John Clarke Tackles Tax with a Smile

Updated: Sep 19

COVID-19 may have unquestionably ushered in widespread uncertainty in many aspects of our daily lives but, as the old adage is always keen to remind us, one of two constants still remains: taxes.

The very word ‘tax’ can install fear and apprehension into small business owners across the country. It is a topic that many tend to shy away from as opposed to confronting head-on.

And with good reason. Navigating the federal tax landscape in Australia can certainly be a precarious process, a paperwork laden, regulatory minefield littered with potential pitfalls. Many small businesses find themselves overwhelmed by the confusing and overly complicated conditions their tax obligations present and rarely does the taxman or woman find themselves at the top of people’s Christmas card lists.

Thankfully, there are accountants out there that are fully equipped and more than ready to help by offering invaluable expertise and guidance. In fact for some, it is a passion more than just a service.

One such accounting firm is Success Tax Professionals (STPTAX), a network of over 95 independently owned accounting practices servicing over 50,000 accounting and tax clients each year.

Established in Port Macquarie by John Clarke in June 2020, STPTAX is a unique franchise group where its members work together to provide local services to businesses, individuals, retirees and investors which are underpinned with national backup. It currently has a presence in six states across the country and members benefit from on-going branding, marketing, training, systems, services, and quality control support.

Maximising a client’s tax situation and actually striving to generate financial growth are the objectives that define John’s and STPTAX’s approach. His practice offers a holistic range of services to clients encompassing accounting, tax, tax planning and advice on asset protection and risk management.

John is passionate about financial sustainability and helping businesses increase profits and improve cash flow by finding the hidden cash within their organisation.

“I want your business to succeed,” John says. “I want it to generate the profits you need for your dreams - whether it’s a house, holidays, or time with your family.”

A People Person

With a 30-year career in accountancy and around 20 years involved in tax specific affairs, John and his family moved from Dubbo to Port Macquarie in 2008 when he took on the job of Business Manager at Heritage Christian School.

Prior to that he was the CEO of the Outback Division of General Practice in western NSW which was funded by the Commonwealth to help GPs work with other health professionals. John’s achievements in the role were long and varied, including taking over programs from the Far West Area Health Service, providing visiting podiatry services into far western towns, the establishment of community health forums, founding partnerships with Aboriginal Medical Services in Bourke, Brewarrina and Walgett, and the construction of a medical centre in Cobar which houses not only GPs but other health services. Under John’s watch annual funding increased from about $200,000 to $2.5 million during that period.

John places a huge emphasis on the community and fostering solid, sustainable relationships and networks, something his affable personality lends itself to favourably.

“Having been now based in Port Macquarie for 13 years I know the district, I know the people, I know the kind of industries that are involved locally,” John said.

“I am passionate about building stronger sustainable communities and have been involved in service clubs and show societies. I’ve spent a lot of time in not for profit organisations managing their finances. In my private life I’m involved in my church.

“I really enjoy dealing with people, helping them and their businesses to get a better understanding of how they can improve their profits and their cash flow. And also, helping individuals get the most tax back that they can legally.”

It’s good to talk

It will come as no great surprise that the emphasis John places on the importance of good and clear communication is imperative.

“I genuinely regard it as one of my major differentiators,” he commented.