Founding member and ‘Fearless’ accountant
Bill Andrews is one of a kind. From the moment you start talking with him, you know he’s a unique character who enjoys a rich and fulfilling life. His nickname is ‘Fearless’ and with good reason. He talks about flying aerobatics, patting ferocious lions and herding cattle like they are regular everyday activities. In business, there’s no doubt his widely varied experiences enhance his accounting services. One of the founding members of the Canterbury Bankstown Chamber of Commerce, he is a proud supporter of the organisation, despite living 500 kilometres away.
Martin Place to Parramatta to Hunter Valley to Uralla
Early in his career, Bill worked for the Australian Taxation Office in Sydney’s Martin Place. Whilst he found this employment enjoyable, after a decade he made the decision to move on and start a partnership with his father. Together they opened an accountancy firm based in Parramatta and spent many years servicing clients specialising in taxation.
When his father chose to retire, Bill wanted a tree change, and with his wife Rae moved to the Hunter Valley region. He continued with his accountancy firm, but rather than being based in a single location, he became the travelling accountant. As a professional pilot with a small plane based at Maitland airport, he was able to fly to his appointments. Many of his clients were farmers, so landing the plane on their properties became a regular occurrence.
Bill explains …
“I’ve always liked to see my clients face to face … even today I don’t take my mobile into a meeting because I believe my client deserves to have an uninterrupted conversation.”
This unconventional accountant provided an extra level of service rarely seen within the industry and almost unheard of in regional areas. Bill’s ability to give clients an aerial perspective of their land was highly beneficial, especially in the instance where a client was set to purchase a large piece of land but was unaware that it had an abandoned mining dump in the middle. The dump was difficult to access from the ground and it was only noted by Bill’s mid-air inspection …
“It was lucky I flew over the land … the client confirmed later that it was polluted, and the sellers were trying to off load the property without thorough inspection.”
After many years in the Hunter Valley, Bill and Rae were forced to move out of the area. Rae developed an allergy to coal dust, so they sought the high altitude and clean air of Uralla. Surprisingly, it is here that their connection to the Canterbury Bankstown Chamber of Commerce was made. A chance meeting with Wally Mehanna in town forged a strong friendship and saw Bill choose to become a founding member…
“When Wally said he was going to develop the chamber, I asked to be a foundation member. I have great faith in Wally’s ability to achieve what he sets out to do … as well as great respect for his personal integrity. I knew that whatever Wally attempted would be a success … I like being part of successful ventures.”
Today, Bill continues to service clients from all around the country and even has a few across the Tasman Sea in New Zealand. He regularly travels to Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter Valley as well as Queensland and New Zealand. Whilst he does have a purpose-built office in Uralla, he spends much of his time on the road or in the air…
“Armidale airport is only 20 kilometres away from my house, so I can easily come to Sydney on a 6.30am flight. There’s also a regular Brisbane service. It’s not a big deal to travel, I just rent a car when I land and visit my clients.”
Specialising in business valuations and difficult taxation matters, Bill understands the complex legislation involved in issues such as capital gains tax. Clients are often referred to him by other tax agents who are unable to assist in these multifaceted transactions.
Bill is a firm believer that the relationship he develops with his clients enables him to achieve the best outcomes. He is honest and will always provide advice that he wholeheartedly stands by.
“Being a business valuer, you need to have an intimate knowledge of the business … once you have the connection and understanding, you are in a far better position to give an accurate assessment of the value. Certainly, better than someone who just gets handed a document with figures on it.”
Community focused now and into the future
During his time at the Taxation Office, Bill was appointed a Justice of the Peace and has continued to hold that position for 50 years. He celebrated his Golden Jubilee last month when he was honoured for service to the community and attended an awards event at Parliament House.
Not only does Bill give to the community, but so does his wife Rae. Her award-winning garden has been utilised for charity events numerous times over the last few years, with hundreds of people enjoying the delights of her roses, daffodils and bluebells as part of the St Peter’s Armidale Gardens event.
For the chamber, Bill hopes to see it triple in size over the coming years. As more people come to understand how valuable the organisation is for the local network, business relationships will strengthen, and the entire community will enjoy greater success.
“It’s all about being open to opportunity. Networking is key … for example Client A has a problem, Client B has the solution, Client C wants to deal with both A and B. This is beneficial to all people; if you can be the conduit then that’s a good thing.”
To find out more about Bill Andrews and his services, visit his website billandrews.com.au or call 0417 280 634.
Article produced by Brilliant Digital, proud partners of the Canterbury Bankstown Chamber of Commerce. If you would like more information about our services, please visit www.brilliantdigital.com.au