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E35: Forensic Accounting: Valuing businesses in family law

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This month Ben and Heather talk to forensic accountant Suzanne Delbridge about valuing a business when separating.

Suzanne Delbridge is the Director and Founder of Delbridge Forensic Accounting in Newcastle and a very experienced forensic accountant.  For listeners who may not know, a forensic account is specially trained to prepare financial information for a court of law.

At the start of the podcast, Suzanne clarified exactly what a forensic accountant does and why they are absolutely critical when valuing a business.  Ben and Heather then delved into the following questions with Suzanne:

  1. When is it appropriate to use a forensic account, rather than simply using your company or personal accountant? (Clue:  it’s never appropriate to use your company or personal accountant to value a business in divorce proceedings!)
  2. What are the different methods of valuation?
  3. How does an accountant differentiate between a business with significant value and one that is just a vehicle for owner income?
  4. Why do we sometimes see a business valued at close to nothing, when similar businesses are advertised a high prices?
  5. How do forensic accountants take into account lack of control or difficulty of sale when valuing a portion of a shared business?
  6. Can a forensic accountant identify if a business is being used to hide wealth?
  7. Do forensic accountants need to be involved in valuing self managed superannuation funds?
  8. Can the settlement structure in a divorce really make a significant difference to either party’s tax bill?

Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Delbridge Forensic Accounting 

Small business: Must it be valued? – This free resource is designed to assist a participant in a Family Law matter to determine when a small business should be valued.

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Full Episode Transcript

Welcome! Forensic Accounting: Valuing a Business for Separation

Benjamin Bryant: Welcome to episode 35 of The Family Matters show. I’m your host, Benjamin Bryant from Bryant McKinnon Lawyers. It’s a chilly winter’s morning here in our office recording studio, and I’m shivering away with my partner in crime. Heather McKinnon. Cold enough for you, Heather.

Heather McKinnon: Oh Ben, I wish I’d brought my doona to work.

Benjamin Bryant: Well, I’m glad we both managed to get out of bed because today we get to chat with a terrific guest. Suzanne Delbridge is the director and founder of Delbridge Forensic Accounting in Newcastle and is a very experienced forensic accountant. For listeners who may not know, a forensic accountant is specially trained to prepare financial information for a court of law. That might sound a bit boring, but when it comes to valuing businesses or other assets in a tricky property settlement, our clients often rely on Suzie and her team to get to the bottom of things. So it’s a great pleasure to have her with us today to answer some questions about her critical role in family law proceedings. Welcome, Suzie, and thank you for coming on to the show.

Suzanne Delbridge: Thanks Ben. I’m delighted to be here, and I’m interested that it’s taken till episode 35 for you to delve into forensic accounting.

Benjamin Bryant: Indeed. And it’s great to have you, Suzie. And I want to dive right into our discussion. But first, I’ll give my usual reminder to listeners to share this show with family and friends who might benefit. Our objective with the podcast is to empower the community with knowledge. So please do your bit and share the learning. Now, Heather and Suzie, are you ready to get started?

Heather McKinnon: Yes

How is forensic accounting involved in family law?

Benjamin Bryant: Suzie, what is forensic accounting and why would a forensic accountant be involved in a family law matter at all?

Suzanne Delbridge: Okay, so forensic just means relating to a court of law. And while hopefully that’s not where a family law matter ends up, the purpose of the work that’s being completed is really important in terms of the kind of accounting assistance that someone might require. A forensic accountant will have completed a normal accounting degree just like everybody else, and will have hopefully done some post-grad studies in accounting and be a member of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand or a CPA. And that person will have started out doing compliance accounting. So financial statements and tax returns, or they might have been in audit or they might have been in an insolvency role, but along the way somewhere they specialised. So in a family law matter, we might be involved in valuing a business, looking at where money’s gone, if that’s a particular thing that’s of concern or looking at why debt is a certain level, for example. The other thing we also often do is look at the tax consequences of splitting up assets between spouses.

When do you need a forensic accountant instead of your company accountant?

Benjamin Bryant: And Suzie, when is it appropriate to engage a forensic accountant as opposed to just using your company or personal accountant?

Suzanne Delbridge: Well, it’s actually never okay to use your own accountant. So as accountants, we have rules of professional and ethical conduct, and there’s a specific one that actually deals with forensic accounting (APES 215) and the requirements of those rules that we have as accountants in terms of independence and objectivity, mirror the requirements of the family law rules, which are the rules of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. So even if a matter starts off quite amicably, if there’s a possibility that something’s going to end up before a court, then the company or personal accountant can’t be seen to be independent or objective. And under that standard, they should actually decline to provide the services right from the get go. There’s also a lot (like for me, 30 odd years of experience) that goes into having the knowledge and the technical skills to be able to value a business properly and those other sorts of investigative or tax stuff that we might do. So you need a lot of experience to carry out the work in this jurisdiction. And there’s a huge risk that if a personal accountant has a crack at valuing a business only to get it wrong, Someone will get fixed to that, and then having that bad advice at the start can only inflame and protract the proceedings. So you end up maybe in misconception of saving some money at the start, but ending up, two years down the track and tens of thousands of dollars later in terms of proceedings that are going on that could have been resolved much earlier if you had got the right advice at the start. So if there’s a business to value, if there’s some funds to find or some complex tax to work out, a forensic accountant should be retained.

Benjamin Bryant: I love that answer, Suzie. Heather, what about you? You’ve been battling over the years to try and get different entities valued with some opposition. What are your thoughts?

Heather McKinnon: Absolutely, what Suzie said. You’ve got to have somebody independent right at the beginning. Probably the most common argument is over those professional practises. So we might be acting for a GP or a vet or physio, and one party will have a view that the practise is worth a fortune and the other one will say it’s not worth anything. There’s no point in using the parties’ accountant to sort that out. The quicker you can get to Suzie or one of her colleagues. There’s only a handful of them, obviously, that are skilled at that level that we need. It just stops a whole lot of conflict. And rather than everybody trying to work out what they think something’s worth, you’re better to get it done quickly at the beginning and stop any escalation.

Benjamin Bryant:  And also, Heather, I guess it’s similar comparing it to real property. Step one is identify the asset, what are the value of the assets and the liabilities. And with real property, people can argue over real estate appraisals and valuations and people thinking they know what they’re talking about in terms of putting a value on it. But just cut to the chase, just go to the right person, get it valued, and then you can move on to the next issue.

Heather McKinnon: It’s really difficult to guide people. I know we’ve got one that’s been litigating now for about three years and they still haven’t given us instructions to appoint the expert. There’s millions of dollars in the pool and the other lawyer and I are tearing our hair out because both of them think they know more than the other. And we can’t shift the matter forward.

Benjamin Bryant: I know what matter you’re talking about.

Suzanne Delbridge: If I can just jump in there and say too, even if it’s early on in the proceedings, you don’t need to get the full tilt, bells and whistles, happy to get in the witness box type report. You can instruct someone to do a short form valuation report, which is sort of less in terms of the reporting, less in terms of the cost, but that might be enough to resolve it early on in the proceedings. And then if you head towards a trial or an arbitration, if you’ve done that preliminary report on a single expert basis, that same expert can then do the formal report for the trial. So that can be a way to maybe get around this entrenched situation where people want their own accountant to do something.

How do you value a business?

Benjamin Bryant: And Suzie, that leads into my next question: How do you value the business and what are the different methods?

Suzanne Delbridge: Right. So we’ve got 3 hours for the podcast today. That is a really big, complicated question. But the first step in valuing a business is getting an understanding about what the business actually does. You can’t value something purely based on the financial statements, which is sort of the second step, but getting enough information about what it is that’s happening here, what the people are doing, how it’s structured, where does the revenue come from, all that sort of stuff is so important. So the business accounts are reviewed so that size and complexity can be ascertained, because that’s going to influence the method by which we go about to value something.

Suzanne Delbridge: So if a business is small or not profitable and perhaps relies entirely on the skill and relationships of one or a few key people, then it might be that a net asset backing approach is what we do. And so that one is looking at what’s on the balance sheet. So what assets are there, what liabilities are there? Because that’s going to form the basis. But the valuation exercise doesn’t stop at just looking at the balance sheet because the way we do accounting in Australia is on a historical cost basis. So you might have a balance sheet that correctly identifies all the assets and liabilities, but it probably doesn’t reflect the current market value of those things because they are recorded on the balance sheet at historical cost. So some extra evidence will have to be obtained around what’s the value of the plant and equipment or the vehicles or property, for example. And there’s a complicating factor in that with some of the tax concessions that are around, because people can claim a tax deduction and write off their plant and equipment, for example. So you might look at a balance sheet that’s got nothing on it. But, you know, they own some vehicles and some tools and all that sort of stuff. So that’s going to have to be reviewed by looking at a depreciation schedule and perhaps getting a plant equipment valuer involved if they’ve been written off for accounting purposes. We’re also sort of recreating depreciation schedules based on a useful life, rather than these tax concessions that are around at the moment.

Suzanne Delbridge: If a business is profitable though, then a valuation based on future earnings would be the approach that we would apply. And in that case, we’re trying to get as much information as we possibly can about the past and future profitability of the business. So we’ll be thoroughly reviewing the profit and loss and looking at things that have influenced the revenue and the expenses to reach a conclusion about what the likely future earnings might be. And with COVID, that’s a very tricky question. So looking at the risk that those earnings will be repeated in the future, because that’s going to then impact back to the valuation multiple. In an earnings based valuation, the balance sheet is still important because we still need to identify what’s there in terms of the real stuff. But then if we’ve done an earnings basis of valuation, then there’s the kind of technical fundamental is there’ll be some level of goodwill. So someone will pay over and above what’s on the balance sheet. So it’s a tricky exercise at any set of circumstances, but really tricky at the moment with the pandemic. And then you’ve got the bushfires and the floods and now the war in the Ukraine. It’s just incredibly complicated at the moment.

How do you differentiate between a business with real value versus a vehicle for owner income?

Benjamin Bryant: And Suzie, how do you differentiate between a business with significant value and a business that is really just a vehicle for owner income? Are there any signposts that you look out for?

Suzanne Delbridge: Absolutely. Again, back to looking at a business. It’s really important to get a proper understanding about what it is the business does and where the revenue come from. And if the business is sort of a micro sized business and it’s just generating a level of profit, that’s only about the same as what that person could earn if they were employed somewhere, then it might not be worth valuing or it might be worth just having a look at, again, what they own in terms of plant equipment and vehicles and those sorts of things. Or they might be owed money by the customers or whatever. We have got a little resource on our website for this very purpose of “Do I really need to get my business valued?” And it’s a little flow chart that takes you through the size of the business, what documents might be available and what you can look at to be able to make an informed decision about whether it’s worth or necessary to even go down the valuation path. So that, again, is for free on our website.

Benjamin Bryant: Excellent. And we’ll make sure that we put a reference to that on our show notes,Suzie.  Heather and I. We tell clients all the time that perhaps our business has no value and it’s just a vehicle for income. Yet they can point to similar businesses listed for sale on the internet or with a business broker at significant prices. How is that possible?

Suzanne Delbridge: Well, that can be tricky. And I guess going back to sort of a fundamental of business valuation is that price is not value. So value from a theoretical perspective is the value in a fair market to a hypothetical, willing, but not anxious purchaser. So what’s the value to that person? And you might have someone that’s prepared to pay a price for something which isn’t reflective of the value because people buy themselves a job or they want to take out a competitor or they want to grow some market share, or they want a particular team of people. So buying a business and paying an amount, which is the price, might be achieved, which bears no reflection to the value. And if we’re doing something for the Family Court, we want to know what the value of something is, not what the price is. But on the other side of that, though, a listing for sale is not evidence of value. It’s evidence of someone’s grasp at an expectation. That if it is, that there is a genuine market for something that even on the face of it, looks like pie in the sky, if there’s evidence of transactions, then they will be relevant in terms of valuation and that should be something that the valuer sort of goes through anyway. But it can be an expectation versus a reality situation that might need some counselling to the client.

Benjamin Bryant: That’s right. And like real property, we always tell people, don’t look at the advertised price, look at the sale price.

Suzanne Delbridge: Absolutely.

How do you deal with shared business interests like family farms?

Benjamin Bryant: Big, big difference. And often business interests may be profitable, but not necessarily saleable. Let’s say, for example, you own a share in a family farm. Does a forensic accountant take the lack of full control and difficulty in selling into account when working out its value?

Suzanne Delbridge: This is another fantastic, big, complicated question that we don’t have an hour to work through. So, the concept that you’re alluding to here is the application of a discount for control, which might be a minority interest situation. If you’ve got the family farm and you’ve got mum and dad and the brother’s still in it (it tends to be the brothers as opposed to the sisters) you don’t have full control. And the second concept that you’re talking about there is a marketability discount. So how quickly can I realise my interest should I wish to realise it? So the Family Court makes that quite complicated, because in the family law jurisdiction, case law tells us that in these sorts of matters we’re valuing the interest and determining the value to the person who owns that asset and who will probably continue to own that asset after the proceedings have concluded. And so if the asset isn’t being sold, then there’s an argument to say, why would I arbitrarily discount this for a marketability discount? If I’ve actually got no intention of selling it. I’m going to continue to own it and enjoy my share of the partnership profits or my share of the earnings that might be a rental property or something. I’ll still get the rent that comes from it. Why would I be discounting that for saleability issues? Because we’re not that hypothetical, arms-length purchaser, who in that situation would definitely want a discount because they’ve got to deal with people that they don’t know. Their ability to access or control the revenue and profit and dividends and things is impacted by somebody else who’s in it. The fair market would definitely require a discount, but in a family law matter, that’s going to be a question of the evidence really. So, it’s important in those circumstances to get a good understanding of who is involved in the ownership of this, who’s really working in it, who’s making decisions, who’s calling the shots, because that information should make its way through to the valuer so that we can properly consider, should there be a discount for control issues and should there be a discount for sale constraints?

Benjamin Bryant: Heather, do you have any examples that may come to mind of matters you’ve had over the years where there may have been a discount applied by the courts?

Heather McKinnon: It’s certainly, as Suzie said, normally those cases involving family members, that inter-generational business that might have been going for three or four generations. It’s all about the questionnaire. And what I’ve seen Suzie do is send out extensive questions to key people within the business, asking questions about their daily role, their ability to generate sales, if you like, as an individual as compared to the branding of the business. So industries where you see it happen often are farming, but also big retail businesses that have been going for generations. One of the ones that was very popular a few years ago were large petrol station businesses where families had got in together, maybe a couple of children and their spouses and the parents and they owned a chain of service stations. So those were ones that I remember Suzie being involved in, which are really interesting because you then had to work out what’s happening with the possibility of the end of that inter-generational income as global warming hits and they shift away from fossil fuels. So I don’t envy her job. Every business is different, but there’s things like hotel conglomerates where you’ll often get people in the marriage having percentage shares in a big group that might be property developers or own hotels. And they’re fascinating to have a look at. But I hand it over to Suzie because she then really drills down into, what sort of control do this couple really have in that broader conglomerate? We’ve done all sorts of ones, haven’t we, Suzie?

Suzanne Delbridge: We have, yeah.

Heather McKinnon: Bus companies, pubs. In the early years I remember rock lobster traps in Tasmania where they were making supernormal profits. I mean it’s a fascinating field. Yeah, but you really need someone who knows what they’re doing.

Does a valuer take into account things like the pandemic, bushfires and floods?

Benjamin Bryant: First the pandemic and now staff shortages, international supply shortages and cost increases. They’ve all made it difficult for small businesses. Suzie, does a forensic accountant take these broader issues into account when reaching a valuation?

Suzanne Delbridge: Oh, absolutely. I think I alluded to that earlier on in this chat. It’s essential that you take it into account because we can’t ignore the reality of the situation that businesses are finding themselves in at the moment. And it is incredibly complicated at the moment. We look at the previous three years financial statements, which now are all in some way, shape or form pandemic affected, be that someone’s been going absolutely gangbusters, versus other businesses that have been really struggling. Is that going to return to normal? When’s it going to return to normal? And now that we’ve got, soaring fuel prices and, supply chain issues and all the rest of it, this is just going to keep on giving for a long time. So if what we’re trying to do is work out the likely future earnings of the business, it’s absolutely critical to take into account the issues that are being faced. We can’t ignore it. And it may well be that there’s revenue effects, there’s government stimulus effects – you’ve got cash flow boost and job keeper and all of that to have a look at. Should that be adjusted for? Was it kind of offsetting costs that otherwise wouldn’t have been incurred, in which case we wouldn’t? As I referred to before when we were talking about the balance sheet, we’ve got all these government stimulus that was offered around reinvesting, getting the economy going, all the asset write off concessions and stuff. So they have both a profit and loss and a balance sheet effect. So that’s got to be taken into account and we’ve got to try and get an understanding of the path out. So we ask a million questions of the business operators around what has happened in your business over the past couple of years and what do you see going forward? Obviously, we don’t just take all that as it’s given to us because there’ll be someone going through a family law matter that’s going to be trying to drive that that story one way or the other.

Benjamin Bryant: Over-emphasising something or under-emphasising something.

Suzanne Delbridge: So then what we do is we look at industry information. So we get as much information as we can that’s independent and objective about what’s really happening in a particular industry. Because we’ve certainly seen some stories where we’ll be told a story by somebody, which is not borne out by what we’re seeing in the financials and not borne out by what is otherwise happening in the industry. So you sort of got to be a bit sceptical about that sort of stuff. So we just do the best we can to get as much information as we possibly can, but it’s absolutely something that’s got to be taken into account.

Benjamin Bryant: Suzie, have you ever met a business that you haven’t been able to value? There’s just too many external pressures going on, pandemic or otherwise. And you’re like, “No, I have no idea”.

Suzanne Delbridge:  One of the businesses that I was well into valuing when the pandemic first hit was an online shopping network. And that was just ridiculous. It was a perfect storm in terms of all of these issues. So I prepared a report, but my opinion was not concluded because there was so many unknowns that it was an unreliable estimate, doing the best I could with what I was given. And that’s really difficult, too, because you like to be able to reach an opinion so that everyone knows what’s in the pool of assets and can sort it out and move on with their life. But sometimes there’s just so much uncertainty, and we’ll put that in the report. If I’m not sure that we’ve got a proper basis to form a view, then we’ll put all those concerns in the report. If we prepare the report and there’s six months or so before the matter gets to a trial, it may well be that that uncertainty’s resolved itself in the intervening period. So then it can be updated by way of addendum. Or it may well be that we’ve done a couple of scenarios too around what does this actually look like? So that can sort of resolve itself. There’s only that one case where I said, I don’t know, too much uncertainty for me. Thanks.

Does a valuer flesh out hidden wealth?

Benjamin Bryant: And as family lawyers Heather and I have seen how business can be used to hide wealth. As a forensic accountant, how do you go about getting a true picture of the value of the business entity?

Suzanne Delbridge: Okay, so the first point here is a valuation is not an audit. I want to say that again. A business valuation is not an audit. We rely on the accuracy of the financial information that we’re given. So we assume that revenue and expenses are appropriately recorded, unless someone specifically tells us that they’re not. So we ask lots of questions around movements in revenue and movements in expenses, and particularly where the level of an expense doesn’t correlate to the size of the business or the revenue. So we ask lots of questions because we’re trying to form a view about what’s normal business expenses or normal revenue to reach a view about future earnings. But again, it’s not an audit. So if it is that someone’s got some concerns around unrecorded revenue, which I must say is from my observations becoming less of a thing because no one’s using cash post-COVID. So it’s harder these days. Those sort of cash businesses that we used to see, hairdressers and all those sorts of, takeaway shops and stuff, they’ve all got ATMs now. So revenue seems to be being recorded more than what it was before. And you’ve also got to consider the tax office on the other side of any claim as to unrecorded revenue as well. But if it is that there’s an abnormally high level of sponsorship or there’s lots of personal expenses going through a business, we can certainly look at that, but would need ledgers and bank statements and instructions and things to be able to go through and properly do that analysis. So it’s absolutely something that we do. It can be incredibly expensive. So unless there’s going to be a big impact on the pool of assets because of such an issue, you just take care in giving those instructions to your expert.

Heather McKinnon: And Suzie, can you just talk a little bit about retained earnings because it’s often something in the balance sheet that clients are interested in?

Suzanne Delbridge: Sure. Retained earnings are just the accumulation of past profits from the conduct of the business or the investment over an extended period of time. The access to retained profits will have a tax consequence and we might chat about that a little shortly. So if you’ve got a balance sheet that’s got a certain asset position and it’s got a certain amount of liabilities, the net of that is going to either be the share capital. So the money that the investors have invested into the business. Or it’s going to be the earnings from past years. So if a balance sheet is showing retained earnings, then they are sort of prima facie accessible, but subject to what’s sitting on the other side of it. So if the other side of it is, we started off as a plumbing business and over the years we’ve been profitable and we haven’t drawn those profits out, but we’ve now invested those profits into a workshop somewhere. There’s going to be retained earnings, but those retained earnings might be invested now in a core business asset, which is the workshop, which we can’t necessarily just realise and pull that money out. I mean you might be able to go and borrow against it for example, but you would consider retained earnings in the context of what’s on the other side of it, which is your assets and your liabilities. And then obviously need to consider the tax implications if you’re going to try and access those retained earnings, particularly from a company.

Does a forensic accountant value self managed super funds?

Benjamin Bryant: And another tricky financial area when separating assets is self-managed superannuation. Suzie, when might a forensic accountant become involved in valuing this sort of asset?

Suzanne Delbridge: So self-managed super fund accounts have to be audited. So the regulations that govern self-managed super funds require that the accounts of a self-managed super fund are audited every year. So there’s going to be much more reliability around the balance sheet of a self-managed super fund, because there’s a requirement to make sure that all the listed shares and listed units and that sort of stuff. They have to be in there at market value So long as the super fund is complying and the accounts have been audited, which is one of the things you need to have done to make sure the super fund is complying, then the balance sheet should be quite reliable. When we would get involved is firstly, if the super fund is part of a bigger group, it may well be that it’s just sort of in there for completeness, and it may well be that say the business premises might be in the super fund, something like that. So again, for completeness we might include the self-managed super fund with the trading entities that we’re otherwise valuing. If a super fund’s non complying. So, it hasn’t got up to date financial statements and hasn’t been audited. That might be a trigger to actually get someone to have a proper look at it. Or if it is that, say, the super fund has units in the property unit trust that does own a property and that property hasn’t been revalued recently. Which again it should have from an audit perspective, but perhaps maybe with the way property prices are moving, it may well be within the zone of being okay from an audit perspective, but not quite up to date. It might be necessary to get the forensic accountant to pull together up to date information about the value of all the assets so that that’s properly reflected in the pool.

How much difference is a settlement structure likely to make to your tax bill?

Benjamin Bryant: And one final question, Suzie, although I appreciate you could probably use a three-hour podcast episode to answer it. Earlier on, you mentioned part of your role to identify the tax consequences. In your experience, how much difference is a settlement structure really like to make to someone’s tax bill?

Suzanne Delbridge: Well, it depends. So it depends on the structures that are used to hold the assets, because there can be both income tax and capital gains tax implications of a property settlement. As a general rule, if you’ve just got assets that are held by the parties personally, then there’s going to be no immediate implication in terms of income tax or CGT in splitting those assets between the parties because there’s a compulsory marriage rollover from capital gains tax. So individual to individual is okay.

Suzanne Delbridge: As soon as we’ve got a company or a trust involved, it can be much more complicated and you really need to get specialist tax advice about what the implications might be. And again, that’s not the parties’ accountant. Like I say, if there’s a company or a trust, you need to get that tax advice because you may well have a CGT rollover, but that doesn’t save you from an income tax implication if you’re drawing funds from a company, for example. You’ll pay top up tax on that dividend. So that advice can make a material effect, if that’s how assets are being sourced to fund a property settlement. But the other issue that’s often overlooked is the latent tax that hasn’t crystallised sitting in investment assets or business assets. So you might have a situation where one person ends up with the house, that’s tax free because it’s a main residence. And someone keeps the business, but there’s assets in there that will be subject to future tax. So from an equity perspective, how do you take into account that burden of future tax? Because if there’s no evidence about it and if it isn’t the case that the assets are going to be sold or transferred as a consequence of the proceedings, the court won’t take the tax into account. So if it is that the burden of future tax is quite large, you probably want to get some evidence around the timing and the quantum of that tax so that at least the information’s before the court, or at least it’s in your pool, as maybe an adjustment factor to take into account if you go into mediation, because it can possibly be very substantial.

Goodbye for now…

Benjamin Bryant:  Well, I think today’s show puts paid to the idea that accounting is boring. Thank you so much, Suzie, for giving us some insight into the critical role you so often play in Family Law matters.

Suzanne Delbridge: Oh, my pleasure. Sorry. I hope it’s been helpful.

Benjamin Bryant: And Heather wasn’t a great to lift the lid on how we use a forensic accountant to help settling tricky property disputes.

Heather McKinnon: Absolutely. And guess what? Every time I get a business person who doesn’t want to value the business, their homework: listen to Suzie on the podcast. It’s going to make my life a lot better going forward.

Benjamin Bryant: I don’t think we’ve had a podcast episode yet that we use ourselves, Heather. We’ll be referring to it ourselves.

Benjamin Bryant: So that’s it for this month. Next month we have a show that hopefully is going to reduce our workload. We’re going to tackle the question of whether or not you can save your relationship. Back in January, we talked to Elizabeth Shaw, the CEO of Relationships Australia, about deciding whether to stay or go. And we realise that a lot can be done to save a relationship and prevent people from walking through our door in the first place. So next month we’ll be talking to psychologists just about that. Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually help to save a few marriages, Heather?

Heather McKinnon: It certainly would be. And it’d be really good if it could stop little kids being exposed to conflict.

Benjamin Bryant: Indeed. If you have any specific questions about saving your relationship, please send them in confidence to familymatters@bryantmckinnon.com.au or message us on Facebook. We’ll try to get some answers without mentioning any names. And thanks again to Suzie. And we’ll put the links in her website and resources mentioned today show and our show notes on our website: bryantmckinnon.com.au. And please don’t forget to share this podcast with your friends and family who may need it. Goodbye for now, and we hope to have your ears again next month.


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