Count acquires $1.4m majority stake in accountancy firm

Countplus accountants queensland M&A acquisition

9 April 2024
| By Jasmine Siljic |
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Count Financial’s acquisition strategy shows no signs of slowing down, as the company’s equity firm acquires a $1.4 million stake in a Gold Coast accounting business.

Count Gold Coast, an equity firm of the broader Count network, has announced the purchase of the accounting fees of Jonathan Grant Accountants (JGA).

The $1.4 million transaction will be paid through a combination of cash and shares. Following the acquisition, Count Financial will hold a 66.5 per cent ownership of JGA.

The Queensland accounting firm, located in Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast, has provided financial services to its clients for over two decades and has recurring revenues of approximately $1.3 million. The firm also offers specialist self-managed super fund (SMSF) accounting and administration services.

JGA owners Grant Robinette and Jonathan Hanaghan will also join Count Gold Coast as principals and shareholders based in the company’s Coolangatta office.

According to Count chief executive Hugh Humphrey, the acquisition will mutually benefit both the Count Gold Coast team and the wider community.

“Count Gold Coast and JGA are two leading professional service firms, each with more than 20 years’ experience in servicing clients on the Gold Coast. The addition of Jonathan, Grant and the JGA team to our existing Coolangatta team positions Count Gold Coast as the leading professional services firm in the southern Queensland/northern NSW market,” the CEO commented.

Prior to this announcement, Count had already made two separate accountancy acquisitions earlier this year.

On 2 February, Kidmans Partners – a Victorian subsidiary of Count’s Australian financial services licence (AFSL) – announced its acquisition of Business Accounting Melbourne, an accounting business which specialises in automating and implementing technologies to streamline all accounting and bookkeeping processes.

The following week, Count equity partner firm Bruce Edmunds & Associates – another Victorian accounting firm –  acquired the accounting client book of May Klye & Associates, which offers a range of financial services and has accounting and bookkeeping revenues of $1.2 million.

“Count continues to invest in quality businesses that expand our client base and accounting revenues as a result,” Humphrey said at the time.

Moreover, the merger between Count and Diverger, first announced in September 2023, also reached completion on 1 March.

This brought its combined teams to 590 accountants and more than 550 financial advisers. Based on funds under advice, Count had $29.9 billion and revenue exceeding $129 million at the time.

However, research firm Wealth Data recently revealed that Count has lost the greatest number of advisers this financial year-to-date.

The licensee has decreased by 59 advisers since the financial year began (as of 4 April), compared to competitors AMP and Insignia Financial which have lost 40 and 39 advisers respectively.

“It’s important to state that Count is carrying the losses for firms purchased, including Affinia and all licensees associated with Diverger,” noted Wealth Data founder Colin Williams.
 

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