#18 Nick Urry - Disrupting Traditional Models

Summary notes created by Deciphr AI

Summary Notes


Host Raj Narayan interviews Nick Yuri, co-founder of the accounting firm Dextrous, on the Imagine Golf podcast. Yuri discusses his unconventional journey into accounting, which began with various jobs and a Myers-Briggs test, leading to an eventual realization of his interest in the field. Despite initial resistance, he embraced the profession after university and internships. Yuri and his business partner Jay innovatively combined local Sydney business intimacy with a global workforce, utilizing cloud-based technology before it became mainstream. Dextrous aims to offer proactive, technology-driven financial management, moving away from traditional accounting practices to provide real-time, insightful data that supports business decisions. They focus on internal finance functions and management reporting, using emerging technologies like AI to streamline processes. The recent rebranding reflects Dextrous's tech focus and positions them to tackle more significant client challenges, disrupting the accounting and recruitment industries by providing an alternative to traditional models. Yuri emphasizes the importance of accurate, timely financial information for business owners to make informed decisions and hints at future growth and innovation for Dextrous.

Summary Notes

Introduction and Background of Nick Yuri

  • Nick Yuri is a long-standing member of Imagine Golf and a founding member.
  • He has been a big part of the community, attending most events over the years.
  • Nick runs a successful firm called Dextrous, specializing in finances, accounting, and bookkeeping.

"Nick, you've obviously been one of the very early members at Imagine Golf, one of our founding members."

  • This quote introduces Nick Yuri as an early and foundational member of the Imagine Golf community, highlighting his involvement and commitment.

Nick’s Early Days and Career Path

  • Nick initially did not aim to become an accountant; he explored various jobs after high school.
  • He worked in workers' compensation insurance and hospitality before considering university.
  • A Myers-Briggs test suggested accounting as a potential career path, which he was initially hesitant about.
  • At 22-23, Nick decided to attend university, choosing accounting over international business management due to proximity and specificity.
  • He secured a paid internship through the Institute of Chartered Accountants and was offered a full-time job at the end of it.
  • Nick's grandfather was an accountant, which he later recognized as a sign toward his career path.
  • After working at Moore Stephens and other commercial roles, he founded Dextrous with a co-founder, Jay.

"I never really wanted to be an accountant... stumbled across accounting... got a paid internship through the Institute of Chartered Accountants... got offered a full-time job."

  • Nick's quote outlines his unexpected journey into accounting, starting with varied interests and culminating in a successful career following an internship.

The Genesis of Dextrous

  • Dextrous was founded with the intent to innovate the market by utilizing global workforce and cloud-based technology.
  • The company faced the challenge of overcoming the stigma associated with outsourcing.
  • Nick worked part-time at a bank while starting Dextrous, eventually committing full-time.
  • Dextrous has employed over 150 people, with about 60 staff members currently.
  • The firm has a global team in the Philippines and local staff in Sydney, adapting to market and client needs.

"We wanted to bring something innovative and refreshing to the market in 2015, that was utilizing a global workforce, offshore kind of labor, and with the intimacy of a Sydney business using cloud-based technology."

  • This quote explains the innovative business model of Dextrous and how it aimed to differentiate itself in the market.

Nick's Transition from Accountant to Business Owner

  • Nick views himself more as a business owner than an accountant now.
  • He believes that accounting provides a solid foundation for understanding business and managing risk.
  • Dextrous has created opportunities for both clients and employees, contributing to the growth of individuals within the company.

"You need to know your numbers to be in business... I now see myself as more of a business owner than an accountant."

  • Nick emphasizes the importance of financial literacy in business and reflects on his evolution from an accountant to a business owner.

The Role of Dextrous in Supporting Business Owners

  • Dextrous offers peace of mind to business owners by managing their finance departments.
  • By handling financial tasks, Dextrous allows clients to focus on revenue generation and other core business activities.
  • The firm provides key financial insights and operates as a turnkey solution for clients.

"Giving someone peace of mind over a crucial part of their business is worth its weight in gold."

  • This quote highlights the value Dextrous provides to its clients by managing a critical aspect of their operations, allowing them to focus on other priorities.

Nick’s Golf Journey

  • Nick has always enjoyed golf but found it challenging to play regularly due to other commitments.
  • He played golf in high school and sporadically thereafter, with dips in frequency due to travel, children, and other life events.
  • Despite the challenges, he has always sought to incorporate golf into his life, using it for networking and meeting like-minded business owners.
  • Golf has seen a resurgence in popularity, and Nick discusses how Imagine Golf has structured a community around the sport.

"I've always loved golf. Never felt I played enough of it... It's become. People have found the time."

  • Nick shares his personal connection with golf and acknowledges the recent increase in the sport's popularity, which has allowed more people to find time for it.

The Resurgence of Golf

  • Golf has experienced significant growth, especially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Imagine Golf has capitalized on this trend by providing structured networking opportunities for business owners.
  • The sport is seen as a valuable activity for networking and client engagement during weekdays, fitting into the modern business owner's schedule.

"Golf has had such a big resurgence of late... It's more of a priority for people than maybe it has been for a number of years there."

  • This quote reflects on the increased importance of golf in people's lives and how it has become a priority for many.

Prioritizing Activities and Business Expenses

  • Discussing the ability to prioritize activities, such as playing golf midweek and expensing it.
  • The importance of including a learning or networking component to justify business expenses.
  • The distinction between business expenses and entertainment, particularly when alcohol is involved.
  • The digital world's impact on people's desire for real connections and networking through sports like golf and cycling.

"And I always found that, like, my two things that I always wanted was to have an excuse to play golf midweek and then be able to expense it."

  • The speaker sought ways to combine personal interests, like golf, with business activities to justify expenses.

"If there's a networking component, learning component, and then it's like a business expense as long as you don't give anyone alcohol."

  • Networking and learning components can make activities like golf justifiable as business expenses, but providing alcohol categorizes the activity as entertainment.

The Appeal of Golf for Networking

  • The conversation pace in golf allows for networking without the physical strain present in other sports like cycling.
  • Golf's handicap system enables players of different skill levels to play together, facilitating networking.
  • The flexibility of golf membership and the desire to play more golf.
  • The benefits and considerations of joining a golf club for networking and business purposes.

"There's a lot of cycling based networking groups. So people are pursuing other things."

  • Networking is evolving, with people seeking out activities like cycling and golf to make connections outside of traditional settings.

"You can still walk between your shots together."

  • Golf allows for ongoing social interaction and conversation, making it conducive to networking.

Golf Membership and Playing Frequency

  • Weighing the decision to join a golf club and whether it will encourage more frequent play.
  • The role of golf events in scheduling time to play.
  • The desire to use golf as a business networking tool and the potential return on investment from a membership.
  • The variety of golfing experiences, such as playing different courses versus being a club member.

"Do I get the membership? And that'll force me to play more golf."

  • The speaker is contemplating whether club membership would motivate more regular golf play.

"I find more and more, like, it's not either or. People are part of different things."

  • The speaker observes that individuals are diversifying their golf experiences by joining multiple clubs or participating in various golf-related activities.

Balancing Golf with Business Commitments

  • The fluctuation of golf playing time depending on life stages and work commitments.
  • The consideration of golf club membership as a future option when work commitments decrease.
  • The importance of aligning business milestones with personal rewards like golf membership.
  • The challenge of playing golf frequently while managing a business.

"And you might find as well later on as you retire or closer to the, when you have lesser commitments from a work perspective, then it might be more lucrative to take on a club, you know?"

  • The speaker suggests that golf club membership may become more appealing when work commitments lessen, such as nearing retirement.

"Being a business owner, that's where I've got an equal passion for the businesses I do for golf."

  • The speaker expresses a strong passion for both their business and golf, indicating a need to balance both interests effectively.

Golf Lessons and Practice

  • The irony of playing less golf while working in the golf business.
  • The value of golf lessons as a form of practice when time for actual practice is limited.
  • The benefits of having a professional available at golf events for tips and advice.
  • The challenge of remembering and implementing lessons without regular practice.

"I play a lot less golf now, which is funny, but a lot of the times I don't end up playing because I'm always organizing or talking to members or something like that."

  • Despite being involved in the golf business, the speaker plays less golf due to business responsibilities.

"I'm a big lesson taker and I. Ever since I've started, I've always had heaps and heaps of lessons, but then I never get any time to practice."

  • The speaker values golf lessons as a substitute for practice, highlighting the difficulty of finding time to practice regularly.

Golfing Preferences and Ambitions

  • Personal preferences for post-game drinks at the clubhouse.
  • The desire to play on specific golf courses that have been on one's bucket list.
  • The impact of weather conditions on the golfing experience, particularly at courses with challenging conditions.
  • The concept of a "dream four ball" and the appeal of playing with professional golfers.

"What is your go to drink on the 19th hole?"

  • The speaker inquires about the guest's preferred beverage after a round of golf, relating to the social aspect of the sport.

"Do you have any golf courses that are on your bucket list or things you might want, courses that always you wanted to play at and you haven't had a chance?"

  • The speaker expresses curiosity about the guest's desired golf courses to play, indicating an interest in golfing goals and aspirations.

Pre-Shot Routine and Performance in Golf

  • The speaker recounts their personal experience with warming up before golf and tracking performance.
  • They experimented with different routines to see if there was a correlation between warm-up and performance.
  • The speaker found no correlation between their pre-shot routines or warm-ups and the outcome of their shots.
  • Despite efforts, the speaker concludes they have no control over whether they hit good or bad shots.

"I used to warm up for 20 minutes and then see what my scores were like. And then sometimes I'm not warming up and I'm going in and practice two times a week."

  • This quote explains the speaker's approach to warming up and practicing to determine its effect on performance.

"I used to work in statistical modeling before. So I used to see all the correlation is it getting better if I warm up?"

  • The speaker's background in statistics led them to analyze the correlation between warming up and improved performance.

"No matter what I did, I had no control over what came out."

  • The speaker concludes that despite their efforts, they cannot control the quality of their shots in golf.

The Mental Aspect of Golf

  • The speakers discuss the psychological aspect of golf, particularly the feeling of the best swing being the one before hitting the ball.
  • They share the notion that practice swings often feel better than actual shots.
  • The conversation reflects on the mental challenges of golf and the unpredictability of performance.

"I often feel the best swing I have is the one before I actually hit the ball."

  • This quote captures the mental aspect of golf where the anticipation of the shot can feel better than the actual performance.

"And that's why sometimes I go, you know, don't do the practice swing."

  • The speaker considers skipping the practice swing due to the psychological effect of the discrepancy between practice and actual performance.

Personal Reflections on Golf and Personality

  • The conversation shifts to how guests on the golf course reveal their personalities through their choices, such as whom they wish to play with.
  • Mention of a guest wanting to play with Nelson Mandela as an example of how golf preferences can reflect personal values and thinking.
  • The dialogue illustrates how golf can be a window into understanding different personalities.

"It's so interesting. It gives a reflection of their personality and who they are."

  • This quote highlights the speaker's interest in how golf preferences can reveal aspects of a person's character.

"Like, someone said once, I want to play with Nelson Mandela."

  • The choice of playing partner in golf can be indicative of personal admiration and values.

Overview of Dextrous Accounting

  • Speaker B provides an overview of Dextrous, a company that aims to bring a refreshing and innovative approach to the accounting industry.
  • Dextrous focuses on being proactive, adopting emerging technologies, and being personable with clients.
  • The company works with clients' internal finance functions, offering services like payroll, bookkeeping, accounts payable, and management reporting.
  • Dextrous places a strong emphasis on technology, such as robotic process automation (RPA) and AI, to improve efficiency and reduce errors.

"We want to bank the professionalism and the integrity that comes with being in the accounting industry, but also bring through a 2024 kind of new age mentality."

  • Speaker B describes Dextrous's aim to balance traditional accounting values with a modern, forward-thinking approach.

"We want to make sure that we are comfortable with the technology that we're presenting to our clients."

  • Dextrous prioritizes understanding and being comfortable with the technology they use to ensure client trust and security.

The Role of Cloud-Based Software in Accounting

  • Dextrous uses cloud-based software to streamline accounting processes, reduce human error, and enhance employee engagement in more meaningful roles.
  • The company assesses whether finance teams are set up for growth or are content with maintaining the status quo.
  • They provide proactive advice to clients based on insights gathered from various businesses.

"This is effectively developing solutions for clients to streamline and, you know, reduce human error, remove some of those bespoke, manual, tedious tasks from that accounting function."

  • Speaker B explains how Dextrous uses cloud-based software to improve accounting functions and reduce the risk of errors.

"We'll always tell you how you can be doing things differently based on what we see across hundreds of clients."

  • Dextrous leverages their broad client experience to offer tailored advice and improvements to their clients' accounting practices.

Importance of Management Reporting and Financial Insights

  • The speakers discuss the importance of management reporting and understanding key business drivers for making informed decisions.
  • Dextrous helps clients look beyond traditional financial statements to analyze underlying factors affecting revenue and costs.
  • They focus on providing business owners with the right financial insights to assist in strategic planning and growth.

"What's driving the revenue numbers? What's driving the costs? And do you have targets for those numbers?"

  • Speaker B emphasizes the importance of understanding the factors that drive financial results and setting targets for key metrics.

"We want to make sure that they're getting the insights they need when they need it."

  • Dextrous aims to provide timely and accurate financial information to assist clients in decision-making and strategic planning.
  • The conversation touches on how the accounting industry is evolving with technology, particularly in providing real-time financial data.
  • Dextrous is invested in exploring AI and its potential impact on the accounting industry.
  • The speakers reflect on how the role of accountants and bookkeepers is changing and the importance of staying ahead with technology.

"You can check on a daily basis or a weekly basis. And so the need to, people need to be more agile and more nimble."

  • Speaker B highlights the shift towards more frequent and agile financial analysis due to real-time accounting data.

"We're asking the questions internally, and that's going to bode well for us, because if we look across our peers in our industry, I think a lot of people are waiting for it to happen."

  • Dextrous is proactive in exploring future technology trends, unlike others in the industry who may be more reactive.

Streamlining Processes and the Impact on Work

  • Streamlining processes is expected to free up time for value-added analysis.
  • The idea is to shift focus from mundane tasks to higher-level work due to increased efficiency.
  • Some bookkeepers adapt well to providing insights and operating at a higher level.

"Processes are streamlined, then logic dictates that you'd have more time for value-added analysis rather than the mundane of whatever they're doing."

  • This quote emphasizes that streamlined processes should lead to more time available for in-depth analysis rather than repetitive tasks.

The Role of Individual Bookkeepers in Business Growth

  • The growth of businesses can be affected by the abilities of individual bookkeepers.
  • Bookkeepers who can provide insights and work at a higher level are more valuable.
  • There is a variance in how bookkeepers adapt to the need for providing higher-level insights.

"You see a lot of businesses that grow bookkeepers, and that's because they're unable to provide that insights that operate at that higher level."

  • This quote indicates that a business's growth can be limited by bookkeepers who are not able to provide strategic insights or operate at a higher analytical level.

Automation and the Future of Bookkeeping

  • Automation is expected to take over tasks performed by junior and intermediate staff.
  • Senior staff will transition from reviewing juniors' work to checking AI output for quality control.
  • Despite automation, the obligation to provide accurate and timely financial information remains.

"The bookkeeper's role will become more about quality control."

  • This quote suggests that automation will shift the bookkeeper's role from doing tasks to overseeing the quality of work, which will increasingly be done by AI.

"We can't automate our responsibility to our clients, and that's to provide accurate, timely financial information."

  • This quote highlights the enduring responsibility of providing accurate financial information to clients, regardless of technological advancements.

AI's Role in Networking and Business Connections

  • AI is anticipated to be used across various industries, including networking events.
  • The process of connecting people effectively is seen as an art that requires understanding nuances.
  • AI could assist in creating initial lists for networking based on criteria, but human oversight will still be valuable.

"AI will be used in every industry in every aspect. But for us, I mean, obviously for our networking events, we do a lot of, you know, basically the whole business is connecting people."

  • This quote recognizes the potential for AI to be applied widely, including in the context of networking events to facilitate business connections.

Scaling Business Operations with AI

  • AI solutions are necessary for scaling events and networking as the business grows.
  • As businesses expand, the personal knowledge of each member decreases, necessitating technology to assist.
  • Automation of processes is crucial for growth and staying ahead of the curve.

"It's got to be done by AI. So if I put some criteria in—size, scale of company, industries they're looking to connect with—it should be spit out like these original lists."

  • This quote details how AI could be utilized to automate the process of matching individuals in networking scenarios based on specific criteria.

Future-Proofing Business and Embracing Technology

  • Businesses need to future-proof by adapting to technological changes.
  • There is a focus on quality control and managing more clients efficiently.
  • Technology allows for scaling and enables staff to focus on client-facing work.

"I sit here with 40 staff in the Philippines and so I've a vested interest in making sure I can future proof our business and the roles of the people we have in our team."

  • The speaker is considering the impact of technology on their business and the need to adapt roles within their team to stay relevant and efficient.

The Importance of Accurate and Timely Financial Information

  • Businesses should not accept excuses for inaccurate or untimely financial information.
  • CEOs should conduct pulse checks on their financial processes and systems.
  • Dashboards and reporting should support the gut feelings of business owners and provide valuable insights.

"With the systems we have and processes that people should adopt, things should be pretty seamless and frictionless."

  • This quote implies that modern systems and processes should enable businesses to operate smoothly without unnecessary complications.

Rebranding and Business Evolution

  • The rebranding of 'dexterous' was driven by the need to better align with market positioning and values.
  • The rebranding process involved client interviews and an agency to help redefine the brand.
  • The new brand identity is more tech-focused and aligns with the company's direction.

"It was apparent that our current branding wasn't hitting the mark. It was a bit of a disconnect."

  • This quote explains the rationale behind rebranding, as the existing brand image was not effectively communicating the company's value proposition.

Looking Forward: Innovation and Disruption

  • The speaker encourages businesses to innovate or risk being disrupted.
  • Dextrous is focused on tapping into new markets and leveraging technology for better decision-making.
  • The company aims to disrupt traditional models by providing an alternative to traditional recruitment.

"Innovate or be disrupted."

  • This quote captures the essence of the competitive business environment, where innovation is key to staying ahead and avoiding obsolescence.

"We've got a great platform... and we're focused more on tapping into a new market."

  • The speaker expresses optimism about the future, highlighting the company's strong foundation and intention to explore new markets.

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