Dividing his time between accounting and working in his family’s transport business, Trevor Stanton knows the industry, and he knows it very well.
During the week, he’s an accountant. However nearly every weekend is spent undertaking maintenance on the five quad-axle tippers that make up his father’s Sydney-based fleet. From servicing, to replacing brakes and tyres, and now working towards getting his HR licence, Trevor is heavily involved in the family transport business started by his father.
He’s also spent close to ten years working in accounting, completing his bachelor’s degree and his Chartered Accountants program by the age of 22.
Trevor’s resume ranges from roles at start-ups to major accounting firms, but more recently, he decided to go it alone and combine his two areas of expertise – transport and accounting – to launch Stanton Advisory last year.
“I often find many truckies and freight businesses aren’t properly set-up to not only minimise their tax liabilities, but also their insurance costs and aren’t properly protecting their assets. The most surprising thing I’ve seen is that some aren’t even registered for fuel tax credits,” explained Trevor.
“It’s through this that I decided to develop a specialty in freight operators – such as owner-operators and small/medium fleets – where I can deal directly with helping business owners, without the red-tape and jargon often found in larger accounting firms.”
Trevor reveals his family had faced many issues with accountants in the past, because quite simply, they didn’t properly understand the business. “After seeing the mess my parents’ accounts and tax affairs were in, I soon decided their former accountant had little clue about their business. This led me to question how many accountants actually know what operating a fleet involves, or when you look at a freight operator, do they know what’s behind the financial statements?”
In launching his own accounting firm, Trevor said, “I’ve always wanted to own my own accounting business and I realised that it should be focused on trucks, because that’s where my family’s bread and butter is and what I know and can relate to.
“A lot of accountants just don’t have a great understanding about trucks. My parents’ business was underclaiming their fuel tax credits; and I’ve come across many transport businesses that aren’t even registered for fuel tax credits,” he said.
“Fuel tax credits is a very niche area. In past roles, I’ve worked for companies where no-one even knows what fuel tax credits are. I think many accountants are so out of touch with the transport industry. There’s definitely a gap out there between the textbook and real-world.”