Discover how our enterprising approach is helping these businesses thrive.
"We want more than just an accountant – we want that next-level business advice too."
Partridge Jewellers holds a special place in New Zealand's business history — as a privately-owned business that's still in the family after six generations. Grant Partridge and his daughter Nikki are building on the legacy begun by his great-great-grandfather.
Grant has seen significant growth in the 10 years they've been working with KPMG:
"Back then we only had two shops, we weren't computerised, and I did the books at home myself. We've grown from a very small business into one of the country's largest jewellery businesses by turnover."
"Being an owner-operator can be quite lonely…so it's good to use your advisers as a sounding board. I'm involving Jon* more and more in my business decisions — to bounce ideas off, work through scenarios and make sure we're on the right track. I trust him and value his opinion."
"Another thing I like is that KPMG comes with a big firm's credibility. We deal with some very high-profile international firms, such as Rolex, so it demonstrates that we're credible in our own operations."
Lysaght Consulting - Mt Maunganui
"The advice is insightful, and they always keep us well-informed."
Lysaght Consulting is a team of professionals who provide a range of consultancy services including land surveying, engineering, and soil contamination investigations.
Another key activity listed on Lysaght’s website is ‘multisport’. The Lysaght team gets involved in regular team sports events, and there’s a company-wide policy to encourage staff to take a break during the workday to do something active.
As director Peter Moodie explains, the firm’s mission statement is ‘be the solution, not the problem’ — and they like to partner with others who share the same approach:
"We’ve experienced considerable growth during the previous two years…so we were looking for accountants who would take us to the next level in terms of forecasting, planning and monitoring across our financials and taxation."
"As Directors, we wanted a proactive consultancy firm that would offer fresh ideas, keep us informed of legislation changes, and ensure our tax position is well-planned. It was also important they’d provide constant and reliable support to our administration staff, and be involved in regular planning sessions."
"The team from KPMG have been like a breath of fresh air. The advice is insightful, they deliver on time, and they always keep us well-informed. There’s a real sense that we’re in safe hands."
"It goes beyond the transactional accounting… KPMG really add value as all-round mentors. They’re passionate about helping us succeed."
Mother-and-daughter duo Elisabeth Marsh and Hannah Marsh Dore are the creative team behind Mrs Bottomley’s Flowers.
They deliver seasonal floral creations throughout New Zealand - for the home, events, and corporates (including KPMG’s Christchurch office). One of the few florists to source only New Zealand-grown flowers, with nothing imported, they support Canterbury growers as far as possible.
Mrs Bottomley’s Flowers was launched at the stylish shopping precinct the Tannery in November 2013, and became a client of KPMG about 18 months later. As Hannah recalls:
"A friend recommended us to KPMG. She said they would be as passionate about our business as we are, and would really add value as opposed to just providing tick-the-box accounting services. That’s certainly been the case!"
"One of the first things they did was to get us on to Xero. It’s very user-friendly and has given us a bird’s eye view of the business. We now have our finger on the pulse of how the business is performing — where we are doing well, and where we need to tighten up."
"I recommended KPMG to another business owner just recently. I told her not to be scared off by the global brand...they are local people who have taken the time to get to know us and our business."
"KPMG have really helped us to focus on what’s important."
The team behind Almighty Beverages are young business owners on a mission. They manufacture a range of healthy organic juices — and donate a portion of each bottle sold towards helping Kiwi kids lead healthier lives.
Almighty Beverages uses the funds to support programmes in schools that teach kids how to cook and grow their own veges. By partnering local schools with juice retailers and other volunteers, the business model can be rolled out throughout New Zealand.
Prior to the brand’s launch in 2015, KPMG helped to clarify their inspiring vision, as co-director Ben Lenart explains:
"Right from day one, they really pushed us to articulate our vision and determine what our core values are. That’s given us a strong sense of direction and focus."
"As a small business, it’s easy to get distracted by different opportunities and all the things that come along. We’re learning it’s just as important to determine the things you don’t do. KPMG has helped us formulate a strong strategic plan…and we’re sticking to it."
"It’s fun to work with the KPMG guys; but they’re also very professional and serious about helping our business grow. We aim to be a much bigger client in the future! KPMG will know our story right from the beginning, and where we’ve come from, which will be hugely beneficial."
"The horse-racing industry is quite unique in many respects… but KPMG know our business really well."
Cricket legend Brendon McCullum is embracing his other sporting passion via his thoroughbred syndicate business, Vermair Racing, which he launched in 2014.
Brendon is often travelling for his cricketing commitments, so his Timaru-based personal assistant Catherine Illingworth provides on-the-ground management for the business. She says the support of KPMG has been invaluable:
"Right from day one, KPMG showed that they understood our business and the thoroughbred industry. Their tax experts clarified some grey areas for us straight away, such as the status of GST on syndicate winnings."
"We also figured out the most efficient account coding system...which is not a simple task given that every horse we manage has three names — its breeding name, racing name and paddock name!"
"KPMG are proactive about everything they do for us. They keep on top of everything, and constantly keep me in the loop...so there’s nothing left for me to assume, or to have to follow-up. There’s a lot to be said for that kind of peace of mind."
"KPMG started adding value from the first hour I met them."
Sara Quilter started her business with "a Kenwood cake mixer and a bag of clay", using her Dad’s garage in suburban Taranaki as her workshop.
Today, the expanding Tailor Skincare range is contract-manufactured in Christchurch, with a online shop that ships to customers worldwide. KPMG has been helping Sara grow her business steadily — and strategically — over the past four years.
"Grow Wellington originally recommended I get in touch with all the big accounting firms around Wellington. I met with several but found the KPMG guys just had that X factor… they started adding value from the first hour I met them."
"In business I look to surround myself with people who will ask the hard questions, and challenge me to continually improve. Very early on, KPMG introduced me to the concept of KPIs, and how to use data to back up my decision-making."
"We meet every three months for a strategic planning session, where we plan out the next three months and forecast beyond that. Running my own business has been an amazing journey so far, and KPMG has played an important role in this."
"We think of our KPMG advisers as an extension of our team. They’re definitely the people we want at our table as we grow the company."
Totum is a young Wellington-based software company with ambitious plans for growth. Their flagship product is Permit Planner, a license management tool that enables oil and gas companies to proactively manage their permit and compliance obligations.
Totum has been working with KPMG advisers, Sven Pannell and Gavin Holley, since early 2015. As CEO Caroline Taylor explains, it’s important to find the right ‘fit’ when it comes to external advisors:
"We first started working with the Enterprise team through the Grow Wellington scheme. They really understood our business and the growth path we’re embarking on — it feels like we’re very much aligned."
"KPMG have been pivotal in helping us work through the issues facing an early-stage company; including structuring the business, implementing strategy, and planning for capital requirements. Their expertise and guidance in the start-up space has been invaluable. We find ourselves asking ‘what would Gavin and Sven say?’ when we reach a crossroads!"
"It’s also invaluable for us to have access to KPMG’s broad range of experts, both here and abroad. When we take our products to global markets, or open international offices, we know KPMG will be there to help us navigate the new set of challenges that will bring."
"We always look forward to our monthly meetings."
Vowles Transport Ltd is owned by husband-and-wife team, Heather and Lindsay Vowles. With an 18-truck fleet based in Morrinsville, the business provides general freight services across the North and South Islands.
The business originally started in 1986, transporting fresh eggs from local poultry farms. Today the 26-strong team at Vowles Transport includes son Scott, who works as the dispatcher.
The Vowles have been working with Roger Wilson, a Partner in KPMG’s Hamilton office, for more than 12 years. As Heather explains:
"We’ve had accountants in the past that were only interested in doing the books at the end of the year. KPMG is not like that all. Roger is an amazing mentor to us... I often tell him his blood is worth bottling!"
"We have monthly meetings where we sit down with Roger and analyse how the business is going. As well as the financials, we can talk to him about things like succession planning, health & safety or staffing issues. He’s a great sounding board, and always has really good advice."
"The business had grown in ways that we found difficult to manage — so we had to scale back again. Working with KPMG, we now have a philosophy of ‘controlled growth’ that is very strategic. Roger pushes us when we need it – but he also slows us down when needed. We just click."
"If you’re serious about business, you should be serious about the accountants you choose."
In an industry where new entrants come and go, Primesite Homes is one company with very solid foundations. This Wellington-based design-and-build company — which specialises in complex builds - has been in business for a remarkable 35 years.
Founding director Mike Fox says KPMG has helped with all aspects of the business:
"We're in an industry where not many are able to survive long-term. We’re still here after 35 years."
"KPMG have been particularly good at helping us restructure the business… setting up the correct entities, and ensuring we have the best ownership structure to minimise exposure and protect our assets. They’ve also been good at planning for the future, and advising on succession."
"That’s an advantage of working with a multi-disciplinary team like KPMG — you can access the experts when required. As a business, we’re constantly looking to improve what we’re doing…and KPMG is a big part of that."
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