By Ryan Miller
Oct 01, 2020
Keeping Company is more than just Year13’s accounting firm. We’re their virtual CFO, business advisor, mentor, friend and biggest supporter. Find out how we’ve seen Year13 through some major highs and lows including two successful capital raises, exponential growth and a life threatening motorcycle accident which left the CEO out of action for several months.



When the team at Year13 set out to undertake their very first capital raise, they knew strong financial governance would be crucial. The company had been helping school leavers transition into the next phase of their lives since 2011, providing independent career, education and life advice via their digital platform. They were ready to escalate their operation and the raise would allow the digital enterprise to scale.

Like all startups, Year13 had started out with the co-founders and their small team handling everything from marketing, to sales and accounting. On the cusp of the raise, however, the team knew they needed to bring in expert help on the financial front.

Following recommendation from their capital firm they met with Keeping Company who immediately struck them to be the perfect match as their financial partner. Founder and Director of Year13, Saxon Phipps, knew they would be in good hands.

“Straight away we could tell that Keeping Company was a unique accounting firm. Not only did they have the financial expertise and experience we needed, but the team has experience running their own businesses and launching startups. We knew their advice would be invaluable.”

How we helped 

Year13 needed to ensure their financial management was sophisticated enough to scale, that investors had visibility and that they were prepared for new financial obligations such as board reporting.

With no finance function in-house, Keeping Company took on all financial management responsibilities for Year13, from bookkeeping to CFO services. This included looking after all the documentation for the capital raises, cash flow forecasting and management, and budgeting. We also took on a strategic role, advising when the business was geared to grow and when it was time to undertake the second capital raise.

Saxon credits Keeping Company with helping Year13 become much more accountable and informed when it came to their finances.

“You don’t know what you don’t know. Having better transparency over our finances was a game changer. Once you have access to better data it improves your budgeting and projections significantly.”

Keeping Company was there to help Year13 through their first and second capital raises.

“Keeping Company helped us become a watertight, strong asset for the market, not only through improved financial governance, but also by focussing on things that would be attractive to investors like strategies to build our recurring revenue.”

“With Keeping Company’s guidance we’ve been able to get the balance right of remaining agile, while introducing the right financial governance to enable us to scale.”

A major support during crisis

When the CEO was in a life threatening motorcycle accident and forced to take several months out to focus on his recovery, Saxon was suddenly thrust into the role of interim CEO, overseeing Year13’s financials for the first time. Saxon describes the experience as being a real test for Year13.

“I have never been good at numbers and suddenly the responsibility of our finances was on my shoulders. It was an extremely emotional and daunting time. Keeping Company really came through, working very closely with me to ensure I had a handle on everything.”

Keeping Company proved to be much more than just a financial partner to Saxon and the team at Year13 throughout this time.

“Even though we were just the little guys, Keeping Company didn’t treat us that way. In fact it was the opposite – they really went above and beyond, providing mentoring, checking in two or three times a week, reminding me of key milestones or responsibilities such as payroll dates and generally making sure that things were going well. You can’t put a value on that kind of personal support.”

The results 

Since Keeping Company began working with Year13 two years ago, the company has gone from strength to strength. Following the first successful capital raise, Keeping Company was there again to help Year13 with their second raise which was oversubscribed and raised $2 million. In just two years the team has grown from seven to 32 people.

The company has commercialised successfully, building recurring revenue streams and attracting grants from government and sponsorships from corporates.

Saxon believes that Keeping Company was a crucial factor in their success.

“When you surround yourself with good people, you get good results. We really can’t put a monetary value on how the Keeping Company team has helped us. They’ve seen us through so many of our trials and tribulations, offering invaluable advice and support.”

“When you’re in start up mode, I think it’s easy to underestimate how important strong financial management is. The reality is that businesses don’t operate without money, so you need to have everything in order when it comes to cash flow or receivables to continue to operate successfully.”

“Having people we can trust and speak to about every aspect of our business has been phenomenal.”

At Keeping Company, we’re not just accountants, we’re business people too. With our counsel, your business can reach its full potential.

We have a team of experts; Cloud Accountants, Business Advisors, Finance Specialists working together and ready to help, contact us today.

1300 533 787

The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone. If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.