In this Issue

March 2009 Newsletter

From the desk of our CEO, Andrew Blunden

As you are reading this newsletter I will be mid-air half way to Egypt with my eight year old son. Planned over 12 months ago (when the world economy seemed to be slightly more predictable) a couple of weeks trekking the pyramids and hiking in the desert during the school holidays seemed like a great idea.

"But should you still go now?", I've been asked. "Is it the right time with the economy the way it is"?

Of course, this has made me think.

Knowing this, it is essential that a business structures itself ahead of time to survive such critical events. You must plan ahead...and be flexible. In the Boy Scouts it was called "Being Prepared". You need to maintain a cash or funding buffer to survive tight times. You need to be able to move quickly as events unfold using appropriate (and timely and reliable) financial reports. You need responsible people on your team to interpret the information properly - and then to execute any changes in strategy. You need a back-up plan if any key person in your company "breaks a leg". And you need patience to survive whilst your less-prepared competitors go out of business.

How many companies during this economic turmoil have simply pushed the panic button... sacked staff... closed offices...are being forced to raise capital at high prices from unwilling lenders?

What was their forward planning like? Their contingency planning?

When creating the Part Time Professionals business model, we focussed on two key aims:

1) to provide businesses with the most flexible solution to meet their in-house accounting needs (and remember, contracting is more flexible than full-time employment); and

2) to give businesses access to some of the most experienced and qualified accountants available - on-site, at their premises. A part time CFO can advise, report, train, mentor and step-in whenever needed.

With companies facing today's economic challenges, and planning for tomorrow's, these aims are more important than ever.

And the Egyptian trip? We are flexibly staffed by our own Part Time Professionals, and we planned ahead; we are still going strong. And since the ancient Egyptians were well versed in handling the seven year feast, seven year famine cycle, I also hope to bring back some interesting perspectives from the Land of the Pharaohs!

And remember, if your company (or any business manager you know) wants more information about how Part Time Professionals and the 250 accountants in our CFO Network can help you weather the economic crisis ...and any other major changes to your business, JUST CALL US ON 1300 79 1946.

21st Century Management - getting the message out

Part Time Professionals' widely acclaimed e-book received a huge boost in circulation this month.

Australian Anthill, the respected business magazine, published a feature article titled "21st Century Management Strategies for Recession Proofing Your Business". The article promoted the core message of our e-book: that the demands on business owners have grown exponentially during the last decade and to survive the economic crisis and the many future challenges, a company must build a modern management team.

And a modern management team is not simply a group of highly paid executives who are employed full-time. This can be a recipe for failure.

The founder and CEO of Australian Anthill, James Tuckerman, has already made a significant mark on the Australian entrepreneurial landscape, and his recognition of the Part Time Professional message is a tremendous testimonial.

If you are the only person who has not read our e-book yet, it's not too late. Just click here to subscribe.

Who will do the work when the dust settles?

Here is a six-month timeline describing how the global financial crisis has impacted many Australian companies. Of course, there are always exceptions, but in summary:

  • From September to November, Australian businesses started to be concerned about the local impact of the US sub-prime mortgage crisis but the headlines still suggested that China and India would protect/reduce the effects on the Australian economy
  • In December and January many businesses closed over Summer. Again, the headlines suggested that the $10.4 billion stimulus package in December would stave off  a local recession. ...and the inauguration of a new US President would provide a catalyst for improvement.
  • In February and March pessimism set in across the board. Many businesses are now at this point. And for most, their immediate focus is debt repayment, cash flow improvement, downsizing and cost control.

But this stage has passed and many companies are now holding strategic workshops (i.e. planning for the future in the new economic environment with their remaining people). But to execute these plans, these same companies will require experienced people again.

One Chairman I spoke to said that, after the recent staff terminations in his company, he was not going to recruit full-time employees again for some time. He would only be using contractors.

This is an understandable view. Until there is some economic certainty, there is less risk engaging a contractor than a full-time staff member. Contractors provide a flexible and cost effective solution to a company's labour needs and are available at very short notice.

Part Time Professionals can provide experienced CFO's or Financial Controllers within 48 hours! And with no upfront fees, one of our CFO Network members is a great solution to assist you execute your strategic plans. Just give us a call on 1300 79 1946 to find out how we can help!

The Bottom Line

And talking about tough times.

An article published on Shortlist on 24 March says that about 25% of consultants have been retrenched from the recruitment industry over the past six months, and a further 25% may go before the downturn is over. One recruitment firm founder (who obviously still has a job) says that "It's not actually a bad thing, as it does get rid of some of the cowboys in the industry".

50% of the workforce certainly suggests a lot of cowboys! "Hi Ho Silver Away....!"

(Ed. At Part Time Professionals we represent a wide membership of professional independent contractors. We are not a recruitment firm...and with statistics like that, we are very glad!)

About Part Time Professionals

Part Time Professionals™ is wholly owned and operated in Australia. Our principals together have over 40 years experience in public accounting and as CFO's and Directors in multiple companies - both listed and unlisted. They are members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, CPA Australia, the National Tax Agents Association, the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Financial Executives Institute and the National Institute of Accountants.

Our aim is to help companies source the most experienced CFO, executive and corporate accounting talent, in the most cost-effective way!

We are constantly updating our website, so take a look at for more information or call us on 1300 79 1946 to discuss your needs.


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