On August 2nd 2020, the Victorian Premier announced the return of significant lockdowns “As they tell us, based on the current numbers, cases might begin to drop off not in days or weeks – but in months. Months more of lockdown restrictions.”
At the same time, 3 young, passionate entrepreneurs Jason Robinson, Shelley Davies and Greg Bramich decided it was the right time to create a new-age advisory firm that would not only be the best place for employees to work, but would be the firm any business could trust. In August 2020, in the middle of lockdown, Future Advisory was born.
Fast forward to October 2021, and Future Advisory looks completely different. Having doubled in size from 14 employees, to 27 employees in a matter of months, despite the significant challenges facing the accounting industry. In doing so, they were the only firm nominated for two FY22 Xero Awards, ultimately winning Xero Partner of the Year. This year, Xero Awards were all about “Recognizing those who led positive change in the past financial year”. Additionally, the awards focused on ‘Cultures and practices that make day-to-day activities meaningful and purposeful”. In the end, this described Future Advisory perfectly and they were extremely well deserving winners.
It is no secret that the accounting industry has been impacted in a big way since the pandemic started in early 2020, with the introduction of many new regulations and grants available to businesses and employees, jobkeeper, and the strain that many business owners have been subjected to has often left them seeking counsel from their trusted advisors. All this and more have increased the overall workloads, complexity and time needed to support the businesses, their owners, and their employees to survive and thrive.
In this period, Everperform has been privy to the wellbeing, relationships and productivity of Future Advisory’s rapidly growing team. In large part, this growth can be attributed to the dedication and attractiveness of the firm's culture, one that stems from the leadership team but permeates all the way through the team.
However, that hasn't stopped Future Advisory trying to improve.
“The stress that we have seen accountants, advisors, bookkeepers and their managers, directors and partners all experience throughout this period has been extreme” Daniel Spitty, CEO, Everperform. “Jason and the team have a focus on wellbeing and ensuring that their teams are well supported and remain connected, particularly through these times”.
Jason reinforced the value of focusing on more than the traditional scoreboard, one they know well, instead they wanted to focus on their people and how they were thinking and feeling.
“Everperform is great for measuring how people are going from a culture point of view because the questions they are asking isn’t ‘did you hit 80% billable hours this week?’ It's more about ‘did you get fresh air? Did you go for a walk outside? Did you do exercise this week? Did you have meaningful conversations? Do you have good relationships with people at work?’ They’re all things that if we’re getting good responses to those questions, that's our measure of success” Jason Robinson, Future Advisory
Through the weekly pulses sent via the Everperform platform, the wellbeing and relationship trends provide a really valuable validation that has enabled Jason, Greg and Shelley to always be in the know, without needing to spend hours on Slack or the phone to connect to their teams.
‘We have used the pulses to save time, yet improve the quality and timeliness of the conversations we are having with our people’
Technology, automation and intelligent decision making is a key lever that underpins Future Advisory’s ability to handle such impressive workloads and scale growth at rapid speeds. At the heart of this is the ability for them to join the dots between systems, particularly when it comes to the holistic performance of their team.
“Everperform connected with XPM and within 24 hours, we had the performance trends across all of our employees in beautiful visualisations that just made us smile!” and “we can now see the correlations between how our team are feeling and the impact it is having on their productivity and client delivery on any day, not just at the end of the month"
To further cement their focus on the measurements that matter, the team is about to commence their Wellbeing Led Performance playbook with Tom Boyd (Everperform, Wellbeing and Growth Leader) that will create interactions and improvement strategies to help the team navigate the challenges they will face over the coming months.
It’s been an exciting journey to date and we look forward to seeing Future Advisory continue to propel their impact on the world into 2022.