Allan Hall team

Allan Hall Secures Top 50 Position in Prestigious Accountants Survey

Allan Hall Business Advisors has retained their Top 50 position in the Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Accountants Survey for 2023.

In a testament to unwavering commitment to excellence, Allan Hall Business Advisors has proudly held its position as one of Australia’s leading accounting firms in the Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Accountants survey.

Securing an impressive #45 ranking, Allan Hall continues to stand tall among the accounting sector, reaffirming its status as a trusted and reliable partner for businesses and individuals alike.

Having a Top 50 ranking is more than just a number; it represents over 60 years of dedicated service and expertise. Since inception, Allan Hall has been resolute in providing high-quality accounting and business advisory services, consistently adapting to the evolving financial landscape and delivering value to clients.

What sets Allan Hall apart is not just longevity, but also the breadth of services available and the calibre of staff. The firm’s range of services goes beyond traditional accounting, encompassing financial planning, business advisory, self-managed super funds, home loans and more. This holistic approach to client service reflects Allan Hall’s understanding that modern businesses require comprehensive solutions to thrive.

The strength of Allan Hall lies not only in its services but also in its people. The team comprises seasoned professionals who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Their dedication to being across industry trends ensures that clients receive advice that is not only reliable but also forward-thinking.

Beyond the professional achievements, Allan Hall’s #45 ranking also reflects an extensive involvement in the Northern Beaches community, with commitment to giving back and actively participating in local initiatives that align with Allan Hall’s values.

Read the full AFR announcement here »

Allan Hall was named Business Advisory Firm of the Year at the 2023 Australian Accounting Awards and also Best Business Advisory Firm by the 2023 Beaton Client Choice Awards. These accolades reflect Allan Hall’s consistent dedication to innovation, client service and community involvement.


AHBA Xero Platinum Partners against AH office sign

Allan Hall attains Xero Platinum status

Allan Hall Business Advisors is delighted to be formally recognised as Xero Platinum Partners

What does going Platinum mean for our clients?

Our primary goal is to build a successful accounting and business advisory firm that provides a high-quality, tailored service to business owners and individuals on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

We didn’t set out with the goal of becoming a Platinum Partner but, looking back, becoming Platinum with Xero is something we’re really proud of. It’s recognition of our hard work and all that our team has done to help our clients and subsequently grow their businesses.

It’s also a great stepping-stone as we continue to work in collaboration with our Alliott Global Alliance colleagues worldwide to extend our capabilities beyond Sydney.

Being a Platinum Partner means a lot to our team.

Going Platinum boosts our capabilities in really unique ways. We’ve worked hard to achieve this goal, and the status shows our efforts have paid off.

As accountants, becoming a Xero Platinum Partner offers several benefits to our clients. Xero is a popular cloud-based accounting software platform, and achieving Platinum Partner status indicates a high level of expertise using the platform as part of our tech stack. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Expertise and Training: Platinum Partners have a deep understanding of Xero’s features and capabilities. We have undergone extensive training and certification, which means we can provide expert guidance and support to our clients.
  • Efficiency Improvements: Accountants who are Xero Platinum Partners are naturally more efficient in using and optimising the platform. This translates into skills we can pass on to our clients.
  • Enhanced Reporting: Platinum Partners can often provide more advanced reporting and analysis capabilities within Xero, helping our business clients gain better insights into their financial data.
  • Customised Solutions: Platinum Partners are better equipped to tailor Xero to the specific needs of our clients. We can create customised solutions and workflows that align with the unique requirements of different businesses.

At Allan Hall, we’re experts in Xero cloud accounting software that’s easy to love. Find out more about using Xero in your business here or drop us a line to get started.


Moving to new Xero Reports

Moving to new Xero Reports

Xero is retiring older versions of their reports on 31 July 2023

In coming weeks, Xero will be transitioning some favourite ‘starred’ reports from the old version to the new version.

When users click on these reports in their favourites list, they will be automatically redirected to the new version of that report. This change is being made because Xero is retiring older versions of their reports on 31 July 2023 and they want to ensure that Xero users are prepared.

The new versions offer more flexibility and customisation, quicker access to insights and deeper analysis of business performance. Xero is aware that this change may take some time to get used to and is giving users plenty of time to make the switch.

Using new Xero Reports

Xero is urging users who haven’t yet switched to new reports to start moving their work across now. This way, there is time to adjust before older versions are retired:

  • Users can take a product tour of some of Xero’s most popular reports, such as the new Profit & Loss or Balance Sheet reports, and find a tips and tricks panel on the right-hand side showing links to support articles and how-to videos
  • Check out Xero’s reporting playlist on YouTube for help on tailoring reports in Xero
  • Start using Xero’s layout importer tool in the Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet and Budget Variance reports to bring saved layouts across to new versions
  • If needed, users can return to the older versions via the overflow menu in the Report Centre until 31 July 2023.

At Allan Hall, we have extensive experience using a wide variety of accounting software packages and can provide advice on which software is right for you.


Alliott Global Alliance

Alliott Global Alliance APAC Regional Conference

Flagship event for the Asia-Pacific Region

Alliott Global Alliance held their APAC Regional Conference in Bangkok, Thailand from 21-23 April 2023.

APAC Chair Scott Jago from Allan Hall Business Advisors, Alliott Global CEO Giles Brake and host Thai representative firms welcomed 50 accounting and legal professionals from across the Asia-Pacific region.

In his role as APAC Chair, Scott has held a pivotal role leading and overseeing the interactions of members in the region, optimising alliance introductions and ensuring that relationships are conducted fluently.

During the conference, representatives from various APAC countries shared insights about the practical aspects of conducting business in their respective jurisdictions. They provided information on the benefits of establishing or restructuring a company, as well as advice on how to initiate trade and ensure a smoother entry. Moreover, each presenter highlighted potential business prospects in growing industries including fintech, IT, electric vehicles, food and beverage, carbon offsetting and renewables.

During her session on Doing Business in Australia Allan Hall Senior International Tax Manager, Paris Barns, updated alliance members on the statutory responsibilities for Directors and meeting the audit compliance requirements.

“Attending this year’s Alliott Global Alliance APAC Regional Conference allowed us to catch up with both new members and old friends. Allan Hall holds close affiliations with alliance member firms that can help our clients throughout the Asia-Pacific region.”

— Scott Jago

With a wealth of experience in the accounting and business advisory space, Paris specialises in international taxation, providing advice and business solutions to individuals, small businesses and large companies with a global presence.

“Paris’ international presence within the Alliott Global Alliance enables our team at Allan Hall to provide our clients with an accounting and/or legal business partner on every continent, to help them succeed globally,” Scott added.

Other conference highlights

  • Michael Weidokal, Executive Director of International Strategic Analysis, discussed the influence of changing political and economic dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Independent IT consultant Jeremy Hyman presented significant AI trends and their relevance to the professional services industry
  • Alliott Global CEO Giles Brake highlighted recent alliances and initiatives to increase visibility, strengthen member firms and expand their business base with alliance members exploring avenues for growth, including roundtable discussions with attendees to exchange perspectives and ideas.


Katherine O’Connor Director at Allan Hall Business Advisors

Announcing Katherine O’Connor appointed Director at Allan Hall Business Advisors

We are thrilled to announce the promotion of Katherine O’Connor to the position of Director at Allan Hall Business Advisors as of 1 May 2023.

After gaining her foundations in tax and accounting in the Sydney CBD, Katherine O’Connor joined Allan Hall in 2008 and has continued her rise through the firm, culminating in her announcement as Director on Monday.

Katherine sets a high bar with her ability to provide an unwavering commitment to both her clients and Allan Hall team members, while also raising her three children and managing her CFO duties with her husband’s expanding Fire Protection company.

Katherine’s clients range from small businesses through to significant global entities and she applies the same level of personal attention and pride in her work with them all.

With her combined chartered accounting experience at Allan Hall Business Advisors and her first-hand commercial experience as a small business CFO, the expertise she offers her clients includes tax management, cash flow and profit enhancement and how to negotiate the many regulatory requirements facing businesses.

Internally, Katherine has played a leading role in the selection, development, mentoring and management of our strong team of accounting and support staff. She is committed to growing effective teams with clear communication and honest, transparent feedback and always has time and support for her team members. Her leadership has contributed to the continued awards that Allan Hall Business Advisors has won over recent years, including our announcement as Best Business Advisory Firm in the 2023 Client Choice Awards.

We warmly welcome Katherine to the Director Group and look forward to her ongoing success at Allan Hall.

We know you will all join us in congratulating Katherine on this wonderful achievement! 

Read Katherine’s full profile here »


using xero on an iphone

Changes to multi-factor authentication coming for Xero customers

Over the last few years, our lives – and businesses across the world – have moved online at a rapid pace.

Unfortunately, cybercriminals have followed and are using new, digital methods to target Australians. As custodians of your data, Xero does all they can to protect the information held in your account.

One of the ways is through multi-factor authentication (MFA), a process designed to secure how you log in to Xero and verify it’s really you. An upcoming Australian Tax Office (ATO) update to MFA regulations means anyone that accesses an Australian organisation globally needs to re-authenticate their device every 24 hours when logging in to Xero.

What’s changing with MFA?

Many of Xero’s Australian customers would have started using MFA back in 2018 when it was first introduced by the ATO. Throughout 2021, Xero rolled out mandatory MFA for users in all other countries. Today, every Xero customer must use MFA when they log in.

Recently, in response to growing cybersecurity threats, the ATO updated its regulations around MFA for software providers like Xero. This means that the length of time a device is trusted for must be limited to 24 hours for cloud-based business applications, such as Xero. 

From early October, ‘remember me on this device’ will change. Currently, you can skip authentication for 30 days when signing in to Xero via MFA (such as through the Xero Verify, Google Authenticator or Authy apps), which remembers the unique device you’ve logged in with. With this update, you will need to re-authenticate your trusted device (such as a laptop, tablet or phone) every 24 hours.

When will this happen?

The 24 hour change to Xero’s MFA trust device frequency will start from early-October. From then, you’ll need to authenticate daily when you log in to your account.

Why is this being changed for Australian customers?

This is a regulatory change from the ATO and is to support cybersecurity measures to protect users’ valuable data – just think of all the critical information stored within your Xero account. It’s important to keep this safe.

You’ll likely remember when MFA was first mandated by the ATO. Just like last time, Xero is updating its platform to comply with this change and make it a smooth transition.

What if I’m in another country, like New Zealand, but access an Australian organisation in Xero?

This change doesn’t just apply to Australia but to anyone globally that accesses an Australian organisation – even if it’s just one account in Australia that you log in to. This is because you are accessing information (including personally identifiable information) that falls under the ATO’s remit.

Do I need to make any updates myself?

No – rest assured that the Xero platform will update automatically in early October. Since all Australian customers already use MFA, you won’t have to change anything about how you log in to Xero – except for daily authentication. This means you can continue to use your usual verification tool, whether it’s Xero Verify or a third-party app like Google Authenticator.

Why is cybersecurity so important and should I be worried?

Security has always been important at Xero and we want to keep your valuable business data safe. Since the start of the pandemic, activity by cybercriminals has been on the rise in Australia. As our lives have moved more and more online, so too have the approaches of cyber criminals.

They’ve continued to evolve and use increasingly sophisticated ways to entrap victims online. One of the most common types of cybercrime is phishing, which tricks you into clicking on a fraudulent email, text message or web link to then access your online accounts and steal your personal and business information.

How does MFA help protect me against cybersecurity threats?

MFA is one of many important tools used to safeguard against cybersecurity threats. It’s a security process which uses at least two different factors, something you know (your password) and something you have (mobile device), before you can enter your account.

This second layer of security is designed to prevent anyone else from accessing your account, even if they know your password. In fact, research shows that MFA can prevent up to 80% of data breaches.

What does this mean for Xero’s mobile apps?

Xero’s suite of mobile apps, such as the Xero Accounting App, Xero Expenses and Xero Projects, will also be impacted by these new regulations. When the new versions are introduced, you will no longer be able to choose the lock device option ‘Don’t lock it’. You will either need to use a security code, which will be available on Android for the first time and is currently available on iOS, or use Face ID.

What if I normally share my login with members of my team?

Shared logins reduce the security of your Xero account. The more people who have access to a login, the more likely it is to be compromised. Everyone who accesses an organisation in Xero should have their own login details (as per Xero’s terms and conditions).

If they don’t already, now is the time to make sure everyone is set up with what they need to securely use Xero. 

Read more about MFA here and troubleshoot any possible issues here »



New Director at Allan Hall

Congratulations Michael Bowman — New Director at Allan Hall Business Advisors

We are delighted to announce the promotion of Michael Bowman to the position of Director (formerly known as Partner) at Allan Hall Business Advisors.

With a strong background in accounting, taxation and superannuation, Michael joined Allan Hall in July 2014 as a Superannuation Team Leader and has since gone on to become a key member of our firm’s senior leadership team in Business Services. Knowledgeable, enthusiastic and well organised, Michael has jointly led our large team of accountants with a collaborative and open communicative style that has earned him the respect of directors, peers, team members and, most importantly, his clients.

Working with small businesses to multinationals, Michael approaches every client with a smile and the utmost passion to do the best for them and their business. Michael’s promotion comes following a period when many of our clients were going through difficult times due to lockdowns and forced business closures or changes. Michael’s care and compassion for his clients and the desire to go over and above to do whatever he can to help has been deeply appreciated by all.

Michael’s promotion also follows Allan Hall Business Advisors’ recent announcements as award winners in both the 2022 Client Choice Awards and 2022 Australian Accounting Awards, that jointly recognise our firm’s strength, continued growth and commitment to our employees and clients throughout a very challenging year. Michael has played a pivotal role in contributing to these industry-leading acknowledgements.

Michael’s achievements, at work and beyond, were celebrated by the whole firm in a fun and relaxed way, befitting of his personality, at the firm’s EOFY party. We all proudly welcome him to our Director group and look forward to his ongoing accomplishments and successes at Allan Hall.

Congratulations Michael! Read Michael’s full profile here »


Allan Hall team poses at Australian Accounting Awards

Australian Accounting Awards 2022 winners

Allan Hall Business Advisors wins Wellness Program of the Year at Australian Accounting Awards

AccountantsDaily announced the Australian Accounting Awards winners at the ninth gala event in Sydney. In a record field of 652 submissions and 297 finalists in 2022, Allan Hall Business Advisors took out one of only 14 National Group awards, winning the Wellness Program of the Year. 

Wellness Program award seal
Allan Hall named 2022 Wellness Program of the Year award winners

Demonstrating how employee initiatives enrich the understanding and importance of wellness among Australia’s accounting industry was key to being acknowledged in this award category.

Allan Hall has been actively advocating health and wellness initiatives, events and activities within the business and wider community for many years, recognising that the key to success is not only supporting clients but also the people within.

This made the award win a very special one as it provides industry recognition of the emphasis the firm places on its employees and their wellbeing.

Accepting the award, Allan Hall HR Director, Janelle Parish said, “To win this particular award would be special at any time but we are extremely proud to have won it this year, to be recognised nationally for our support of staff with our wellness initiatives over such a challenging period.”

“Our firm has a fabulous, collaborative culture with Directors and Managers who are all very supportive of employee wellbeing and any wellness initiatives put forward.”

“Promoting health and wellbeing has been an essential aspect of our HR management through our ‘Thrive’ wellbeing program which follows four pillars of mind, body, spirit and work culture. Our Thrive wellbeing committee was able to adjust our approach over the past 12 months to the challenging COVID-19 climate to ensure our employees’ physical and mental wellbeing remained a major focus.”

The Australian Accounting Awards are known as the benchmark for excellence nationally as they focus on professional development and innovation, and recognise the successes of accountants, bookkeepers, partners, superannuation specialists, thought leaders, executives, as well as rising stars of tomorrow.

In his opening address, Accountants Daily editor Philip King said the Australian Accountants Awards offer a moment to pause and honour the best of the best in the profession. View the full list of winners here »

Allan Hall Business Advisors was named Australian Accounting Awards Firm of the Year in 2021.


FINALIST_ACC Overall_less than 30m_CLR

Client Choice Awards 2022 Finalists

Allan Hall Business Advisors named 2022 Finalists in Client Choice Awards

Thanks to feedback from our clients, Allan Hall Business Advisors are excited to announce that we have been named as a Finalist in the 2022 Client Choice Awards for Best Accounting & Consulting Services Firm (<30m revenue).

The Client Choice Awards recognise best practice in the professional services sector and are based on client feedback for professional services firms in Australia.

There are no panels, judges or self-nominations, only client ratings that are independently researched by Beaton Consulting + Research and FirmChecker.

The Awards reward firms and professional practitioners for excellent client service, expertise in clients’ areas of need, innovation and superior client experience.

These are the only multi-profession and fully client-judged Awards anywhere in the world.

Key facts

  • The Client Choice Awards is now in its 18th year
  • 700+ firms entered this year via FirmChecker
  • This year over 15,000 pieces of client feedback were used to adjudicate the Awards
  • Allan Hall are previous award recipients.

The 700+ firms with active profiles on FirmChecker have a strong commitment to client service, and finalists of the Client Choice Awards are exceptional in this respect.

If you would like to learn more about our firm’s achievements or make contact with one of our trusted advisors, please contact us in Brookvale on 02 9981 2300.