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Trak Accountants saved me $60-70k over past 18 months

Dave Burgis, from National Health and Fitness Academy, came to Trak Accountants because he had a massive tax bill to deal with and his current accountant had no strategy to help him deal with it. Much like many other business owners Dave caught up with his Accountant once a year, which in this case was way too late.

I love being able to say that we saved our clients money, we often do, but in Dave’s case it was great to be able to make amendments to his prior year’s tax returns, fix up errors and provide him with some massive savings straight up. We were off to a great start! But it has been the ongoing business support to Dave that I’ve really enjoyed. I caught up with Dave over a coffee to get some of his views on how things have been going for him. Here is some of his story.

About Dave Burgis and the National Health and Fitness Academy

Dave Burgis is the Managing Director of the National Health and Fitness Academy. He started out learning to be a personal trainer but quickly found out he had a knack for coaching and at 25 years of age he decided to set up his own Registered Training Organisation on the Gold Coast.

Do you remember Anthony Ikin the dancer who appeared on So You Think You Can Dance? Well Dave’s business was first set up to provide accreditation to Anthony’s dancers so they could raise some extra money doing personal training on the side.

As many business owners find out, running a business is so much more than just providing the product or service and for Dave it was particularly tough because he had to deal with all the red tape that comes with being a Registered Training Organisation. It took him over a year and $120k instead of the $20k he’d estimated, to get his business and courses running in 2009.

Things were growing slowly until 2011 when the floodwaters of the Brisbane River engulfed his studio at Milton. Dave was devastated as you can imagine. He’d been working very hard training personal trainers; employing personal trainers to train clients in his studio and training his own clients, so after the flood he decided to make some big changes and sold half the business to his business partner and concentrated on the training courses.

“I felt incredibly deflated at this time. Everything I’d built up felt like it had been washed away. But many years later I’ve been able to see that this was the catalyst that turned my business around. Instead of running endlessly on a treadmill I was able to take stock and develop some focus” – Dave Burgis.

Over the next few years the business slowly grew. This was where his tax problems started. When Dave came to us he had a massive tax bill to pay.

“Things were starting to go really well, the money was rolling in, however my accountant didn’t mention any problems until June and by then my tax debt was around $40k. I was in a very difficult situation. I mentioned to the manager at the Prana Centre, that I needed to find an accountant that works for rich people. It was a bit of an off-the-cuff statement, but Anthony, the manager, said he knew one who’d just finished as an advisor to John Fitzgerald, the owner of the Prana Centre and a widely respected, Australian property expert, multi-millionaire and philanthropist, to start his own business. I was a bit sceptical that I would ever trust another accountant but I’ve been totally turned around.” – Dave Burgis.

Dave’s situation is not uncommon for a lot of business owners. Many view their accountant as someone you see just once a year. They never expect them to have ongoing input into their business, but that is exactly what an accountant does for big business. They advise them about all types of commercial decisions. That’s what I’ve done throughout my career and how I help local businesses now.

“Working with Mark at Trak has saved me around $60-$70k over the past 18 months, provided me with business direction and stability, but most of all, it has enabled me to address problem areas that were causing me a lot of stress. I recon my stress has been cut by about 80%. This has been the most beneficial result for me as I can now enjoying my home life without the worry and stress.” – Dave Burgis.

“I now get Mark to come and talk to all of my students during each course. I’ve never pushed a service before, but now I always refer Mark and Trak Accountants to all my students. I always listen to Mark, he’s never been wrong yet. I really do trust him 100%.” – Dave Burgis.

I particularly love this last statement from Dave. Don’t worry I didn’t make that up. You can contact him for verification, however I am sorry to let you down, occasionally…. very occasionally, I am wrong J.

Dave’s business has been growing rapidly over the past few years. He has just launched a new website, put on his first full-time staff member and is currently developing his first online course. I’m super excited watching him grow and looking forward to working with him again in 2015.

Dave’s website is found at http://personaltrainingcourses.net.au/ and you can contact him direct ondave@nationalhfa.com.au or 0433 872 620.

Thanks for letting us use your story Dave.

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