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Marisa Gonzalez is the founder of a boutique accounting firm in Canberra, is one of PIPA’s longest-serving members, and completed her QPIA more than a decade ago.
|CAN YOU PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?
|Marisa Gonzalez & Co is an accounting firm located in Canberra. We are a boutique accounting firm with a particular focus in small business and property founded in 2004. Our firm has been built on referrals, which is great as I find that referrals are generally the right fit for my practice.
For many years, I have had an interest in property, and this stemmed from my earlier years working for various newspapers and other print media in Canberra.
During that time, I met many real estate professionals and worked as a senior account manager with one of the newspapers. Carefully studying property prices and postcodes, I soon began my own property portfolio. I purchased my first property at the age of 20 in a modest Canberra suburb and that portfolio has continued to grow.
|| HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A PROPERTY INVESTMENT PROFESSIONAL AND WHAT WAS YOUR PATHWAY INTO THE PROFESSION?
|As an accountant and professional adviser, I wanted to provide my clients with informative, current, and detailed information into the various types of property.
I aim to give all clients the best advice including the positive and negative aspects of all types of property from a vacant piece of land to student accommodation.
It became apparent early that most people needed much more than just their tax return completed. I guess in a way I am giving them encouragement to purchase property and to trust themselves.
Each client and their circumstances are so unique. There is a great sense of satisfaction to see my clients (some have been with me for over 20 years) grow their wealth with property. Purchasing property should never be just about tax minimisation it should first and foremost be about wealth creation. In all things, I begin with the end in mind.
Often, I refer to property purchasing as buckets and each property is a bucket. If you happen to be in the middle of a severe drought and all you have is one bucket, then that is the only water you will collect with one bucket.
However, if you have many buckets, you will be able to collect much water. So, if you have many properties, you will be able to build your equity.
|| HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT PIPA?
|I first heard about PIPA through a property magazine at a time when Margaret Lomas was on the board.
The reason I decided to join PIPA was I was delighted to see that finally there was an organisation that was formalising property advice and those in the property industry.
When I joined PIPA, the formal training was a six-module course through Deakin University that had assignments and supervised exams. It was interesting and fun. It certainly augmented my level of property knowledge having done formal study in the area that was not based around taxation.
|| WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAIN REASONS WHY PEOPLE SHOULD BE MEMBERS OF PIPA AND QPIAS?
|To be a qualified adviser you must have formalised your knowledge in the myriad types of property.
The brand PIPA instantly lets a potential client know that you are so committed to the advice or work you do in the property landscape that you have taken the time and gone to the expense of educating yourself.
Many accountants are great with the taxation aspect of property, and they would magnify their knowledge if they were to enter into a formal platform of study in relation to property.
The recent property boom has many property owners asking for Capital Gains Tax calculations on their properties in the event of a selling.
Fortunately, for many of our clients, we always prepare a CGT for property purchases. Throughout the life of holding the property, the register is updated accordingly.
The register is useful when the time comes to calculate the potential capital gain and, of course, so is record-keeping by the property owner.
|| WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOUR BUSINESS IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS AND BEYOND?
|Over the coming 12 months and beyond, the property boom will keep us busy as we see properties purchased and sold. There is always so much to consider and my firm and are focused on giving the best possible advice surrounding this type of transaction.
My business has an enviable younger client base and that makes it interesting and sustainable.
Originally Published: PIPA Adviser Issue #24