By Tracy Miller
Jan 25, 2022

With the guidance and support of Keeping Company, flight school Fly Oz has positioned itself for massive growth – doubling the value of the business and becoming a FEE-HELP approved education provider – all amid the toughest economic conditions the industry has ever seen.

Fly Oz is a leading flight training school based in Cowra, NSW, providing advanced pilot license training. Amid the uniquely challenging conditions of the pandemic, Fly Oz realised they needed greater visibility of their financial position. Fly Oz partnered with Keeping Company for a fresh start.

The challenge

Realising their previous accounting partner was no longer meeting their needs, Fly Oz set out to find a new accounting partner to help them bolster their financial position and weather the challenging conditions of the pandemic. Their industry was one of the hardest hit during the height of the pandemic, so having access to the right advice and resources in order to survive was absolutely essential.

They sought an accounting and bookkeeping partner who would demonstrate greater attention to detail and who could provide guidance on business strategy beyond basic accounting including understanding company goals and handling reporting.

Once Fly Oz became familiar with Keeping Company’s approach and learned of the specific value they could add to the business, the decision to work together was an easy one.

We needed a clean slate when it came to our finances. It became clear very early on that Keeping Company would be able to take our accounting to the next level and achieve some of the goals that had been on the do list for a while,” said Mark Dixon, Deputy Head of Operations and CEO at Fly Oz.

How we helped

Keeping Company set out to completely restructure Fly Oz’s finances. This included adjusting the company’s forecasting, budgeting, and financial targets and reports. We also helped out on a business advisory front; beyond the typical accounting advice. With our help, Fly Oz shifted how money moved through the business, restructured operations, split up assets, boosted business development and redeveloped their website.

We’ve done more in 12 months than in the last five or six years. Keeping Company was able to drive the growth of our business and guide us in setting up the business in the most efficient way possible,” said Mark.

The results

The positive changes at Fly Oz have been dramatic, thanks to the support of Keeping Company.

Despite the extremely challenging market conditions thanks to lockdowns and border closures, Fly Oz managed to restructure, maintain viability during the pandemic and model a path for future growth.

We would be one of the few businesses in the world that fly planes which actually made a profit in the last year. Keeping Company was a big driver in our incredible results.

Keeping Company’s advice enabled Fly Oz to remain resilient and set the company up for long-term growth.

The team pointed out that we were paying too much on maintenance and helped us secure a new provider, recommended ways to speed up accounts receivable and identified opportunities for new business; all of which put us in a strong position to weather the storm.

Keeping Company was also a driving force in helping Fly Oz apply to become a FEE-HELP approved education provider, enabling students to access a FEE-HELP loan to pay for all or part of their Fly Oz fees.

As one of very few flight schools to be an approved provider, this has put the foundations in place for exponential growth and positioned them to be one of the leading flight schools in Australia.

Keeping Company was integral in getting our finances ship shape to pass the criteria for the application process.

Not only has Fly Oz maintained the same revenue throughout the most challenging market conditions ever, the company is now on the cusp of serious growth.

We’re booked through for the next four months. We’ve had to purchase new aircraft to fulfill the demand. We’re in a strong position for future growth, with everything trending in the right direction.

The working relationship between the Fly Oz and Keeping Company teams is very close.

The Keeping Company team is extremely easy to work with. No question is too trivial. I’m the first to admit that I know how to fly planes really well, but I’m not an accountant! The team has been able to educate us on our finances which has made an enormous impact when it comes to understanding the strategic direction of the business.

They’re also extremely prompt when it comes to answering our questions or turning around projects.

I couldn’t speak more highly of Keeping Company. I would absolutely recommend them to any business, of any size.