At Evergent our aim is to disrupt the accounting industry by providing solutions to Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses with one singular Intention…
To ensure small business owners and entrepreneurs have the ability to achieve their dreams.
“Our past determines our present, and our present is what shapes our future.” – unknown
Read our (not so boring) story to find out why we do what we do…
The Founder and CEO
Lucas Helmke grew up in a remote Victorian town called Tinamba.
Like many children Lucas was born into small business, living right alongside the hotel, and as soon as he could walk and carry a plate, he was put to work in the bistro clearing tables while earning a couple of dollars. That is where Lucas learned the mechanics of business, what it takes to succeed and how easily everything could fall apart if not kept in check. The most important lesson learnt was the importance of communication, the ability to connect with people from all walks of life. The secret he says is “to treat everyone no matter their age, gender or background with exactly the same level of respect".
Lucas was grounded in Tinamba and worked at the same family business until he turned 18 and graduated from Maffra High School. After receiving a scholarship at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Lucas started his university education at the UNSW through the Australian Defence Force in Canberra. Lucas is continually grateful for this experience and attributes it to his growth in confidence, willingness to seek challenges and discipline.
Lucas later completed his Commerce Degree at Deakin University in Melbourne with distinction. Moreover, Lucas worked as a personal trainer because of his passion for fitness. With his dedication towards it, he won a number of National Body Building and Powerlifting Championships. Not to mention his embarrassing photos on Facebook from those events.
His professional career began in Melbourne in a boutique accounting firm. And 2 years later, due to his passion for surfing he moved and worked in the gold coast with other small accounting firms. During his time in the Gold Coast, Lucas completed a Postgraduate Law Degree at Bond University specialising in taxation law. Upon completing his degree, he started working for UHY Haines Norton and then at KPMG in the enterprise. Lucas throughout his entire career has focused solely on small business, startups and assisting entrepreneurs. Whilst working at KPMG, Lucas completed his Chartered Accounting Diploma and shortly obtained his Tax Agent License after. Throughout his career, Lucas fought the urge to start his own business and finally let his entrepreneurial spirit take over, then the idea of Evergent began.
Another important learning period for Lucas was his time at the Lord Alfred Hotel as their Financial Controller. This is where Lucas got back in touch with working within a business rather than from the outside as an accountant, a skill and understanding that shaped Evergent today. “We must be involved, informed, connected and can easily be approached by our clients and their business”
Discovering the Issues within the Industry
Utilising our founder's experience and our research into small business accounting and bookkeeping, we isolated three major issues in our industry:
Most accounting firms are disconnected with their small business clients and do not understand their needs.
The traditional processes of accounting is outdated and inefficient.
The adaption of new technology is impossible without addressing the first two issues.
The disconnect between accountant and client is caused by lack of communication which is ultimately caused by charging clients for every minute of time , be it a call or answering an email.
If you’re not communicating these, the services or solutions you provide are not going to give value to those businesses. This then leads to expensive and inadequate accounting. Tied into this problem of being disconnected is the lack of affordable services for startups. Startup and entrepreneurs cannot be serviced in the same way a small or large business is. The simple fact is most startups have very little capital and need the most advice in the early stages when they have the least amount of funds. There is no way that a startup or entrepreneur is going to invest in this advice in its most crucial stages if it requires them to lay down a large portion of their seed capital to get it, these funds are going to items that are going to generate a return immediately.
Lets face facts, the process in which small business interacts with most accountants is just plain dull, the entire process is painful and the word accountant is synonym for the word boring. At the end of the day, accountants and bookkeepers are in the best position to provide the greatest value to their clients but the process and the way they interact with their market just doesn’t work.
Technology must not be mistaken, we love technology and we use it where we can to create the most value for our clients. However, the issues is this:
We like to have a bit of fun at Evergent so let’s use an analogy to illustrate. It’s like a caveman(accountant/bookkeeper) using a laptop(new tech) to provide for his tribe (business clients thrive) Moral of the story, all the laptop is going to be good for is a throwing object to hunt food with.
An accountant or bookkeeper first needs to communicate with their clients to understand what the business needs and secondly they need to adapt the most efficient process possible to provide the greatest value to their clients as possible which may mean turning the industry upside down. Not until issues one and two are addressed can a form begin to use technology effectively.
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