Paragon NZ | Keeping a clear eye on business key to PI success

Paragon-NZ.jpgVeteran private investigator, Ron McQuilter says most people really don’t understand what a PI does so he’s written a book Busted! to explain. He’s had so much interest and with more stories to tell, he’s working on his second, Busted Again!
Ron came to New Zealand from Glasgow, Scotland 38 years ago, following his girlfriend who is now his wife of 38 years, Gillian. Using his policing experience, Ron set up Paragon NZ, a private investigation and security consultancy that operates throughout the country.
The business helps small and large companies, insurers, government agencies, local bodies, and individuals to reduce exposure to risk, to capitalise on business opportunities, and to identify and deal with a wide array of personal and business crime.
Around 90 percent of business is repeat assignments from the national client base, and the remainder is referred by existing clients. Around half the business is through Government contracts with different agencies needing assistance at different times of the month.
Ron augments his own team with 30 to 40 other agents, mainly sole operators located wherever in the country the case is. Very few of Paragon’s cases are to do with infidelity, most are around commercial fraud and thieving. Ron says, “Our goal is to investigate evidence not emotion.”
In addition to running his business, being out in the field, and writing his books, Ron also has time to give back to the industry. He’s long-time chairman of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Investigators.
Ironically, it was Ron’s own run-in with an unscrupulous accountancy firm that saw his 31-year relationship with Moore Markhams director, Atul Mehta begin.
Believing that his then accountancy firm had things under control, Ron was pretty upset to discover he owed Inland Revenue $56,000 in unpaid taxes and fines as no returns had been filed. Being new to business, Ron had relied on his advisors to guide him.
Someone told Ron to get in touch with a chap who could help – Atul was a new graduate and Ron one of his first clients. Together they have grown in business with Atul now an independent member on the Paragon Board, providing financial and fiscal governance.
“Atul got involved at the outset and got things sorted out and he’s kept me right ever since,” says Ron.

Having a Board to provide independent advice and guidance is one the secrets behind the success of his business, Ron believes.
Another is that the financial affairs of the business are transparent and open to scrutiny. Dealing with Government departments means Paragon’s accounts are closely scrutinised.
Moore Markhams handles Paragon’s backend accounting work, keeping Xero updated and ensuring tax payments are never missed.
“Knowing that Markhams has my back, dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s and keeping everything right, is so important to me. I don’t have to worry. I can focus on my clients and do the best job for them.”
And that ensures that clients come back for more and are happy to refer Paragon to others.