Innovation and local investment are key to success for regional businesses, according to the CEO of one of the region’s most successful and enduring companies.
Carey Group CEO and Managing Partner Matt Thomson said the financial services and business advisory firm’s ability to be agile and its commitment to clients have been the foundation for its success over the past 70 years.
The company started in Ingham in 1951 and has since expanded to include offices in Cairns, Townsville, Tablelands and Brisbane, serving clients right across Queensland. In addition to expanding geographically, they have also significantly increased their services from Accounting and Taxation to also include Financial Planning, Self-Managed Superannuation, Bookkeeping, Auditing, Business Advisory and Marketing Services.
Matt joined the firm two and a half years ago following an international career with the Big Four accounting firms down south, and said it was Carey Group’s strong regional values that drew him north.
“Really, what attracted me to Carey Group was this amazing passion for our region, coupled with a relentless client-centric focus,” he said.
“Many of our clients are actually multi-generation clients. We’ve got clients today and we were serving their grandparents as clients three generations ago.
“Through that time, we’ve been working on expanding our services, innovating with our clients and for our clients, certainly embracing digital change and all that goes with that. As our clients’ businesses grow, we too have grown our business in support.”
Matt said embracing change was crucial for the company, which they demonstrated recently with the announcement of their merger with Cairns-based Barrier Reef Accounting in October.
The merger saw Barrier Reef Principal Greg Stanton and his team, now in their 10th year of operation, joining the ranks of Carey Group.
“After my first meeting with Carey Group, I realised that merging the businesses made sense for our team and our clients.
“We help our clients get more out of their business by helping them understand their numbers and guiding them strategically on the impact of those numbers. The next step is to use the profits to invest and start making passive income, so that their business isn’t the only source of generating income.
“The merger is already paying dividends for our clients,” Greg said. “Being able to draw upon Carey Group’s financial planning team in the Cairns office to assist our clients has already been advantageous and I’m excited about further leveraging the breadth of Carey Group, including Business and Marketing advisory services, to support clients and Cairns businesses more broadly.”
Matt agreed, saying the expansion was the natural next step to enable both firms to better support their clients and the region.
“Having the Barrier Reef team join Carey Group adds additional capability and capacity to our offices in Cairns and on the Tablelands. It’s a demonstration of Carey Group’s ongoing desire to invest in our region.”
When quizzed on what’s next for Carey Group, Matt answered, “Carey Group’s 2025 vision is to be the most prominent financial advisory firm in regional Queensland, and we’ll continue to be on the lookout for innovative opportunities and solutions that support our local clients”.
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