Members On Their Way

Members On Their Way: Jodie Dean

Meet the finance consultant who is empowering female small business owners to focus on doing what they love.

By Natalie Cornish

Members On Their Way

Meet the finance consultant who is empowering female small business owners to focus on doing what they love.

By Natalie Cornish

Jodie Dean grew up in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Her path into financial management and consulting began when she quit her PE studies and took an office job while she worked out what was next. “That employer put me through my first accounting course, and for that I’m forever grateful,” Jodie says. A stint in London working for Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and London Arena (where her day job was soundtracked by Robbie Williams rehearsing) followed. On her return to Melbourne, Jodie took on freelance bookkeeping work and quickly realised she cared as much about her clients as the numbers. She rebranded her financial management business to AccountArts in 2014. Here, Jodie talks about finding her niche, going the extra mile, and doing her bit for the planet.

When women get together and share ideas and skills, amazing things happen and I hope by being part of Future Women I can help more women build their businesses, finally get clarity and control of their finances so they can achieve financial and emotional freedom in their lives.

As my own business undergoes a period of growth and expansion it’s important for me to feel connected to like-minded women. I know the value of being able to offer support and feel that kinship, because for so many years I’ve been working with clients in the creative arts who have told me how much they value having someone to bounce ideas off, who has their back. Even though our calendars are full, we often work in isolation.

After years of working and living abroad, I returned to Melbourne in 2003 to further my accounting study and was approached to do some freelance bookkeeping work. My business grew quickly from there, purely by word of mouth. I realised that I didn’t just care about the numbers, I cared about the people and went the extra mile finding ways to grow their business and shrink their necessary expenses. I saw that I could really change people’s lives for the better.

I found my niche and rebranded to AccountArts in 2014. AccountArts is a client focused boutique business that serves those in the creative and arts industries. Knowing that I can provide an enormous amount of value to talented individuals who often struggle with the numbers is so rewarding. My goal is to put people’s minds at ease, help them stay on track with their financial requirements and give them back much needed time to focus on what they love doing which is their creative art.

In 2020 one of my top goals is sustainability, and converting clients to the paperless office. I can help my clients say goodbye to those scrunched up, or faded, receipts in their wallet and handbag and streamline their bookkeeping records with services offered by the Cloud. It’s proven that keeping messy paperwork off your desk improves productivity and mental clarity– it’s a no brainer and game changer to helping them save time, effort and money. I also love that it’s better for the environment.

“I realised that I didn’t just care about the numbers, I cared about the people and went the extra mile finding ways to grow their business and shrink their necessary expenses. I saw that I could really change people’s lives for the better.”

Knowing that all my finances and my clients finances are in order allows room for me to find joy in the smallest of things. It could be running outside with my four-year-old son and husband, watching an amazing play, or visiting the gallery of some of my talented clients. I also am passionate about supporting small and local businesses, whether that means market stalls or trying a new café or restaurant.

I’m currently reading Principles:Life and Work by Ray Dalio and listening to The Power Of Vulnerability by Brene Brown as an audiobook.

“Life opens up opportunities to you, and you either take them or you stay afraid of taking them” is the motto I live by.

Most of my clients are self-made women who have turned their passion into a business. From artists to photographers and everything in between, seeing them pursue a less conventional career path and playing my part in growing that to help support their family, or even their travel and lifestyle goals truly inspires me daily.

When I lived in London, I would travel to neighbouring European countries on the weekends. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to learn Italian and French.

My driving force is knowing I can help small business owners. More than 60 percent of small businesses stop operating within the first three years of their start-up journey, and the most common challenges stem from financial and business management. In 2014, I made a conscious decision to redirect my business to the creative industry. Not only am I inspired by their individuality and creative talents, but I also identified a need to help female creatives – especially those juggling work and family life – to focus on their bespoke craft without the burden of managing their own financials. This is now the backbone of my brand and my main focus for clients day to day.

Outside of work I love to switch my numbers brain off with a relaxing massage or facial.

The future for women is so strong. The finance and accounting industry has always been a male dominated industry and it is exciting to see a growing amount of advisory firms led by women. As both a mother and a professional, I have a unique understanding that I can share with my clients and it’s exciting to see that being valued globally.

We can lift each other up when we empower each other to believe anything is possible.

I’m most fulfilled when I’m with my family and dogs at home in our own little sanctuary we have created for ourselves.

Self-care means sleep, sleep, sleep; moving everyday (especially as I spend so much time at my desk); eating healthy meals and feeling on top of things financially, so there are less subconscious stresses.