After years of experience as a member of international accountancy firm Coopers & Lybrand, now P.W.C, and backed by seven years working as a jackaroo in Central Queensland, Jim identified an opportunity to set up a specialist primary production accountancy business.
Whilst the international firms certainly boasted experts in many fields, primary production was not catered for. On top of this fact, the structure of the big firms precluded them from providing personal service and contact in a cost effective manner. On the above basis, in October 1987, James Becker & Co, a specialist primary production firm was opened, and where more relevant to practise than in the beef capital of Australia, Rockhampton.
With the experience of both accountancy and working on rural stations before going back to study, the philosophy of “sitting both sides of the desk” was put into action. In order to advise rural clients, the complete understanding of their business must be firstly undertaken. Upon gaining this first hand knowledge of a client’s business, proper advice can then be given and a strong relationship is initiated.
Our firm prides itself in providing purely accounting advice and not becoming involved in other derivative businesses such as financial planning, mortgage broking, real estate and insurance broking. We see ourselves as the last bastion of independent advice, and our being involved in those derivatives, we believe, would compromise our claim of independence and in fact could lead to a conflict of interest.
An important part of our brief must be to critically and objectively analyse every aspect of our client’s business including these derivative services, hence in order to carry out this brief, we cannot be involved in those derivative businesses.
From thirty years ago to the present, the firm has endured with two more family members coming on board. Sarah Becker joined the firm in 2005. She now capably manages the practice enacting the firm’s above enunciated philosophy of complete independence. Alexandra joined the firm in 2013. She recently completed her professional year and has been admitted as a Chartered Accountant.
Both Sarah and Alexandra, through hands-on experience in the family’s own rural enterprise, Jarrah Cattle Company, can also practice “sitting both sides of the desk”. This factor of thoroughly empathising with a clients business allows a practical, pragmatic approach to advising clients and devising solutions.
A most important and critical part of the business is to acknowledge where outside specialist advice is called for. Through their many contacts from university, schooling and business associates, the firm has sought briefs from many law experts to fully support our own specialist services.