Client-First Mindset Fuels Growth for William Buck SA

Already ranked among SA’s largest accounting and advisory firms, William Buck Adelaide is looking to cement its reputation as the leading provider of specialist services to mid-market businesses and high net worth individuals.

Strong growth in demand across all areas particularly audit, wealth and business advisory services has fuelled both an increasing level of activity and staff numbers at the Adelaide firm.

Over the past decade, William Buck’s Adelaide office has almost tripled in size to 160 staff and an annualised growth rate tracking around 15%. It is entering the new financial year with a positive outlook and expectations of ongoing organic and non-organic growth.

“In line with our long-term strategy, our expansion means we’re better placed to offer a broader range of services to the middle market in South Australia,” Managing Director Jamie McKeough said.

“We remain absolutely focussed on the SME sector.”

A key plank of William Buck’s growth strategy has been continuous investment in its talented team of people to ensure it remains at the cutting edge of a more technology-driven industry.

“The SME sector in South Australia has evolved significantly over recent years with greater business complexity, resulting in more businesses expanding interstate and overseas,” Mr McKeough said.

“This has led many to require a broader and more integrated range of specialist services. As advisers to this sector we’re making sure we continue to have the capacity and expertise required to provide real value to our existing and new clients.”

In line with this, William Buck’s Adelaide office has made a series of senior promotions and new appointments across business advisory, corporate advisory, superannuation and taxation services for the new financial year. They include new Directors Paula Liddle, Lee Fuller and Andrew Nicola, and new Principals Tricia Kleinig, James Northcote, Samantha Nicholls and Shane Taylor – including five who started as graduates with the firm.

M&A activity on the rise

A more progressive approach by confident SMEs in SA right across industry sectors has led to increased transaction support or services work for William Buck Adelaide’s advisory teams. This has involved a large amount of activity for local buyers rather than local vendors as more SA businesses establish or expand operations interstate and overseas.

Heightened interest in overseas markets by SA’s SMEs has also seen William Buck further utilise its ties with the outstanding global accounting network Praxity to assist business clients across the globe.

Back home, the firm has successfully undertaken five of its own mergers in the last decade, bringing complementary businesses under the William Buck banner.

“Over the years more than 60% of our growth has come from organic growth and the rest via mergers and acquisitions and we’re looking to continue along that path,” Mr McKeough said.

“We’re currently looking over a number of opportunities to merge in complementary services. If we find a strategic and compelling fit, particularly within IT, Financial and Property Advisory, we’ll act on it.”

Navigating the technology, finance and wealth maze

William Buck SA continues to build its IT service reflecting the growing need among SA’s SMEs for trusted technology advice particularly across cyber security, automating business processes and application selection.

Similarly, the firm is attracting greater demand for financial and investment advice.

It recently established a Finance Broking and Advisory division which has grown solidly over the past 18 months. Meanwhile its bespoke Wealth Advisory service for successful business owners, families and individuals currently makes up 25% of total group practice with more than $1.3 billion of client funds under advice.

“We feel proud and privileged to be working with leading SA businesses and families to help them reach their full potential. Ultimately, our success depends on the successful outcomes we generate for our clients – and we want that to continue well into the future,” Mr McKeough said.