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Award-Winning Austral Accountants - Vajira Jayasooriya Director
accountants and bookkeepers

From Start-up to Star: Meet Award-Winning Austral Accountants - Powered by QuickBooks

Founded in 2012, Austral Accountants has grown from being a sole practitioner, single-office firm to 9 employees spread across 4 offices in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, and Gold Coast. It specialises in serving micro and small businesses, providing services like business structuring, tax planning, virtual CFO support, and all-round growth advisory.

Austral’s team understands that a business’s accountant is more than just a financial expert—it’s their growth partner. That’s why the firm pulls out all the stops to guide customers through the process of starting and scaling their business. 

This level of dedication has earned the firm multiple awards, including National Winner of the 2022 Accountant of the Year award from the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA).

So, what’s its secret to award-winning client service? 

QuickBooks Online.

Here’s the story of how QuickBooks helped Austral Accountants become one of Australia’s top accounting firms. 

Helping High Growth, High Need Businesses

Austral specialises in helping three types of clients: those owned by first-generation immigrants, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) businesses, and start-ups.

These are high-growth niches—but there’s a problem. First-generation, start-ups or NDIS entrepreneurs typically lack the expertise to maximise their business’s potential. 

As Director Vajira Jayasooriya explains, "Many first-generation citizens are committed to starting their own businesses, but they don't have a proper understanding of the Australian system. Likewise, the NDIS sector is full of founders with plenty of passion but little prior business experience.”

That’s where Austral comes in.

The firm offers clients a fixed-fee service package specifically designed for start-ups entering the business world. This includes bookkeeping, accounting, taxation, business advice, and subscriptions to apps like QuickBooks Online. 

Fixed-fee packages give cash-strapped startups full transparency over how much they owe the firm—this is immensely helpful for entrepreneurs first starting. Then, as their businesses grow, the services that Austral provides grow alongside their clients’ changing needs.

Austral also acts as a virtual CFO for small and medium businesses that can’t afford full-time internal financial leadership. They provide financial analysis and guidance to help these clients successfully compete with larger companies.

Put simply, Austral gives passionate entrepreneurs the support they need to focus on doing what they do best: serving customers. 

Going Beyond Compliance

Bookkeeping, submitting financial returns, and handling payroll are key activities. However, Austral Accountants knows that compliance alone won’t help businesses reach the next level. That’s why it focuses on so much more than just providing clients with these types of traditional accounting services. 

As Vajira describes, "I have clients who call me any time they need to make a business decision. I’ve been working with them for years. I know their company, industry, and ambitions. They trust me, and consider me a genuine partner”. 

Austral Accountants works closely with their clients, providing ongoing advisory support regarding HR, marketing, and technology. Moreover, the firm helps connect clients to government grants and tenders tailored to small businesses, utilising its knowledge and connections as a member of the Small Business Association of Australia. 

According to Vajira, the firm’s accountants are akin to a "family doctor". They don’t just troubleshoot in times of emergency. Instead, they work to build long-lasting relationships where they get to know the client and their business deeply.

Many firms talk about the need to become business advisors—but few embody this as deeply as Austral Accountants. 

Pictures of Vajira Jayasooriya Director, Austral Accountants

QuickBooks Online: The Secret to Austral Accountants’ Success

Dig a little deeper, and you’ll realise Austral Accountants has a secret. 

Its award-winning customer service takes the plaudits—and rightly so. But this is only possible thanks to one tool: QuickBooks Online.

Ensuring Compliance While Boosting Efficiency

Accounting firms can only become trusted advisors by doing the basics right. Keeping clients compliant isn’t the most exciting activity. However, it’s the most important. Why would clients trust a firm that can’t keep them on the right side of the ATO?

QuickBooks’ suite of accounting tools handles the bread and butter of Austral’s accounting work. Its web and mobile apps are easy to use and cloud-based. This means the team can always stay connected, even while they’re out of the office meeting clients or working remotely.

Austral’s accountants can automate essential tasks such as managing clients’ financial data, submitting tax returns, and handling payroll. What’s more, thanks to QuickBooks’ integrations, Austral runs an interconnected firm with data passing seamlessly between its various tools.

Powering Clients’ Businesses

Vajira is keen to emphasise that QuickBooks has a similarly powerful impact on Austral’s clients. “QuickBooks Online keeps our clients’ businesses running”, he says. “It allows them to easily track expenses, capture receipts, send invoices, and stay on top of their finances. They couldn’t operate without it.”

QuickBooks' affordable pricing makes it accessible for the small businesses and startups Austral serves. And thanks to QuickBooks’s online training materials and customer support, Austral can devote its energy to advisory services, rather than on teaching clients how to use the tool.

As Vajira describes, "QuickBooks is perfect for both our firm and our clients. It lets us focus on what we do best: delivering award-winning client service.”

Supporting Firm Growth

With QuickBooks powering their operations, Austral Accountants has grown rapidly over the past decade. QuickBooks enables Austral to efficiently serve a much higher volume of clients than would have been possible with manual processes. By leveraging QuickBooks, Austral Accountants has successfully scaled while still providing the personalised level of service that it has become known for. 

QuickBooks: Unlocking Firms’ Potential

Thanks to QuickBooks, Austral Accountants has gone from being a small, unknown firm to a nationally recognised player. 

By automating backend tasks and providing easy scalability, QuickBooks empowers Austral to make client advisory—not compliance—their focus. This has allowed the firm to become a trusted growth partner for all its clients. 

Looking to deliver a similarly award-winning level of client service? Contact the QuickBooks team to learn how the QuickBooks Suite can power your firm.

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