Jamie Davison is a CPA bookkeeper and co-founder of Carbon Group, an energetic and professional team servicing small businesses Australia-wide, which has become one of Xero’s largest platinum partners.
Since Jamie joined forces with co-founder, Nathan Hood, four years ago, Carbon Group has grown exponentially from one small office in Osborne Park, Perth, to now operating across six locations in three states with 85 employees, including 17 partners.
Here’s their story of progression and the role Xero Projects now plays to support their holistic approach to core business solutions.
Back in 2012, Jamie Davison was a struggling bookkeeping franchisee who worked hard at his marketing but wasn’t seeing any results. This reality was flipped upside down when he discovered Xero at a seminar.
“The winds of change were set in motion when I attended a session in Brisbane on how to run a bookkeeping business. Fifteen minutes into the presentation from Xero, I was hooked.” says Jamie.
“Just 48 hours later, and at some cost, I had exited the franchise. I was excited, invigorated, and free from my restraints. I was ready to chase the dream of bringing cloud-based bookkeeping to my non-existent client base.
“That was the beginning of Fortuna Bravado Bookkeeping – my reworking of the Latin quote ‘Fortune favours the brave’. I became Xero certified, signed my first client, and became a bronze partner. All in the space of a month.”
Why choose Xero?
The decision to move over to Xero was an easy one. Jamie saw it as a true cloud software solution with evolving offerings, as opposed to other providers which offered semi-cloud options.
“The graphical user interface is easy to understand and control for both accounting professionals and people without accounting backgrounds. It also has better integrations with third party applications. The record management via the use of Xero files is fantastic as it allows you to store more than just accounting data.
“I also love that there’s just one version. So there are never version conflicts and you won’t ever find yourself using a different version to your client or advisors.”
From conquering cash flow issues to winning awards
Only a few months after starting his Xero journey, Jamie and his wife, Bec, became gold partners with Xero. They exclusively offered Xero to clients and used it themselves to monitor and improve their cash flow.
Six months later, they combined forces with an accounting firm and rebranded again to become Carbon Group. Starting out as a provider of bookkeeping and accounting services, Carbon has now expanded into cloud integration, general insurance, mortgage broking and financial planning.
The business has gone from strength to strength and received prestigious awards such as the 2015 Xero Bookkeeper of the Year, 2017 Bookkeeping Firm of the Year and 2018 National Firm of the Year at the Australian Accounting Awards – the latter out of 11,500 firms. We’re sure there are more to come.
Introducing Xero Projects
As a company that provides a holistic approach to core business services, Carbon Group continually seeks top-of-the-range tools to eliminate various pain points for their clients. So when they heard about Xero Projects, Jamie knew it was the perfect integrated solution for his clients with staff time and projects charged by the hour.
“We’d been watching the project management space for a little while. Previously, you needed an additional tool to Xero to do certain things for clients, such as project budgeting and recording staff time, but with Xero Projects you could do it all under the one hub.
“There’s work involved in the set up, but Xero Projects is straightforward to use. It suits the vast majority of our clients.”
A 360-degree view of your business
Jamie values the simple and integrated nature of Xero Projects and says the tool gives his clients a 360-degree view of their business, enabling them to regularly reassess their systems and processes.
“It has helped our clients to identify that, because they weren’t recording their time and materials effectively, jobs weren’t necessarily profitable. Over time, Xero Projects will give them a better grasp of which jobs are more profitable and which they need to work on. It records work in progress and bills that have to be paid. So they gain improved visibility of jobs.”
Jamie adds that Xero Projects is especially suited to tradies on-the-go who action everything from a mobile device.
“Whenever we put a client on to Xero Projects who works in the tradie space, we recommend they send the invoice before they leave the job. They’re doing their invoices in real time and taking steps to improve cash flow at the same time.”
Positive changes for time-based billers
“We’ve recommended Xero Projects to about 20 percent of our client base so far – mainly tradies, software developers and anyone else who does time-based jobs,” says Jamie.
“They’ve all been very receptive. A few have said that they wish they’d been with Xero from the beginning!
“It’s another step in the right direction for Xero and offers a lot more value to the entire Xero proposition."