partners for life
Client Case Study | Evan Cunningham-Dunlop
When Perth-based entrepreneur Evan Cunningham-Dunlop needed a partner to help guide him during a period of intense business growth for Living Online in 2011, he turned to McKinley Plowman. Now 12 years later, his business interests have expanded to include national property publication The Property Tribune, specialist SEO agency Perth SEO Studio, and the soon to be launched Perth Website Studio. As a long-term client of McKinley Plowman, we’ve been there to help every step of the way.
Evan launched his digital marketing agency Living Online back in 2009, starting with nothing more than a laptop and a bedroom in a share house. After a few years things really started to take off and the financial management of his business became a priority. He found McKinley Plowman in the Yellow Pages (yes – that long ago!) and asked for our help to get things in order.
Up until this point Evan had been operating his business under a sole trader entity structure, but as the business turnover grew, so did Evan’s concern about his personal liability with this type of structure.
At the same time, the financial management of his business was becoming more complex, so Evan found himself spending too much time on day-to-day accounting, taking him away from his more strategic growth priorities.
What’s more, Evan’s property investment journey was also accelerating, adding further weight to his concern about the exposure of his personal assets to the risks inherent with running a business.
Overall, accounting compliance obligations were becoming more onerous, and asset protection was becoming a priority, so Evan recognised that it was time to seek professional financial advice.
McKinley Plowman designed a corporate structure to help protect Evan’s assets and provide an effective tax minimisation framework, which included a family trust and a multi-company setup.
As a UWA MBA graduate, Evan placed a firm emphasis on having access to reliable and timely business information. Xero was configured to provide Evan with access to the financial insight he needed to make effective managerial decisions, including through optimisation of the Chart of Accounts, establishment of a business division to account for The Property Tribune, and the creation of custom reports for financial segment analysis.
In recent years, as Evan’s business interests continued to expand with the addition of both Perth SEO Studio and Perth Website Studio to his portfolio, he enlisted McKinley Plowman’s help to choose the most appropriate income protection and life insurance policies for his needs, which Evan credits with providing peace of mind.
To round things off, Evan has also turned to McKinley Plowman for regular tax planning and business improvement advice, including financial scenario planning, benchmarking, due diligence during investment and business acquisition decisions, and overall strategic planning.
Embracing our motto of Partners for Life, we’re proud to have helped support the growth and success of Evan’s businesses and to share this journey with him. It is fantastic to see clients that come to us as startups achieve great things, such as Living Online being awarded “Best Marketing Agency in Australia”, and with The Property Tribune already becoming the largest dedicated online property newspaper in the country. We’re excited for Evan’s next steps and for our role in helping him achieve his goals.
“As a business owner with big dreams and aspirations – both entrepreneurially and personally – I was looking for an accountant who could match my enthusiasm for growth with the financial rigour and professional accounting advice that would set us up for success. After more than a decade of business in the years since enlisting McKinley Plowman’s help, they’ve not only taken care of all aspects of my financial requirements, but have exceeded my expectations at every stage along the way.”
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