Five minutes with Sevan Tuna
Sevan Tuna was always certain in his ambition to be an accountant. After studying a Bachelor of Business Accounting at Monash University he joined AS Partners and has been part of the team ever since.
As he approaches his 20th year with the business, Sevan is now a director of the firm and spearheads the strategic focus of the business. We spent five minutes with Sevan talking about his typical day, his career highlights and tips for small business owners.
Q: What do you do every day?
A: There are pretty much three components to my every day work. One of those is working on the business, which for me means looking at the strategic planning, operations, processes, procedures – no different to what any business owner does every day. Next I do a lot of work on our client relationships. I meet with our clients, try and understand what their pressure points are and liaise with them on how the firm can assist them in achieving their goals. The third thing is leading a team of accountants within our practice and mentoring the team. It’s really important to me that I give my team guidance and professional development.
Q: What in particular do you enjoy about your work?
A: Something that’s really valuable to me about my work is that what we do has a significant impact in people’s lives, not only for our clients but for all of our staff as well. We deal with people making really big decisions in their lives and help them through that process to achieve great things, and in doing that we need to support each other and help each other grow as a team. It’s great to be able to be a part of people’s success in our own way.
Q: Can you describe a really rewarding experience you’ve had as part of your work?
A: I’ve been part of a couple of major deals that have had a massive impact on clients. One of my clients was a software company and their owners had a vision that within 10 years they’d sell the company for $10 million. We were initially just their accountants but we ended up doing a lot more for them, we were helping to get the business ready for sale and ended up being a massive part of that process, and with our guidance and support they were able to sell the business within seven years for over $20 million. Another instance was a business that when we started dealing with it was worth almost nothing, and within two years we were able to sell it for $14 million. In both those instances, we really helped change those owners’ lives, and it was just an amazing feeling.
Q: You work a lot with small businesses in particular – what would be your advice to those looking to start their own small business?
A: Planning is such a critical part. Spend the time to plan out what it is that you’re trying to achieve, which comes not only from doing a budget and all the minor stuff but also considering the problem you’re trying to solve as a business, what your point of difference is, how you’re planning to engage with your customers. If you can get that strategy right at a really early stage you can make a huge difference to how your business operates. The other piece of advice I would have is that you shouldn’t try and do everything yourself. You will be starting this business because you have a particular skill set, but you need to work out the areas where you lack expertise, whether that’s in marketing, legal work or social media management and get professional help to fill in those gaps. Spending money at the start for good advice will mean that you’ll save money long term.