About Catalyst Plus
Julie-Anne Ellem, better known as Jewlz, is a powerhouse in the Australian accounting industry.
Starting her career at a young age in Sydney, she’s come a long way from her small-town roots. With her multifaceted roles as a Business Coach, Podcaster, Chartered Accountant, Chartered Governance Professional and Company Director, she epitomises the modern, versatile entrepreneur. But that’s not all. When the sun sets, she swaps her calculator for a 1974 Honda Four 400 and enjoys life with her Labradors.
Jewlz runs Catalyst Plus under a straightforward, yet potent motto: “Eliminate the overwhelm and create the business you want without the crazy work hours”. It’s a creed that underpins her approach to her own business and the solutions she offers to her clients.
We sat down with “The Queen Calculator” to delve deeper into her journey, especially her transformative experience with Dext Prepare, which she discovered over a decade ago.
Navigating a traditional, often paper-based competitive market, Jewlz identified a substantial gap. While most accountants adopt automation tools as a reactive measure, she took the road less travelled. She made technology her weapon of choice, proactively leveraging it to redefine how accounting is done.
Her rich career history — starting small, rising through corporate ranks and even delving into fraud detection overseas — provided her with a 360-degree view of the industry. This comprehensive perspective allowed her to innovate in a space that rarely ventures beyond the tried and true, especially in the early 2000s.
Her client base largely comprises overwhelmed entrepreneurs who are too enmeshed in their business to consider growth. Jewlz has transformed this mindset. The businesses she engages with often run on outdated, unstructured, paper-heavy systems. She ushers them into a streamlined, modern approach where growing the business becomes an attainable, less daunting endeavour.
The opportunity she saw was about freeing entrepreneurs from the shackles of conventional accounting practices while boosting compliance and efficiency. A win-win that only someone with Jewlz’s unique background — and the right tools — could have envisioned and executed.
When Jewlz stumbled upon Dext Prepare — formerly known as Receipt Bank — it was akin to striking gold. The software automated her workflow and also validated her vision of a radically different approach to accounting. In a market where many still juggled paper receipts and manual entries, Dext Prepare catapulted her business into the cloud. The geographic constraints that limit traditional businesses? Nonexistent for Jewlz.
“No matter where I am in the world, my clients aren’t affected. In fact, I’ve had clients ask me ‘is that the Eiffel Tower in the background?’. The answer is yes, yes it is“, she laughs from her home office.
Moreover, Dext Prepare allows Jewlz to approach data differently than an accountant who’s tied to manual tasks. She can approach it as a strategic thinker who analyses numbers to drive better decision-making for her clients.
“With Dext Prepare, you can view data analytically without the manual hassle. It liberates small business owners, giving them the headspace for a growth mindset.”
For her, the solution was never just about going paperless. It was about an entire paradigm shift: from laborious, time-intensive tasks to streamlined, analytical processes that offer real value. With Dext Prepare as her cornerstone, she’s constructed a business model that’s visionary, amplifying her unique talents and the specialised needs of her clients.
With Dext Prepare on Jewlz’s side, she has fundamentally altered her clients’ approach to accounting, changing lives and bottom lines. Client stories are the strongest testament here.
Jewlz once drove six hours to teach a client how to properly use Dext Prepare. By the end of that session — which was shorter than the time it took her to drive there —, she had eliminated their paper dependency and they were positioned to scale their business.
“When we finished, all invoices were indexed and ready for coding. They were astonished. That was a huge game changer for them.“
Another story that encapsulates her impact involves a client who was outsourcing data entry at a significant cost. After implementing Dext Prepare, the client stopped outsourcing within a week and even discovered an employee theft issue.
“Within a month, because we were able to do real-time reconciliation, we found out the former employee in charge of manual data entry was stealing money. Fast forward to eight years, they now do over a thousand supplier invoices per month, and we still reconcile in real time.“
If you’re seeking results as such, collaborating with Jewlz has a clear mandate: adopt the technology or fall behind. She knows the best tools for each task, so making Dext Prepare an essential part of her package deal was a no-brainer.
Bonus: Dext Precision
We can’t end this case study without mentioning Dext Precision, another one of our software solutions Jewlz deploys with flair for data cleaning and health score, amongst other benefits. In one instance, Precision flagged duplicate payments that had gone unnoticed for eight years — yes, eight years!
“There were a series of proforma invoices that matched the date and amounts of real invoices … We were only able to pick that up because we plugged Dext Precision in, and we ended up recouping $10,000 AUD for the client.”
If that’s not a result, we don’t know what is.
After chatting with Jewlz, it’s crystal clear why her business is aptly named Catalyst Plus. It encapsulates the energy and transformation she brings to the table. With Dext’s solutions solidifying their position as an indispensable asset in her toolkit, Jewlz crafts narratives of growth and empowerment for her clients.
This is a partnership that has enabled real lives to be changed, businesses to scale and inefficiencies to be eliminated — and it will continue. After all, it results in better businesses for her clients, peace of mind for everybody and more time for Jewlz to enjoy a motorcycle ride or take a talk with her Labradors.