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Helping to navigate uncertain times – True North Accounting

Luke Lynch Dec 12

“We tend to be strategic thinkers and we’re good at taking confusion and putting it into logical order so people know what they have to focus on each step of the way.”

Nicky Old - True North Accounting

Rotorua based True North Chartered Accountants has established its business on developing personal relationships with clients. The importance of this has been stressed in the pandemic, with the firm quickly getting alongside clients and helping them navigate turbulent and uncertain times, says director Nicky Old.

“Covid-19 has had a huge impact in Rotorua as we are so heavily reliant on tourism. I have always enjoyed working closely with clients and sharing my knowledge and experience to help them to become successful in their own businesses. These personal relationships have become even more important in these times,” she says.

This has involved helping clients access government support, restructure or pivot their businesses and even just provide a friendly ear to listen to their problems.
“It can be quite isolating in a business sometimes. It’s about being a sounding board to coach them through tough times, to help them see what is important and help them plan for the future.”

Nicky advises business owners to have the courage to take a realistic look at the business then develop a contingency plan for every eventuality. Being adaptive is crucial. This also might involve looking for opportunities or alternative markets.
She acknowledges it can be difficult for people to focus when they are stressed which is where the advice of a good accountant can prove a lifesaver:

“We tend to be strategic thinkers and we’re good at taking confusion and putting it into logical order so people know what they have to focus on each step of the way.”

Nicky, a Chartered Accountant, started the firm in 2011 and brings over 20 years’ experience in public practice. She employs a small professional team, capable of delivering the service of a larger firm but with an uncompromising focus on seeing people as individuals.

Being a Chartered Accountant is important as many members of the public do not realise that anyone in New Zealand can set up as an accountant, even if they have no qualifications or formal training.

It takes six years to become a Chartered Accountant and we are fully qualified professionals. This means our clients know we are highly skilled practitioners so they can trust we have the knowledge and expertise they need.”

This is even more important when people realise that at the end of the day their tax obligations and getting it right rests with them. But it is here Chartered Accountants can also offer additional security as they have professional indemnity insurance and the backing of their professional body – Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand (CAANZ).

Nicky says the current economic environment is not all doom and gloom though.
“Not every business is suffering – some are having the opposite problem and are too busy. This brings challenges as well because people need to then manage cashflow and unexpected business growth,” she says.

“Whatever the case it’s about remembering why it is you set up your business in the first place, staying true to your vision and having the courage to be honest with yourself and taking whatever steps you need to – being proactive rather than reactive.”

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