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A family that studies together, stays together

The Klein-Beernink family are taking the saying “if you want to go far, go together” seriously, with three of them enrolling to study the Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping (FNS40217) with TAFE Queensland.

Lachlan and his parents Richard and Jennifer are all studying accounting to ensure the success of their hydrographic business as they look to expand within Queensland and Australia.

“We’re turning a hobby into a business and we have plans for future growth, but to achieve our goals we need to build a solid foundation to ensure it’s sustainable,” said Richard.

“Each of us has experience in spreadsheets and accounting software, but this qualification will teach us the skills we need to know our finances, which is the most essential part of any business.”

Hydrographic printing uses water immersion to apply designs to metal, plastic, glass, hardwoods, and various other materials.

An image is printed onto a film, which is placed on water and then an item is dipped through the image, transferring the design onto the item.

The family can transfer an image onto just about anything, giving customers a unique way to customise vehicles, safety gear, guns and wheels. With interest in their business surging from all over Australia and around the world, the family have decided to go all in.

“Through customising hard hats, cars and motorcycles, hunting rifles and jet skis we’ve seen the potential of our business and the market, so we decided to get qualified to ensure it grows properly,” he explained.

When Richard’s uncle suggested one of them study accounting, all three decided to study together so they could better understand their finances and support each other as the business grows.

“It’s best for all of us to know our financial position at any time and be able to find anything we need,” Richard continued.

When researching courses to enrol in, the family chose TAFE Queensland’s part-time course thanks to the course’s flexibility and the face-to-face access to experienced educators they get in class twice a week.

“Online courses are fine, but we’re currently working and building our business, so it’s better for us to have a teacher to answer our questions and give us guidance in-person, rather than over email or video call,” explained Richard.

“Part-time studying also suits us because we’re all still working so it allows us to get more balance with work commitments while not spending too much time away from the business.”

While living together, working together and studying together might not be for every family, the Klein-Beernink’s are taking it all in their stride.

“We still laugh and joke like we always have, its just now we discuss assignments, how to understand financial concepts and working out new terminology,” said Jenifer.

“If one of us doesn’t understand something, we all work together to get clarity, and it’s great to be applying what we’re learning to our business — it’s already giving us peace of mind,” she said.

The next step in their journey is to get their own larger property, build a warehouse, set up spray tanks, and start marketing nationwide — all while finishing their studies.

“Eventually, we’d like to franchise into each state and keep our business model family orientated to help build up our franchisee’s families along the way,” continued Richard.

“We started this with nothing and we’re investing everything we have into it, so we want to do it right — and to do that we’re building a solid foundation with TAFE Queensland.”

“If the accounting course goes well, we’ll also look at studying graphic design at TAFE Queensland to add another skill to our business,” concluded Richard.