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How Matley has grown 15% by investing in people and technology

David Waine started his accounting business Matley from his home in 2006. Since then the company has expanded to four offices and employs 21 staff.

At a glance

A small business loan from Prospa helped David Waine of Matley to:

  • Hire new staff members
  • Keep cashflow steady during quieter times
  • Invest in a new website to grow the business

David Waine isn’t your typical accountant. He admits he’s “terrible at sitting down and preparing a set of accounts”.

What he is good at is taking a holistic view of a client’s business and figuring how to help them save and make money.

“I don’t focus too much on where the detail of everything goes,” he says. “I look for cost drivers. If you’re a professional services firm, what are your wages? What’s your rent? If you’re a retail manufacturer, what’s your cost of goods sold? Those are the levers we can pull. We’re not going to sit there and start counting the stamps.”

It’s this approach that’s seen David’s financial services business Matley go from strength to strength since it launched from his home office in 2006.

“When we started out, accountants had this perception of being bean counters,” says David. But I’ve always had the view that you’re the business partner. You’re the advisor, the counsellor. We’re there to provide solutions.”

Investing in staff is key to success

Over the years David grew his team which now boasts 21 staff across four offices in Hamilton, Tokoroa, Christchurch and Tauranga.

This investment in staff has been key to Matley’s success which includes 15% growth over the past three years, despite recent lockdowns.

“As we grew, we needed more staff and as we needed more staff we needed to grow,” says David. “I’ve been told that one day it will stop. I don’t know when because so far I’ve been doing this for coming up to 16 years and I’ve just taken on more staff. If an organisation isn’t growing, it’s stagnating, and then it’s got a problem.”

So when cashflow took a hit post-pandemic, David was faced with the prospect of making redundancies. Instead, he took out a small business loan with Prospa.

“Over a 12-month period, I can generate the revenue from the workflow I’ve got going, but I can’t ask my creditors to wait several months to pay them,” says David. “Some people may wonder why I continued to grow the company instead of shrinking the staff, because the money I borrowed is to pay staff. But if you’re taking out a cashflow loan like I did for working capital, that means you’re investing back in the business for it to generate that revenue.”

David has even helped some of his clients to secure loans from Prospa.

With Prospa, the application process was fast and easy, and the funds were available in David’s account within 48 hours of approval.

“Prospa threw me a lifeline,” he says. “Without it I’d have had to make redundancies.”

Despite wages inflation hitting the accounting sector, David continues to invest in the right staff and comes up with creative ways to retain them. This includes restructuring a role for an employee with children so they’re paid for 30 hours, work for 27 hours and get a week off during school holidays.

“We also do four-and-a-half-day working weeks,” says David. “So on Friday lunchtime everyone goes home but they’re still paid for the day.”

Matley 1

A succession plan

Another way Prospa’s small business loan is helping Matley to grow is the addition of an audit practice and investment into a new website to attract more of the company’s ideal clients: small business owners with $1 million to $2 million turnover.

David’s also keen to include bolt-on services, such as bringing on a law firm to help with Matley’s trust and conveyancing work.

Sometimes the best move a founder can make to help their business grow is to get out of the way. To this end, David has a succession plan in place that involves training up younger professionals to take over his job.

It comes back to his ethos of wanting to do the best for his clients. While preparing a set of accounts may not be his forte, making other people rich is.

“At my funeral, I hope everyone will turn up and say that they made a lot of money through the advice I’ve given them,” he says. “That’s one of the main things I love about my job.”

Need flexible access to funds that could help your business grow? Speak with one of our small business lending specialists.

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