ESS Small Business Affiliates

Andrew Geddes

B.Com (Queensland), Dip.Fin.Mgnt (New England), M.Ec (New England), FCPA, FAICD.

Current positions…

  • Director, Andrew Geddes Pty Ltd.
  • External Chairman, Six Multi- Discipline Professional Service Firms (all private companies).
  • Business Development Coach, selected (carefully!!!) firms.

Prior positions…

  • Non-Executive Director - Count Financial Limited (now part of CBA) 2000 – 2011
  • Non-Executive Director - Greencross Limited (Chairman since listing in 2005 through to 2014)
  • External Chairman - dozens of firms over the last three decades.

Andrew Geddes has been involved with business improvement work with professional service firms and smaller private companies for over forty years. He created one of Australia’s most successful business consulting and training companies in the process (FMRC Pty Ltd in Armidale, NSW).

He was the Inaugural Chairman of Greencross Limited, a veterinary group that was listed in 2005. It grew to become a top 200 ASX company in 2014, before being purchased by private equity in 2017.

Andrew spent twelve months in the late 90s working with accounting firms in the UK and North America. His material was enthusiastically received in these markets. He conducted practice development planning retreats, firm reviews, succession management and specialty service development sessions with firms of all sizes. He also spoke at conferences and seminars on a regular basis.

Andrew now specialises in assisting business owners create Senior Management Teams so that they can further develop their businesses and create succession solutions in time. He is an experienced External Chairman and Business Improvement Coach.

He currently works with both consulting and manufacturing engineering firms, surveying and land development firms, accounting firms, management consultants and IT scale ups.

He has run management skill development workshops for over forty years and is an experienced adult educator drawing on his chairmanship experience, business coaching and executive management positions.

Paul Barnaby

Accounting Industry Consultant and Australasian Manager for PlanGuru – Budgets, Cashflow and Projected Balance Sheets software

Beyond Accounting Technologies was founded in 1999 by Paul Barnaby. Beyond Accounting Technologies provides specialist implementation on the methodologies of:

  • Predictive Accounting
  • Corporate Financial Analysis
  • Budgets and Cashflow Forecasting
  • Business Management Consulting

Paul is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years' experience in the profession.

For 15 years, Paul was Managing Partner of a second tier national firm in Wellington NZ.

For the past 10 plus years he has operated a Queensland Australia-based specialist consulting practice. His input to any business is practical, hands-on and designed to give clients confidence in the process of strategic planning and forecasting, as well as knowledge of software tools.

Jordan Lowry

Managing Director, Blackstone Business Services – Human Resources and Workplace Health and Safety Consultants

Blackstone Business Services Approach

Blackstone is committed to offering tailored solutions to their clients.
They offer their clients a one-stop-shop for all of their workplace growth and compliance needs.

The goal of Blackstone Business Services is to help their clients maximise staff performance and increase their profits.

We know that clients each face their own set of unique challenges, therefore, Blackstone approaches each new engagement with the intent to gather specific information so that they can devise a tailored strategy and solution for the client's business.

The Blackstone Story

Blackstone was founded to revolutionise the workplace relations industry in Australia. The goal of the team at Blackstone is to cut through the obscurity in the marketplace and offer the most premium business development and employee management services at an affordable rate for all clients.


When it comes to putting in place documentation or dealing with employee issues people tend to be either “PROACTIVE” or “REACTIVE.” Quite often people are the latter. Because of this reactive approach, employers usually seek help only once there is a problem.

Unfortunately, if you have not followed the correct processes in line with Fairwork Legislation large amounts of damage can already have been done. This is why at Blackstone their focus is to make setting up the systems to help protect your business a painless and stress-free experience. At Blackstone, you can now afford to be “PROACTIVE.”


The vision of Blackstone is to provide an advanced HR and MANAGEMENT resource that you can call YOUR own no matter how large or small your business, company or organization may be.

As experts in the field of workplace culture, employee behaviours, human resources and WHS strategy, Blackstone will prove itself to be a valuable complement to your operation.

Amanda Gascoigne

Gascoigne Enterprises Pty Ltd

Amanda has been a career accountant all her life, working in a Big 4 and then a mid-tier accounting firm. Amanda is an FCA and had a successful accounting practice for 18 years which she started from scratch in 1999.

After 18 years as a practice owner, Amanda pivoted and now coaches and consults to accounting practice owners wanting to embrace contemporary practice ways that are a win/win for all – themselves, their families, their teams and their clients.

Amanda developed quite a niche with accounting practice owners with children (or who would like to have children in the near future) who want a practice that not only ticks the boxes professionally but personally as well.

Amanda's bespoke coaching for accounting practice owners brings together her entrepreneurial and empathetic business and practice management skills.

Ashley Evans

Partner, AAA+ Financial Solutions.

AAA+ Financial Solutions is Northern Queensland's premier finance, mortgage broker and home loan specialists.

Operating since 2001, it has helped thousands of regional Queenslanders to achieve their financial goals.

Their award-winning service offers a superior, personalised approach so you can be sure you are dealing with trusted and experienced professional brokers.

Based in Townsville and servicing all areas of regional Queensland, they can take care of your complete finance requirements. From large commercial, rural funding through to home loans and car and equipment loans, they can assist with every aspect of your portfolio of credit needs.

AAA+ offers an open and trustworthy process for you to locate and source the loan suited to your particular situation and circumstances – they pride themselves on their independence and are under no obligation to any one lender.

They will work with you to identify and value all of your specific and changing financial needs.

AAA+ Financial Solutions is fully qualified members of the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia so you can be sure that you're dealing with the specialists you need.

Trent Butler

Trent Butler Consulting Pty Ltd

Trent Butler Consulting Pty Ltd help accountants, bookkeepers and financial services professionals attract the right type of clients by leveraging the power of LinkedIn.

Trent is a Chartered Accountant based in Sydney, Australia. He knows a ton about developing a practice using online channels, which makes for a rather unique mix of skills. He works exclusively with accountants and advisers to help them grow their businesses by providing them with a best-practice approach to acquiring clients online.

Trent has a passion for building businesses. Specifically, building accounting and advisory practices through the power of clear messaging and valuable conversations.

Trent and his team help accountants and advisory business gain an immediate increase in clients and gross fees. The short-term objective is always positive ROI within the first 30 days.

What Trent Butler Consulting will do for you:

  • Save time: Why spend valuable hours dealing with less than ideal referrals or attending after hours networking events when we can attract high-value clients to you instead?
  • Automate: They have created a new cutting-edge client acquisition system which connects you with high-value prospects who are in desperate need (and can afford) your services. Their system works for you in the background with minimal effort allowing you to focus on what you do best.
  • Attract: They help you win prospective high-value clients through a professional, non-salesly message and their proprietary method channels your message to your exact, ideal client and turns them into a qualified booked appointment in your calendar.

Geoff Goodrich

Great Business Pty Ltd/Great Power Solutions/BIZTOOLSNT.

Great Power Solutions

Geoff Goodrich, Director, has been working in the Smart Energy space for 6 years. He has been operating and managing businesses in the NT since 1991, and has had extensive involvement in the local community.

Geoff is the founder and an active member of Territory Proud Inc, recently handing over the chair to become Ambassador. He is also the co-founder and driving force of SmartEnergy NT, a community organisation with a mission to promote the economic and social benefits of Smart Energy in the Territory.

Geoff and his team are committed to implementing change for good at both the organisational and individual level.

They help clients save money and reduce their carbon impact by adopting smart energy practices and improving energy efficiency.


BIZTOOLS NT is an organisation dedicated to sharing useful information to SMEs and accountants in the Northern Territory and beyond to build their knowledge, avoid some of the pitfalls of business and make owning a business less stressful and more profitable.

Priscilla B Smith

Tax Agent, Senior Accountant, Partner of Cloud Nine Associates Pty Ltd.

The team and associates at Cloud Nine Associates Pty Ltd will support you in reaching financial success, bringing you leading experts in the field for you to enjoy the best of the best service available today - all in one place.

Cloud Nine Associates conducts training courses for bookkeepers to obtain appropriate registration to become licensed to prepare Business Activity Statements.

She also runs training for people wishing to become tax agents.

Kevin Thiele

Future Ready Group, Management Accounting

Management Accounting

Kevin's interest in manufacturing extended to operating his own light manufacturing workshop with lathe, mill etc. He enjoyed developing the products but day-to-day manufacturing soon palled and he soon hired other people to do the routine work.

An accountant with practical skills? He met many who simply refused to believe that, but they have to understand the reverse applies too! You don't learn how to run a business on the shop floor and with only one skill!

Having grown up on a farm Kevin learnt early that you had to learn a variety of skills as help was too far away. He is very much a development type person and doesn't like routine. He didn't like the cities either, so living in remote areas meant you had to develop many skill sets yourself.

Consulting was his perfect career choice.

Matthew Karakoulakis



Matthew's presentation will be titled "Legal Issues Relating to COVID-19 and in Particular Business Contracts and Force Majeure".

Matthew was the founder and Principal Solicitor at AMK Law. He consistently engaged with small business owners and entrepreneurs seeking to expand by delivering high-level legal advice and services. Before starting AMK Law, Matthew worked in major firms and organisations including Clayton Utz, HWL Ebsworth and ASIC. As a result, he is very well-equipped to deal with matters of any size and complexity and working with a broad range of clients, from small and medium enterprises through to large Australian corporations, including Indigenous organisations and government bodies.

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