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Mark Hughson worked as a gofer at a Hawera-based accountancy practice during his university holidays. Now he owns the business, employs 20 staff and has his name over the door: Hughson & Associates.

“With the strength of Taranaki’s rural sector and the diversity of retail, manufacturing and service related enterprises, Hawera is a great place for business and businesses,” says Mark.

Long term working relationships are the norm for this firm which while steeped in history is also technologically savvy. As Mark explains, “technology makes a high level of communication and service delivery possible at any distance. The majority of our clients are Taranaki-based but we also work with clients who have relocated to Whangarei, Invercargill and places between.

Beyond bean counting

The work of an accountant in 2012 goes way beyond the old ‘bean counter’ label. While a good percentage is compliance work for bankers, IRD or other Statistics Department. The more senior staff work on forecasting, strategy and scenario analysis for say buying a building, a business, or a farm. “Things have changed over the years in interesting ways,” says Mark. “For example farmers used to put everything in a box for their accountant. Now they are big businesses with big tax implications, many are doing their own GST returns and as much financial record-keeping as they can to assist the accountant. We are often now more involved as a trusted advisor on the big picture and that’s great,” Mark says.

Commitment and genuine caring are key strengths at Hughson and Associates, and Mark is proud of his staff. “Every person on my team cares about our clients and is committed to helping them however they can, whether it’s reviewing a large tax payment or low cash flow or dealing with creditors, or negotiating an interest rate with the bank.”

Staying current, keeping it real

Staying current with all aspects of the community and industry, Hughson’s belongs to a 1600 firm professional services group with members from NZ, Australia and Britain and is also an affiliate of investment advisory company Wealthcare Limited. To flow news and trends through to clients, the firm produces the newsletter ‘office update’ five or six times a year. “It goes to every client and is also available on the website,” says Mark. “Material is sourced from several places including the Waikato University Management centre. It certainly helps us keep in touch.”

Mark’s commitment to clients extends to the fee structure. “We are middle of the road and the feedback is positive. People from larger centres approach us wanting our service because we do more for the dollar. And that’s not just about the fee. We care for our clients; we try to go the extra mile.”

Timeline

    • 1926
      Steve Veitch arrives in Hawera to practice as an accountant and establishes firm.
    • 1953
      His son Bruce Veitch joins him, Veitch and Veitch created.
    • 1965
      David Lind joins firm from IRD, becomes Veitch, Veitch and Lind (Veitch senior retires in 1979)
    • 1980
      Sid Beguely joins firm as partner now Veitch Lind & Beguely.
    • 1983
      Beguely departs & firm now Veitch Lind & Co.
    • 1985
      Mark Hughson works in the office during university vacation.
    • 1986
      Mark Hughson joins the practice as full-time trainee accountant & Laurie Gibbs joins as partner. Firm called Veitch, Lind & Gibbs.
    • 1987
      Gibbs departs & name changed back to Veitch Lind & Co.
    • 1988
      Hughson qualifies as chartered accountant and joins as partner.
    • 1993
      Bruce Veitch retires; Lind and Hughson business partners & name of Veitch Lind & Co retained.
    • 1998
      Lind leaves to start own practice; Mark Hughson becomes principal.
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