Managing Director & CEO, BeLLCORP Accountants
Jeff Bell is the Director of BeLLCORP Accountants, BHB Accountants and Nest Property Management. A University of Newcastle graduate, he grew up in Nelson Bay and pursued a career in accounting before becoming actively involved in small business coaching and strategy.
Jeff is a CPA and the Deputy-Chair of the Newcastle and Hunter branch, and was awarded the Emerging Financial Manager of the Year award by CPA Australia. Jeff has a genuine passion in developing business processes to improve profitability and enjoys tackling all accounting situations. Outside of work, Jeff is an avid tennis player and has a keen interest in all water sports.
- What makes a good leader?
I think it really boils down to probably two very, very important things for me personally. First one is commitment; I think in order to have a team really on the same page as you, you’ve got to lead by example. So being the one in your office who’s got the most passion and who’s in there doing the work. If the team sees that, naturally they’re going to follow. It becomes contagious. So, commitment is a big one for me.
And the other one is compassion. I think people around you need to see that you’re as much there for them as they are for you. So it’s always going to be in an environment where there’s give and take; as long as you’re there as a leader giving as much as you take, you can’t go wrong.
- What do you believe has shaped your leadership style?
I think I’ve been pretty fortunate over the years; I’ve had a pretty linear career. I’ve gone from the bottom up, and by doing that I’ve seen almost every aspect of the accounting career. So that’s definitely shaped my leadership style in a long way. It has given me the opportunity to develop a little bit more empathy I think; knowing exactly what it’s like doing the bottom and also doing the top of the job. And by doing that, you can put yourself in the shoes of your team; it makes life a lot easier if you can feel exactly what they’re feeling. So that certainly helped.
The other big thing for me is I’ve got a fantastic network around me. I’ve been quite lucky to meet a lot of awesome people in Newcastle, but also wider than that in Central Coast and Sydney, who I can call upon at any time. So when I need advice, when I need a second sounding board, I’ve got them there and I think that consistently shakes my leadership style too, having other people to grow with.
- What motivates and drives you?
I love being part of other people’s successes. And accounting is one of those careers where you can be part of that every day. One of the things that motivates me most is being able to be part of people’s big wins and also their little wins as well. I’ll find every day you get a phone call or an email from someone who doesn’t know where to go next or who doesn’t know what to do next to get to the end goal. Being able to suggest and be part of that, it’s probably one of the best parts of the job. As an accountant, you’re not just being a counter, you end up being a psychologist as well as a sounding board and everything else that comes with it. That, to me, is actually really, really encouraging. Being part of helping people get from A to B is probably the best part of the job, and that encourages me every day to keep on doing what I’m doing.
- What is one action or task you ensure you incorporate into your diary each week?
I would say the most important one for me is downtime. What I do is allocate one day a week, usually it’s on the weekend but no guarantees, where I say laptop lid is closed, phone calls can wait from business associates and whatnot. And it’s just time for me, my family, my friends and what not. That’s probably the biggest point, taking that 24 hours. It’s amazing what 24 hours in a row can do to you, your own sanity and in making the rest of that week even better than it was going to be before. So that’s probably a big-ticket item from a personal perspective.
Similar from a work perspective, I like to block out certain times during my work week where I’m just committing to answering emails, growing my business, talking to staff and doing other bits and pieces like that. It only has to be an hour here or there, but an hour of committed time to something special makes life a lot easier.
- Which local businessperson do you find inspiring?
I’ve got two. Early on in my career when I started at PwC, I was very fortunate to work with a lady by the name of Caroline Mara, who’s still there today. I guess for me she was very, very inspiring because it comes back to those two qualities we were talking about before -commitment and compassion. She was a leader by example and she exhibited both of those. And I think because of that, the office around her was a far more vibrant place.
And in more recent times, after doing a lot of work with Daniel Brown from Newcastle Financial Planning Group, I’m really, really in awe of how he’s growing that business. But also how he has kept the staff engaged; he’s got everyone going in the same direction, and to have that commitment and focus takes a lot of time and a lot of effort. He’s done it really, really well. So, I’m excited to see where he goes with that. And at the same time, I’m excited to grow alongside that as well, in much the same direction that Dan is going.
BeLLCORP Accountants is a boutique accountancy firm, with offices in The Junction and Gosford. BeLLCORP specialises in small business accounting and self-managed superannuation admin, and continues to work with some of the most authentic brands in our region. They work with a number of industries from construction to hospitality. The firm delivers quality accounting and consulting advice with an emphasis on technology as a tool to simplify business and processes.