Ric Payne, My Practice Mentor Podcast Host
011: Brett Kelly – Kelly + Partners from $200k to $24 million in 8 years

011: Brett Kelly – Kelly + Partners from $200k to $24 million in 8 years

Brett is the CEO of Kelly+Partners an Australian firm of Chartered Accountants and the Executive Chairman, KellyPartners Capital a private equity fund. He founded K+P in 2006 in a serviced office of 20 square meters. In just 8 years it has grown it to be a $24 million firm and one of the top 50 accounting firms in Australia.  It has 7 offices in and around Sydney and 1 recently opened in south east Queensland. In this interview, Brett shares how he has been able to achieve this amazing result.

As at June 2014 the firm has 22 partners and 98 team members. It has averaged a compound annual growth rate of more than 80% since being founded and is ranked #38 by revenue size and #8 by revenue growth in Australia. Approximately half its growth has come from an aggressive acquisition strategy and the remainder is from organic growth. The firm’s acquisition competency reflects Bret’s investment banking background and is not typical of firms outside the top tier. A characteristic of the firm is its industry-leading profitability and management of working capital.

The firm specializes in helping private business owners get from where they are to where they want to be by offering expert advice tailored to the unique personal and business circumstances of their clients. They do that  by utilizing highly structured systems and year round contact which ensures timely, sophisticated and forward-looking advice….. but listen to the interview to get the full story.

They understand better than most firms that the vast majority of people know they need an accountant for taxation purposes but that an accountant can do so much more for a business client.

When talking about his acquisition strategy Brett mentioned a white paper written by McKinsey called M&A as Competitive Advantage. Click here to download a copy.

In the course of our conversation we talked about the importance of client focus and mentioned a statement I believe was made by John Maxwell: “clients don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Maxwell has written some of the very best (in my opinion) books on leadership. See especially, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You.

I have also seen this referenced in Harry Beckwith’s books. Beckwith has also written several excellent books that are very relevant for accounting firms. One that I particularly like is called What Clients Love: A Field Guide to Growing Your Business

Another of his books that’s particularly relevant to accounting firms is called Selling The Invisible

Brett Kelly Links

The firm’s website: www.kellypartners.com.au

Brett’s email address: brett@kellypartners.com.au

If you are interested in talking to Brett about working together he is keen to meet firms globally with $2m – $15m in fees and 2 or more partners. For more information visit www.kellypartnersgroup.com.au

Free Book Offers

Brett has kindly offered to donate 5 copies of his most recent book titled Business Owners’ Wisdom. The first 5 people who request a copy by emailing mpmpod@principa.net AND who correctly summarize three KEY success factors as explained by Brett for building a $24 million firm will receive a copy.

Brett has also kindly offered his latest eBook absolutely free Your Money, Your Choice. Click here to download.


In my haste to calculate the fee growth rate for K+P I made an error. I mentioned in the interview that the fees had grown at the rate of more than 20% per year – in fact on checking my facts it is close to 82%! Oops … big difference but the essential fact remains correct, he has grown his firm from about $200k in 2006 to $24m in 8 years!