, lease or hire equipment (or any asset) to customers or provide equipment or goods on consignment or bailment (including related parties)
  • Provide credit facilities, make loans or advances to anyone and in any form (including to related parties)
  • Have property located off-site (or held in trust) by other parties (including related parties)
  • Grant licenses to other parties to use any of your products, trademarks or intellectual property
  • Intend to take security over personal property
  • Use a traditional 'asset protection structure' (such as an asset holding entity providing equipment to a trading entity)
  • Have involvement in leasing commercial land, buildings or offices to tenants

If you have answered 'Yes' to one or more of the above, we encourage you to enquire further as to whether you need to take appropriate action now to protect yourself.

Our experienced advisors can assist you with this process.


Strategic Planning

Are you realising the maximum future earning potential of your business? If not, why not? What keeps you awake at night? It's time we solve it!

Successful businesses that 'go the distance' are constantly engaged in a holistic review of their operations, eagerly planning and executing their next moves in advance.

Developing a comprehensive strategic plan is a necessity for success in business and is fundamental to protecting your investment.

Proper strategic planning involves more than financial forecasts, preparing budgets and 'looks good in theory' business ideas that sit and expire on a shelf.

Whatever stage of the business cycle you're at (start up, growth or exit) our advisors will help you to establish a complete, comprehensive summary of your business vision and purpose, tying it together with a structured, actionable plan to achieve your goals.

Our strategic planning objectives are:

  • To thoroughly understand your business direction and goals
  • To facilitate business growth opportunities and mitigate potential risks
  • To develop and execute an agreed action plan to achieve your business growth and expansion objectives


Transforming Business

Aspen Corporate specialises in business transformation. Our advisers have years of combined experience turning around poor performing businesses and growing fledgling start-ups into large scale, successful enterprises.

What is business transformation?

The term business transformation is used a lot. But what does it really mean for your business? In a broad sense, business transformation relates to change - how well a business can adapt and respond to the changing environment to ensure its continued prosperity.

The business transformation process can be either pro-active, meaning that you seek out change in order to improve business performance – for example implementing a new growth strategy; or it can be reactive, where you need to change in response to an external factor that's impacting upon your business – for example a new regulatory or compliance requirement.

There are different types of business transformation depending on what's driving the change. Three typical examples of situations where business transformation occurs include: 

  • Re-thinking your business strategy – which involves re-examining your core business offering and/or the direction you want the whole of your business to take e.g. Netflix expanding from mail delivered DVD rentals to also offering digitally streamed TV shows and movies. Here, you'd ask questions such as: What is our core business? What direction do we want the business to take? Where are our opportunities for growth? 
  • Developing and/or refining your business model – where your business is still offering the same product or service, but looks to deliver it in a different way or strengthen its current service delivery methods to remain competitive. Here you'd ask questions such as: Who is our target market? What are the characteristics of our ideal clients? What is the best way to deliver our products/services to our intended target market? How can we capitalise on the growth opportunities available to us? Do we need to take a different approach? What is our profit model? How will we calculate ROI? 
  • Reviewing your operational processes – where you examine how your business currently delivers its product or service with a view to improving efficiencies. Here you'd ask questions such as: Do we need to make any changes to our internal processes, systems or resources in order to deliver our product/service more efficiently? Do we understand the business' key performance indicators and other relevant analytics to track how we're performing?

Aspen Corporate's advisors have a wealth of experience assisting businesses of all sizes, across many different industries, with the transformation process.

Our Business Transformation Philosophy

The exact business transformation process differs from business to business, but our business transformation philosophy involves: 

  • An evaluation of your current position 
  • Setting objectives - SMART 
  • Developing strategies to resolve any issues and achieve the set objectives 
  • Implementing these strategies to get your business to its desired position 
  • Engaging in continual review to refine and adjust things as necessary along the way




PO BOX 8262
P +61 8 9228 0700
F +61 8 9228 0706