Boyce celebrates 40 years in business
23 October 2013
Simply bursting with pride is how Michael Boyce feels on the 40th anniversary of Boyce Chartered Accountants.
Michael Boyce was a founding partner of the small accounting practice that opened its doors on 2 October 1973 in the central business district of Sydney, where the first clients were mostly young farmers looking for a fresh approach to financial management.
Within a period of nine months, the first rural branch of the firm was established in the Monaro region of New South Wales, and there began the proud history of rural practice that defines Boyce to this day.
(Michael Boyce is pictured centre right with wife Robyn, and Boyce MD Bernard Kennedy at the 40th anniversary celebrations held in Sydney)
Mick is quick to share credit for the early success of the firm with his fellow pioneering partners – Doug Treloar, Chris Blencowe, Richard Cummins and Tony Long – who helped establish the first branches in Cooma and then Moree, and developed the business and accounting systems that are still referenced today in the firm’s unique approach to management accounting.
Accounting as a discipline has come a long way since the early Boyce days when doing a farm budget for a client involved a sharp pencil and a trusty eraser.
Huge technology and communication advancements have meant the processes and systems employed by the industry are now very different. But even back in the 1970s Boyce was at the forefront in embracing technology.
Firm folklore includes tales of directors lugging ‘portable’ computers the size of large suitcases from client meeting to client meeting. The computers were equipped with the revolutionary ‘Boyce Business System’ computer software that made the pencil and the eraser obsolete – who would have thought.
Despite sharing the past forty years with such technological advancements, the focus of the firm has remained unchanged - to offer clients the highest quality management accounting and business advisory services.
A caring ethos
Mick Boyce credits the firm’s first independent Chairman, Jack Morrow, with instilling the “care for clients” ethos that informs the culture and philosophy of Boyce to this day.
One of the firm’s earliest clients, Heather Wheaton, is still with Boyce - a partnership that has endured since the early 1970s.
“Michael Boyce and Co (the original name of the firm) and the Wheaton Partnership grew up together,” said Heather.
“In the 70s we were both young and adventurous entities together.”
Heather and her late husband John initially ventured into growing poplar trees which Heather recalls as a ‘not-for-profit’ time of their lives. The couple returned to more conventional farming and it was Mick Boyce who mediated a successful purchase of the family farm at Gulargambone in central west New South Wales.
“Right from the very beginning Boyce has been involved, encouraging, mediating, advising, consoling and helping us to make decisions to maximise profits,” says Heather.
“Boyce has been an integral part of our business – the input and advice of various directors over the years and John’s management expertise, combined to ensure we had an enjoyable, profitable partnership in agribusiness.”
Mrs Wheaton says it is the genuine friendship that she has had with the firm as the reason the association has endured for 40 years.
“It was a true partnership between John and I and Boyce - built on trust and respect.”
Boyce has grown steadily over the years and the client base has broadened to include businesses and clients from across a diverse range of industry and professional groups.
The fact that Boyce today is as strong as it has ever been at any time in its history is a vindication of a life’s work according to Mick, who although retired since 1995, remains a staunch advocate of the firm and a huge influence on the leadership group that has succeeded him.
“I am naturally pleased by the deserved professional standing of Boyce, but I am just as pleased by the fact that the firm has retained the principles of a business family during its growth.”
Today the Boyce leadership group is comprised of twelve directors and four associate directors all of whom embrace a commitment to investing in people and systems to ensure that there is a constant evolution in the firm’s level of service delivery and client care.
An example of the firm’s commitment to developing our people is the recent Boyce Congress, a two day training session held in Sydney for qualified team members to learn from experts in the fields of tax, superannuation and management accounting, plus other non-technical professional and self-development subjects.
“As a leadership group it’s vitally important to us to leave the firm in as good a shape as it was when handed to us by Mick and the other early partners,” said Bernard.
“By encouraging, mentoring and training our successors, we can ensure that will happen.”
A young, talented team
Boyce today is a vibrant mix of talented young, and more experienced, people.
The directors are proud of the fact that the firm offers young people the opportunity to have a rewarding professional career whilst enjoying the many benefits of living in a regional centre.
“A diverse client base, lots of business advisory work and the opportunity to specialise, means that Boyce has a lot to offer young professionals,” said Bernard.
This is especially so for those who have done their early training in the city and now seek to return to a country lifestyle, but without having to forgo the opportunity to have an interesting and challenging professional career.
It’s clear that the history of the firm will be forever linked to the pioneering way in which Mick Boyce and his fellow founding partners struck out into regional areas to forge a business that has remained true to its rural background but grown to offer a “big city” level of accounting and business advisory expertise and range of specialist services.
Financial advisory division
A relatively recent evolution of Boyce has been the establishment of the firm’s financial advisory business – Boyce Financial Services.
Boyce now offers a holistic approach – the financial advisory team work in conjunction with the accounting team to ensure that all facets of a client’s financial affairs are considered. It’s a formula that appears to be working as the financial advisory business has grown quickly.
Mick Boyce is of course rightly proud of the firm that he established and of the people that have succeeded him. Today Boyce is the leading independent accounting firm in regional Australia (BRW 2012) with five offices and a fantastic team of more than 120 people.
Now for the next 40 years…