Putting People First


Since 1978, Robertson Scannell has been helping the community of Toowoomba – initially as an accounting firm, and now with full suite of financial services, including financial planning, business advisory, book keeping, marketing and finance.

Robertson Scannell joined Count in 2001. In 2018, they were awarded Member Firm of the Year (Tied) – largely thanks to their exceptional service and compliance standards. John Littleproud, one of the firm’s six directors, talks to us about why the firm continues to put helping clients above everything else.

What’s been your greatest achievement this year?

It's pretty simple really – we’ve continued to make helping people the most important thing that we do. As a result, our business continues to grow, we have a high engagement rate, and our compliance standards are very good. Our success is evidenced by the fact that we lose very few clients – and that they're always happy to come in and talk to us.

It's great to be recognised and honoured with a Count award – and we want to acknowledge all the people behind the scenes, including clients who helped us out. We’re also very proud of Jacob Moss, our adviser who won the 2018 Young Adviser of the Year award. He does a tremendous job and his award was well deserved. But the most important thing to me is helping our clients.

Has increasing regulatory activity changed the way you do business?

When the best interests clause came in, an auditor asked me, ‘How is this going to change what you do?’ I replied, ‘Nothing will change – because we're already serving our client’s best interests. We always have.’

It comes back to our philosophy: ‘How would we like to be treated – and how would we like our parents or grandparents to be treated?’

We view auditors as a tremendous resource. We try to engage with them wherever we can to make sure we're doing things right. While compliance isn’t something we always enjoy, our attitude is that it must be done – so let’s do it properly.

What value do seminars offer clients?

A farmer or businessperson may be great at what they do, but they probably need help with the financial side of things. Our seminars are all about getting the information they need out there – and giving them an opportunity to ask questions.

We also provide free one-on-one sessions so those interested in advice can drop in to say ‘G’day’ and talk to us about their general financial circumstances. We find that some of the people who attend these one-on-one sessions come back later when they're ready.

Recently, we’ve done a couple of presentations for referral partners. One seminar focused on estate planning and was run by Craig Day, Colonial First State’s Executive Manager, Technical Services. We invited all the local solicitors, so they get to know that we have expertise in this area and may refer clients to us who need estate planning help.

How do you ensure your clients are happy?

We put a lot of focus on client feedback. We find it's constructive and helps us improve our services. Every month we randomly select a couple of clients to call – and we also send out client surveys. But I guess one of the best indicators of satisfaction is that very few clients leave us – and they’re increasingly referring friends and family onto us.