So who are you anyway, and what do you do?

I’m Greg Tuckwell and I head up Team Xero at the Poole Group and am now CEO of our latest venture, Zerobooks.com. I also head up our property development syndication business.

What was your last job before getting into this?

I spent 6 years working in the Insolvency Division of one of the Top 4 accounting Firms.

And why did you decide to do what you do now?

After 6 years of watching businesses fail, due to poor management in most cases, I wanted to have a more positive impact for businesses.  I grew up on the Sunshine Coast so when I was asked to return to the Coast and create a management advisory division in a friends accounting practice I jumped at the chance. That was 23 years ago!!

What song of the 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s still gets your feet tapping today?

Whilst l love a variety of music styles and bands l suppose Dire Straits, Money for Nothing gets the feet tapping the most – the drum and guitar intro would have to be one of the best ever. As soon as it comes on the volume of the radio/ipod goes to maximum (even on my ipod in the office)

What is the biggest challenge facing accountants/bookkeepers/your industry this year?

It still surprises me how many accountants still haven’t got their head around the cloud, what it means for them and their clients and the opportunities it creates.  Their biggest challenge will be to understand the changes taking place before they get left behind.

Is there still room and time for a new cloud-accounting software company to emerge and compete successfully?  If so, what niche does it need to fill?  What should they offer that others don’t?  What should they do differently?

In terms of the basic accounting I think any new entrant will struggle to (a) match or outdo Xero’s product and the flexibility their eco-system offers and (b) match the marketing that will happen once the incumbent ‘bears’ wake out of their slumber and have a reliable true cloud product to take to market.  They have definitely been caught with their pants down and I believe will come out swinging as soon as they can.

However, in terms of add-ons, there is a huge gap for the building industry. The first add on that will provide small builders the ability to do estimates, then create jobs, and allow critical path management, and invoicing will go very well.

If you could give your younger self some advice, what would it be?

Trust yourself and go for it. Things don’t always go as you expect but trust yourself, roll with the punches then dust yourself off and keep going. But as soon as you realise it wont work then stop and move onto the next project.  Always be positive. (That may be more than one but they are all connected)

If you could retire now, what would you do? Or not do?

Keep travelling. I try and tick off one destination or adventure from the bucket list each year so I’d just work through the list faster.

If you could buy anyone a drink in a bar and chat to them about anything, who would it be, what drink, and what would you talk about?

Richard Branson with a good bottle of red and talk about the successes and failures that have made him such a positive and inspiring business leader.

If you could walk up to anyone, kick them in the shins and shout something at them, who would it be, and what would you shout?  Go on….get it off your chest!

Environmental extremists who want to ban all human activity from everything. I’d tell them its not about demanding the world ceases all activity but finding a sustainable solution for all stakeholders.

For example, I’m a strong advocate for things like fishing bag limits, closed seasons and tag and release fishing but hate some extreme environmentalist telling us we have to lock up vast areas of ocean and ban all fishing.  The solution is more about ensuring the use of the resource is managed / limited to ensure the food chain and life cycle is preserved.

There, that feels better!’

If you could walk up to anyone and hug them, who would it be, and why?

Lydia Lassila. Her story as a Mum and attempt to take her second Winter Olympic gold medal with a jump no woman has ever before attempted in competition was inspiring and a good example of having trust in yourself and going for it, even if it cost her the gold medal. 

What’s your favourite meat and gravy meal?

A medium/rare T-bone steak with a mushroom gravy, roast potatoes, roast pumpkin (skin on of course) and roast onion with a few green veggies on the side and a bottle of Shiraz.

What is your greatest achievement?

My 3 kids who have grown into young adults and followed their own hearts in life rather than listening to what they are expected to do by peers and society. (Not to mention providing me with my first grandson!)

What do you want to achieve that you haven’t as yet?

Grow and develop Zerobooks.com into a global online brand

What’s next for you?

Personally, finish the renovations to the house we recently bought.

Professionally, to focus on the growth of Zerobooks.com across 3 continents

Greg is Director/CEO of Poole Group/Zerobooks.com

@greg_tuckwell


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