Craig West is a strategic accountant who has over 20 years' experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice has provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners.
Following 6 years of study to gain two masters degrees, Craig focused on Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for business sales advising on strategic management of taxation issues in exit planning. This experience formed a very strong view that the majority of business owners (and often their advisers) were unprepared and unaware of the steps required to prepare for exit. Craig then designed and documented a unique process to assist owners and their advisers prepare for exit.
Craig West now acts as a strategic business and financial mentor for mid-market business owners. Craig has written four critically acclaimed books educating business owners on employee incentives, succession planning, asset protection and exit strategies. Craig has conducted numerous seminars and keynote presentations throughout Australia & internationally. Presentations include adviser education programs for the Institute of Chartered Accountants and CPA Australia, Key-note address for IOOF, L J Hooker, Sentry and full-day workshops for business owners. Craig West is an entertaining and sought-after presenter.
In March 2014, Craig was appointed Chairman of the SME Association of Australia, an organisation focused on improving the success of SMEs in Australia.
In October 2014, he was awarded the Exit Planner of the Year by the Exit Planning Institute in Texas, USA. The award was as a result of his innovative development of a 21 step exit planning process to help business owners maximise business value and achieve a successful exit.
In 2015, Craig West commenced a Doctor of Business Administration on the topic of using Employee Share Ownership Plans (ESOPs) as a Business Succession and Exit Planning tool.
Recently working with Environmental & Social Consultants, Umwelt Australia in Newcastle NSW, Succession Plus developed a tailored Employee Share Ownership Plan that attracts, retains and motivates key employees as well as rewarding key long-term loyal employees.
Through our Business Insights Report, we reviewed the structure, benchmarked the business against competitors and completed a detailed analysis of key value drivers and ultimately a business valuation. This also produced a detailed implementation plan to maximise the value of the business and implement an ESOP.
Umwelt has seen dramatic improvement in engagement, ideas, performance and ultimately profit since introducing the ESOP, and today, their ESOP now owns 22.30% of the equity, with over 30 employee owners.