Meet the Team
Accountants & Business Advisors
We’re rather unstuffy. Hope you don’t mind.
We are a forwards-looking company, helping customers see where they’re going rather than giving them a backwards-looking summary of where they’ve already been. Our clients love that we speak their language and make an effort to really ‘get’ what their business is about.
Plus we won’t look at you sternly over the tops of our glasses if you’ve accidentally lost a receipt.
We’re technology-minded, recommending new software and services that make business easier. Sidekick are Xero Accountants and are leading the revolution in cloud computing for accounting – we were the world’s first Platinum Partner of the highly regarded Xero accounting software. Not to mention we picked up Xero’s NZ Partner of the Year award twice – for 2010 and 2011…but who’s counting.
Sidekick is at your side with the advice you need, when and where you need it. At the end of the day what we do is pretty simple – you tell us your business goals, and we help you get there.
If you’re looking for a Xero Accountant in the South Island, we hope you’ll consider us.
Make a booking with any one of our team members to begin your accounting journey today
Abhi graduated with a Commerce Degree, majoring in Accounting, in 2010 from Pune University in India. Following that he moved to Christchurch and completed his accountancy bridging course from the University of Canterbury and is a qualified Chartered Accountant.
Abhi is one of our valued accountants and provides support to the team while working closely with a variety of clients.
A very skilled cricketer, Abhi represented his province in India at the national level. His most memorable game was against Australia as part of the lead up to the Champions Trophy in Mumbai. As a qualified level 2 Coach, Abhi is now involved in coaching activities for the Christchurch Metro and Canterbury Junior Cricket teams. With his skills on board, we’d be silly not to start our own cricket team.
Personal Assistant / Reception
Andrea comes with a strong administration background with over 25 years’ experience ranging from Receptionist, Personal Assistant and Office Manager. She is qualified as a Microsoft Office Specialist and has also worked as a child-care worker for some years gaining important people skills that come in handy within a Personal Assistant role.
She has enjoyed living in beautiful Wanaka for over 10 years – a true South Islander having grown up in South Canterbury. When she’s not at work, Andrea enjoys all things food-related including cooking for friends. With family ties in Italy, she enjoys travelling to Europe or reliving the Italian experience by cooking Italian food.
With a friendly, happy disposition, she is the first contact when dealing with Findlay Sidekick.
Client Manager, B Com, CA
Anna brings worldly Corporate Accounting experience to the team. She worked a stint in the UK and also has gained Chartered Accounting experience a little bit closer to home in her most recent role in Dunedin.
Anna has migrated to Wanaka to join the Findlay Sidekick team and also to enjoy the lifestyle the town offers. She is fond of Central Otago as a chunk of her childhood was spent growing up on a farm outside of Alexandra. She is looking forward to enjoying running, biking and skiing here and becoming part of the Wanaka community.
Anna says the best part about being a Chartered Accountant is talking to clients from different backgrounds and learning about a variety of businesses and industries.
Anna’s speciality areas include: Medical & Health Clients and Bars & Cafes
Ashleigh, our Administration Assistant is a key member of our team. Helping out with many aspects of administration, Ashleigh also completes bookkeeping for a variety of clients, manages the NZ Companies Office administration and provides Xero training for our Christchurch office.
Originally from Nelson, Ashleigh moved to Christchurch in 2010 and has since spent a gap year in Australia and gained some valuable experience in administration.
During the weekends Ashleigh likes to spend her time exploring local spots around Canterbury or up at the ski field on her snowboard.
Ayumi graduated with a Commerce Degree from Fukuoka University in Japan in 2005, has a Graduate Diploma in Accounting from ARA and is currently studying towards becoming a Chartered Accountant. Ayumi is one of our valued Intermediate Accountants and has been with Sidekick since 2012.
Ayumi has first hand experience in running her own small business and draws on this knowledge to help our clients. You’ll find Ayumi and her Yum Yum Gyoza team at the Riccarton Farmers market or catering for functions with her delicious handmade Japanese Dumplings.
Ayumi is a big fan of the outdoors, especially fishing, camping and snowboarding. Ayumi also competes in Roller Derby and absolutely loves it!
Ben is your go-to guy in the Selwyn District for all of your small business accounting requirements (he can also handle the bigger stuff too, we’re just being modest).
Ben works hard to help his clients grow by getting to know them and helping them define and then achieve their goals.
Ben is a fully qualified Chartered Accountant having gained an Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting from the University of Canterbury. Since graduating, Ben has gained experience with large public firms in both New Zealand and the UK before joining the Sidekick team in 2019.
Most weekends you will find Ben enjoying the outdoors with family and friends. He loves jumping on his mountain bike or going for a run to take advantage of the great environment that Selwyn has to offer
Bridget started in the accounting world 8 years ago and has passed a few papers but mostly has learnt on the job. Bridget has spent most of her life in the hospitality industry, working in places like Mt Cook and Maruia Springs on the Lewis Pass.
Bridget is passionate about client satisfaction and loves working and talking about Xero. When Bridget is not in the office she is chasing after her 14yr old daughter and coaches netball.
Cameron is a fully qualified Chartered Accountant and has been practicing in the accounting industry since 2010. A born and bred Cantabrian, Cameron studied at the University of Canterbury and now services our local clients for Sidekick Christchurch.
Cameron has worked alongside business owners in a wide range of industries, from investment properties, to trades to professionals. Cameron draws on his vast experience in the SME environment to ensure your business is on the right track.
Cameron is a big sports lover. Apart from being a huge Warriors fan he’s also a whiz at playing both rugby and cricket, and likes to dabble in golf, cycling, and rugby league.
Charlotte, our Office Manager, plays a vital role in ensuring the smooth running of the Christchurch office. As well as managing our internal office processes and administration, Charlotte also completes bookkeeping and payroll for a variety of clients.
Charlotte holds a degree in Travel and Tourism and has many years of front line experience. However we’re convinced her fantastic skills in multi-tasking and organising chaos must come from being a Mum to her beautiful children Riley and Tawera.
When she’s not hanging out with the Sidekick team, Charlotte enjoys relaxing with family and friends.
One of our Sidekick Accountants, Chloe has many years of experience in the local accounting industry as well as customer service experience for a large New Zealand power company.
With both a Bachelor of Accountancy from Massey University and a Certificate in Professional Office Management from Timaru Polytechnic, Chloe has all the tools and knowledge to help our clients.
When she’s not working with the team at Sidekick Timaru, Chloe enjoys spending time with family, socialising with friends and walking her dog.
Client Manager, BCom, CA
Chris joins Findlay Sidekick as a senior Chartered Accountant. Chris will be a familiar face to many Wanaka folks. He has been a professional in our town for 15 years; we call him a local!
Chris brings an enormous amount of accounting experience to the team. Accounting has always been his work; he began his career working in private companies then went on to complete his CA degree and never looked back. His wealth of knowledge across many industries and businesses, large and small, is a true asset to our growing team.
Chris is embedded in the Wanaka community through his work with a Charitable Trust, Rotary and the Wanaka Golf Club. He generously donates his time as a Trustee for the Elsie and Ray Armstrong Trust, a wonderful little trust that supports individuals and projects in our town. The Wanaka Golf Club has the largest membership in the South Island and Chris has been Club Captain, in charge of organising tournaments, Club Champs and competitions; a mighty role that sees his name permanently etched in the Club’s history books. Chris jokes it is a sure-fire way to get your name on the wall of the Club House.
Chris lives with his wife here in Wanaka and has a daughter who also works in Wanaka. We are pleased to have Chris on the team; he understands our town, he knows the people, and is a core part of our community.
Craig is an office superstar with a passion for numbers, originally from the far north. Working in a multitude of industries he has many years of expertise in accounts administration, management and team leader roles. He is an expert problem solver with his ability to communicate at the forefront of his skillset.
Craig moved to Blenheim in June of 2020 and in his spare time enjoys capturing the essence of New Zealand and its people with his photography business which takes him all over the country and beyond.
Dave’s spent over 20 years in accounting and he still loves coming to work every day. He founded the company back in 2006, and his infectious enthusiasm has helped him build a company of talented staff who are excited to be part of DJCA.
As you’d expect, Dave is a member of the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants. He’s also a Mentor with the Business Mentors of NZ program, and is especially skilled at advising clients from all kinds of industries in strategy, planning, goal setting, and implementing business structures.
Dave played hooker for Marlborough Boys’ College and won the Matthews Cup for Most Outstanding Player (ahead of Anton Oliver, who was maybe 14 at the time). He now enjoys running and biking with his kids.
Demetri assists with managing the many and varied Queenstown clients, achieving best outcomes in a friendly and professional nature.
Demetri has developed his accounting with a Bachelor of Business – Majoring in Banking & Finance from James Cook University, and a number of years experience with a number of accounting firms.
Although Demetri’s not all work and no play, his main interests include mountain biking, rock climbing and camping.
Eloise is one of our newest staff members, joining us just after the Summer break in January 2021. She completed her Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Canterbury majoring in Accounting, and graduated in 2019.
In her free time, Eloise loves partaking in a bit of pottery, diving into a good book or getting out and about and seeing some live music. She also volunteers at the SPCA in the Cat unit on a fortnightly basis.
She has settled in really well here at Sidekick, and we’re super happy to have her in the team!
Emily, one of our whizz-kid accountants, joined the Sidekick team in February 2017 and boy are we glad to have her on board! Emily has been working in the accounting industry for many years, starting her career in administration at an accounting firm, and loved the work so much she worked her way up to being an accountant.
From working as an accountant at accounting firms, in the tech industry, and for a charity, Emily brings a great depth of knowledge and experience to the team. Emily has travelled through Europe, lived and worked in the UK, and is always planning the next trip, her most recent being South East Asia!
Client Services Assistant
Erika moved from Australia to Wanaka in 2014, and worked as an Office Administration Manager for a hotel group prior to joining the Findlay Sidekick team in 2017 as the Client Services Assistant. Prior to her move to New Zealand, Erika worked in the child care service sector, administering child care benefit and rebate claims for families.
Although Erika spent most of her spare time in a boxing gym in Australia, she has hung up her boxing gloves and swapped them for a snowboard, learning how to snowboard for the first time after moving to Wanaka. Since catching the snow-bug, Erika has enjoyed trips to Japan and Canada with her partner, and tries her best to keep up with him on the ski slopes.
As a mother, Erika relishes time with family and is enjoying the great work-life balance Wanaka provides.
Client Services Manager
Helen is a Marlburian who has travelled the world and landed back here. Having a varied work life from managing a regional office for a multi-national advertising firm, owning a hospitality business to practice management of a medical practice, Helen brings a bucket load of skills. Communication is her flag ship skill and she enjoys problem solving. Resourceful and fun, pretty much sums her up.
She is married to Gary, who is a Business Advisor and in their spare time they love to travel to family & friends, experience the great outdoors and discovering new recipes and flavours, accompanied by a glass of fine wine.
Ihi is our friendly receptionist who’ll be greeting you when you come to visit us in the office or call us on the phone. Helping out with many aspects of administration, Ihi ensures all clients and staff are well taken care of.
James is a fully qualified Chartered Accountant and studied at Lincoln University to gain a BCom majoring in Accounting, Finance and Information Technology.
James spent over four years working in the motor vehicle industry in Timaru, before moving to Christchurch for eight years, where he studied and working as an accountant. James moved back to Canterbury and now services Sidekick Ashburton clients in both South and Mid Canterbury.
Looking at the big picture, setting goals and helping clients plan to achieve those goals are what James enjoys most about his job.
When James is not in the office he is usually spending time with his wife and young family or on the squash court. James is also a big rugby, cricket and motor sport fan.
A Chartered Accountant since 2009, Jason has experience in a large public practice firm in New Zealand as well as working in Australia in a privately held property group. After moving back to Christchurch from Australia, Jason worked as the Financial Controller for Mike Greer Homes.
Alongside his experience in the property sector, Jason also enjoys the challenges that come with the construction industry and meeting people who have an entrepreneurial mindset.
Jason is excited to be a part of the North Canterbury business community, and looks forward to working with local small businesses and being a part of the growing communities north of the Waimakariri.
Based in Mandeville, Jason enjoys spending time with his young family and his wife – who has recently taken over The Station Cafe & Restaurant! – playing social football, and watching most sports, especially cricket in our long hot kiwi summers!
Client Services Manager
Jayne joined the Sidekick Rangiora in November 2019 as the Client Service Manager. Originally from the UK, she used to run her own successful delivery company, which has given her a great basis to understand, guide and provide the necessary assistance to help build successful businesses for our clients.
Jayne also brings a wealth of administration qualities that she’s gained from working in the Medical, Recruitment and Healthcare sectors and she has a real passion for providing assistance to others.
Jayne lives local to the office with her husband and daughter and most importantly the office dog Marley. She loves going to the movies, shopping and travelling around the amazing sites that New Zealand has to offer.
Jenna is a fully qualified Chartered Accountant, graduating from Otago University with a BCom followed by a Diploma in Accounting from Lincoln University. Jenna is one of our valued senior accountants in Christchurch and has been with the djca and now Sidekick team since 2014.
Jenna’s role involves working with a variety of SME businesses in Christchurch, with a focus on developing close working relationships with many of these clients.
When she’s not in the office, Jenna enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking and visiting family in Wanaka.
Working with Jenna, you’ll enjoy her cool, casual style combined with her attention to detail and getting things right!
Jess has a varied accounting background, having worked in both accounting practices and commercial environments, in NZ and overseas.
Jess graduated from Otago University with an LLB and BCom, and then embarked on her accounting career in Wellington. After gaining her Chartered Accountancy, Jess worked in both Dublin and London, while enjoying life on the other side of the world. She eventually returned to her home province – now married with three boys, she loves working with the Sidekick team to help businesses achieve their goals.
Outside of work, Jess loves spending time watching her kids playing sport and heading to the beach in beautiful Kakanui
Client Manager, BCom, CA
Johnathan comes to Findlay Sidekick with business in his blood and a passion for problem solving. He is a veteran in the world of start-ups and cutting edge innovation; he also brings a broad range of experience in traditional heartland Kiwi business. He has built a career on corporate roots, and through a progression of Chartered Accounting firms in the South, he has shaped a business philosophy that is forward thinking and analytical. Johnathan applies smart thinking to business; this serves his clients well in business growth, planning and profitability. We are delighted to have him on our team.
Johnathan has circumnavigated the lower South. Born and bred in Invercargill, he attended university at Otago Uni, began a career in Dunedin (did a stint in London and Melbourne) and looped back around to land in Cromwell, Central Otago and is now based in our Wanaka office. His career in Chartered Accountancy took a short hiatus when he launched an online start up chasing ACC refunds for business owners. This project has given him first hand experience as a start-up, business owner, being in a partnership and battling a giant like ACC.
Outside of the office Johnathan loves gardening and spending his time with his wife and two young boys. He enjoys balancing time in the outdoors, keeping fit and time with the family. At the heart of it all, Johnathan loves to solve puzzles, in particular business puzzles. We welcome him to the Findlay Sidekick Family.
Jordan is a local lad and has been based in Mid Canterbury his whole life. After finishing high school at Mount Hutt College in Methven he gained a B.Com Majoring in Accounting from Otago University. Jordan has worked as an accountant in Ashburton for three and a half years and is enthusiastic about Sidekick’s innovative technology based approach to accounting.
When he’s not helping our Sidekick clients, Jordan enjoys socialising with friends, playing golf, cricket and going to the gym.
Josh is a software specialist and Chartered Accountant with 14 years industry experience, and is spearheading the move to cloud-based accounting through Sidekick Cloud, launched in 2019.
As traditional, time-consuming methods of book-keeping are being challenged in the market place – especially in the highly mobile post COVID-19 economy – Josh’s passion is in the potential of real-time cloud technology and its ability to enhance business efficiency and profitability. He designs holistic business systems for his clients and has a special focus on the add-on software market.
Josh has a talent for assessing clients’ needs and ensuring he provides each business with the capability to manage their own finances through thorough training and ongoing support. He believes that this is the key to the sustainability of any new system and enjoys witnessing clients start to manage their own accounts with confidence. He is constantly learning and expanding his own knowledge in the world of add-on products for Xero users – such as WorkflowMax, Hubdoc and Unleashed – so that he can continue to offer the very best solutions for Kiwi businesses.
Client Services Administration
Working as Client Services Administrator, Karyn has come to us from a varied Administration background, including Manufacturing, Recruitment and more recently Agriculture. With over 20 years experience, Karyn brings many skills to the Sidekick Team. Karyn has extensive Xero experience in both Agri and Commercial businesses and is excited to bring that value to Sidekick clients.
A local from Timaru, Karyn enjoys everything South Canterbury has to offer. She spends her summer months camping in Twizel and when the weather is not so nice Karyn is often helping backstage for South Canterbury Drama League.
Karyn likes to spend quality time with her husband, daughter and son, extended family and fantastic friends.
Katherine is a qualified Chartered Accountant and CA mentor, who has been working within the Business Services advisory sector for the past 15 years. Katherine has had the pleasure of meeting with and advising for a large array of clients, and particularly enjoys helping businesses with creating strategic plans, cashflow forecasts and in-depth insurance/business reviews. Katherine is also our inhouse go-to for preparing Business Valuations, and is happy to speak to all business owners that are looking to buy or sell/diversify/or change their shareholding. Katherine also loves working with new business start up’s, and has a real passion for assisting clients get off to the best start.
Katherine is the current Practice Manager for the Christchurch office and loves supporting and mentoring all members of the Sidekick team. In her spare time, Katherine is a busy wife, and Mum to two young girls, Zahara and Indie-Raea. Katherine’s business hours vary, however you can usually find her in the office between the hours of 8am and 3pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Katie, one of our friendly accountants here at Sidekick Commercial has a Bachelor of Applied Management Accounting from Ara and is embarking on her Chartered Accounting qualification this year.
Before joining Sidekick in 2018, Katie worked in Corporate Accounting in Melbourne for five years, before moving back to Christchurch to be closer to family.
Katie enjoys working closely with the Sidekick Commercial clients, and especially enjoys the satisfaction of watching them grow and develop to reach their business goals.
Outside of work Katie enjoys being active with boxing and mountain biking, traveling, going to concerts, and hanging out with friends.
Kirsten specialises in dispute resolution, relationship property, HR, and employment law.
A litigator with over 20 years experience in all forms of dispute resolution both here and in England, Kirsten is also a qualified and admitted solicitor on the UK Solicitors’ roll. Kirsten has appeared at all levels of courts in the civil and employment jurisdiction, including the Court of Appeal in New Zealand and junioring in the House of Lords in the UK.
Her significant expertise enables her to provide a range of advice and guidance relating to everything from all aspects of health and safety, to assisting in the prevention and resolution of employment-related issues for both employers and employees, relationship property matters and complex commercial, civil and trust litigation and disputes.
With an outstanding track record for resolving complex litigation while previously working as a partner of a medium sized Canterbury firm and the head of an employment and dispute resolution team, she ensures her client’s business is future-proofed.
Our Associate Director Kirsty has a B.Com from Lincoln University, and has done an OE in both Canada and London, where she worked as a Financial Controller at Fortnum and Mason. More recently, Kirsty worked for several years in Samoa as a financial controller for a supermarket group, and offered free consulting to local social enterprises.
Kirsty believes that accounting isn’t all about numbers and compliance, it’s about using the components of accounting to help clients reach their goals and achieve the lifestyle they want.
When not helping our Sidekick clients, Kirsty enjoys keeping fit, hiking, playing netball, hitting the gym and when she gets the chance, she takes her awesome camper for adventures all over NZ.
Client Relationship Manager
Kirsty is our Client Relationship Manager and looks after on-boarding of new clients as well as working with existing clients, a job that she has taken to with relish!
She recently relocated to Wanaka with her partner and their two-year old daughter to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle and escape Auckland traffic! Kirsty loves the outdoors and living near the mountains where she can snowboard on the weekends in the winter and relax by the lake in the summer.
Prior to moving to Wanaka, Kirsty has spent time living the French Alps as well as working on superyachts.
Kirsty has a strong administration background, but perhaps what stands out the most about Kirsty, and a common thread amongst all of this, is her strength in building relationships. Which is exactly why she is a great fit in the Findlay Sidekick team.
Helping out with many aspects of administration, Lea ensures all clients and staff are well taken care of. Lea has ten years of working in accounts based roles in both New Zealand and London, as well as 2 years experience working in the accounting industry.
With a bachelor of Tourism Management from Lincoln, Lea brings many skills to the Sidekick Timaru office. Helping our clients with everything from payroll and bookkeeping Lea is also the smiley face you’ll see at reception when you come to our office.
A local from a family farm south of Timaru, Lea enjoys spending her spare time gardening, walking her dog and spending time with her two children.
Lisa our Director is a fully qualified Chartered Accountant holding a private practice certificate, and has over ten years experience working with businesses in the Medium to Large Business sector.
Lisa studied at the University of Otago to gain a BCom majoring in Accounting and minoring in Tourism. Lisa has worked with the growing Sidekick team for six years before starting Sidekick Commercial in 2019. Through some changes and opportunities, Sidekick Commercial, Sidekick Christchurch and DJCA all combined during Lockdown 2020 to create Sidekick CA. Through Crisis comes opportunity!
Lisa has a wealth of experience working with almost every industry you can think of whilst currently having a big focus with large companies in the HR, hospitality, training and construction space both locally in Christchurch and Nationwide.
A keen traveller, Lisa enjoys spending time planning her next overseas holiday (although that’s not happening for a while). Lisa spends her weekends relaxing and dining out with friends and visiting family in Whakatane or some of the other amazing places New Zealand has to offer.
Lisa joined the Sidekick Timaru Team coming from a varied background of Banking, Sales and still a small business owner.
Part of Lisa’s role includes on-boarding new clients and ensuring their transition is easy to becoming a Sidekick client. Lisa is also involved in organising many of our informative workshops that we run.
Outside of work, one of the many things Lisa enjoys doing is spending time with her partner and children.
Lisa looks after our many and varied Queenstown clients which include tradies, travel agencies, rental agencies, doctors, not-for-profits, and many others.
Lisa has a strong background in accounting with qualifications from Otago University and extensive experience with various Chartered Accounting firms, plus a long stint at Spark in Wellington. But Lisa’s not just about numbers, her main strength is supporting clients as a business advisor with forward planning and budgeting.
Lisa’s farming background has stood her in good stead, and our clients appreciate her genuine, friendly, helpful and down to earth attitude.
With a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Taxation from the University of Canterbury, Maggie is well on her way to becoming a fully qualified Chartered Accountant in 2018. Maggie, a Senior accountant on our team, brings with her a wide variety of business accounting knowledge from previously working at a medium sized Chartered Accounting firm.
When Maggie isn’t working in the Sidekick office, out and about visiting clients, or studying towards gaining her CA qualification, she enjoys running around the beautiful streets of Timaru and cooking delicious meals. Originally from Ikawai (just out of Waimate), Maggie moved to Timaru in November 2017 and we’re so pleased she did!
Manish, one of our friendly Sidekick Timaru Accountants brings 6 years of experience in the accounting industry, as well as a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Commerce.
Manish’s role at Sidekick Timaru involves a variety of compliance work for our clients, such as end of year financials and GST Returns, and he particularly enjoys the challenging and interesting parts of accounting such as Budgeting and Forecasting.
Outside of work Manish enjoys both watching cricket games and playing cricket, chilling out and watching a movie and exploring new places around Canterbury and beyond.
Max has been with the team part-time through study since the ripe old age of 18!
Studying Bachelor of Commerce at Canterbury University, Majoring in Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Max is getting lots of hands on experience driving the marketing strategy here at Sidekick.
Max is the smart young man that is responsible for all the newsletters and blog posts that you see from the Sidekick Group.
Outside of work at study, Max is a Movie buff – his favourite movies are Tokyo Story, Bicycle Thieves and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Adding to his many talents, Max was a First 11 footballer at St Bede’s and played for Christchurch Utd reserves.
Megan, originally from Otaki, is our Senior Manager and all-round accounting whizz. She has a Bachelor of Commerce in Administration, majoring in Accounting and Commercial Law, with a post graduate diploma in Professional Accountancy. An NZICA member and mentor, Megan heads our Blenheim-based firm, servicing the Tasman area.
Megan comes to us with 14 years experience in a large accounting firm in Wellington, specialising in Business Advisory Services. As a Senior Client Manager in this field, Megan has worked with hundreds of businesses from small business start ups to large national companies and retailers.
When she’s not helping our Sidekick clients, Megan loves spending time with her husband and two young boys. Megan moved to Blenheim in early 2015 to be closer to family and enjoys spending her free time cooking for them and relaxing together.
Mel is the friendly face you’ll be greeted by at reception when you come to our office. Mel looks after anything from client queries to bookkeeping and payroll. With a background of working in the customer service industry, her top priority is maintaining great client and workplace relationships.
When Mel isn’t working she loves to spend time with her family on the farm at Tarras or the Ohau batch and catching up with friends.
Originally from Malawi, Modecai moved to Canterbury in 2011 with quite the welcome of arriving on the day of the February Earthquake! Modecai has a BCom from Lincoln University, majoring in Accounting and Finance with a minor in Economics.
If you’re needing training in Xero, business support or forging new, strong relationships with our awesome network of business advisers and enablers, Modeacai is your man!
In his spare time Modecai enjoys volunteering for a number of sporting and community charities, and perfecting his ultra-marathon running prowess having completed the 90km Comrades Marathon twice (the second time enduring some pretty serious mental and physical pain).
International Tax Advisor
Paul is our international tax specialist who offers a unique combination of tax, legal, finance, and capital markets skills. Paul’s skills are centred around his New Zealand, UK, and international tax knowledge acquired during his 12-year career with Ernst & Young in Wellington, Sydney, London, and Christchurch.
In addition to this, he also has extensive experience in finance and treasury, derivatives and structured transactions. Since returning to New Zealand, Paul has worked with an increasing number of high net-worth individuals and private businesses, and developed significant expertise in the hedge funds sector. Paul’s range of skills and his years of experience in working with some of the world’s leading companies and financial institutions means that he is well placed to deal with the demands and planning issues of a privately owned business or family investment office.
Client Manager, B Com, CA
Phillippa is a Chartered Accountant and senior member of team. Her strengths uphold the Findlay & Co philosophy to ‘Keep it Simple’. She is responsible for preparing compliance and management reports. She is able to set up smart systems to help clients manage their accounting easily. Phillippa has long-term clients in her portfolio that she has worked with for many years; she has knowledge of their businesses and has built strong client relationships. Phillippa is known for her friendly yet meticulous nature when it comes to accounting.
Phillippa is a driven woman who attacks accounting and outdoor pursuits with passion. A mother, who enjoys supporting her teenage children. Phillippa is a straight shooter and a logical smart thinker. Phillippa is a smart cookie and an amazing goal achiever.
Phillippa’s specially areas include: Family Trusts and Trades/Construction
Meet Ric, a trusty member of the Sidekick family since 2010! Well, he actually took a short break in 2012-13 returning to the media and design industry, but after 16 months he was drawn back to the incredible family-like team at Sidekick to spread the word of Fixed-Fee, Modern Accountancy across New Zealand.
Traditionally Ric has been at the front end of our businesses as our sales guy, out for countless coffees a day and driving 1000 kms per week! He knows every inch of SH1 and could drive it with his eyes closed.
Now Ric’s role is a mix between sales and consulting. Working with clients mostly to help them grow! His expertise lie in sales, establishing a strategy, pitching and most importantly, closing! He can help your business sell more, with integrity!
Another key thing for Ric is culture, “culture eats strategy for breakfast” is one of Ric’s mantras*. If you have the right people and they all have a common purpose along with respect and love for one another, your business should thrive!
As well as helping business owners take steps towards the greatness, you’ll also find Ric on the football field (although by his own admission, he’s getting, older, slower and heavier). He also enjoys spending his free time with his lovely wife and three gorgeous children in their very busy active lifestyle, living in Pegasus, north of Christchurch.
*Not actually Ric’s mantra, a phrase originated by Peter Drucker and made famous by Mark Fields, President at Ford, is an absolute reality!
Richard has over 15 years of Agri Banking experience in Canterbury, South Canterbury and North Otago.
His knowledge of agriculture and business is current and broad. Richard has successfully helped a range of farming systems from large to small, discover and achieve their goals.
Hailing from a family sheep and beef station prior to attending Lincoln, his roots are firmly grounded in agriculture. Helping farmers succeed is his passion.
With so many challenges facing farming businesses, Richard is uniquely placed to help you optimise your planning and financial needs.
Outside of work, Richard loves doing multi sport and mountain biking with his family and friends.
Our newest staff member Ryan joined Sidekick in February, 2021. He has a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Financial management from Varsity college in South Africa, and did the second half of his degree via correspondence while he was here in New Zealand (graduating in 2019).
Ryan is also a top notch Cricketer and has spent the last 7 years playing cricket around the globe. He spent time in England and South Africa, before moving to New Zealand 4 years ago and he’s been here ever since! He’s also a high level Hockey player, and was in the South African U21 World Cup Hockey Squad and also plays for the Canterbury Cavaliers men’s hockey team. In his free time he loves to hit the links, go out for an early morning surf or have a BBQ with his mates.
Ryan’s a real all-rounder, and a great addition to our Sidekick team!
Sam is an experienced accountant with a systematic, calm approach. He has a professional nature and is precise with his work and clients. Sam’s accounting experience is in company accounting and our clients enjoy working with him as he keeps it simple and as such, is an advocate for the Findlay Sidekick philosophy. Being reliable, generous and logical, Sam is a huge asset to the team of accountants at Findlay Sidekick.
Sam came to Wanaka from Oamaru in 2003 and has become an embedded member of the Wanaka community. He was the Secretary of the local Lions Club, and is currently a Board Member. He is frequently involved locally working on various community projects and fundraisers.
Sam is modest, has a gentle nature and works well alongside this great bunch of women.
Sam’s specialty areas include: Rental properties, Trades and Not For Profit Organisations
Area Manager, B Com, CA
Scott graduated from Otago University in 1992 and after working in corporate accounting, joined the practice in 2004.
Scott is a highly skilled advisor who can assist you with business planning, profit improvement and human resources. He has a wealth of experience in the corporate accounting and business management field. Scott is admired for his sincere approach to helping clients understand their business. Scott is easy to talk to and passionate about streamlining his customers systems, driving profit and helping his clients to reach their goals.
He genuinely cares for the people and businesses that he works with. Scott is a father and husband with a sporty family and spends loads of weekends at swim meets, on the cricket field and coaching rugby, as well as finding time to play squash himself. He has a devilish sense of humour and is an advocate of political incorrectness. He attacks sport and business with determination and a touch of good-natured competitiveness. Scott is an ultra-friendly down to earth Southland man.
Scott’s specialty areas include: Business Planning and Valuations
Tom joins us as a new Graduate. He grew up in South Canterbury and attended Otago University to complete his Bcom, which he has successfully completed in November this year. Tom will start his Chartered Accountant exams in the new year and will continue to gain experience within the office. In his own time Tom enjoys spending time on the bowling green to relax.
If somebody asks ‘who is the best person to do this tricky job?” our answer is likely to be Vanessa.
Vanessa manages Sidekick Bookkeeping and completes clients’ various administrative duties, advises them on their tax obligations, acts as our one stop Xero help-desk and even completes the odd tax return.
Vanessa is also a qualified Gym instructor and has competed in Body Building competitions, so when she’s not at the gym teaching group fitness you will find her at home with her children Tyler and Manaia.
Whitney graduated from the University of Canterbury in 2018 with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and Taxation, and started her career with Sidekick in 2019. She’s also starting her Chartered Accounting qualification this year.
As well as all her accountancy skills, she’s also a local Football star! She’s represented New Zealand in age group levels, and currently plays for the Canterbury Women’s team who’ve won 6 national championship titles. As both a talented Sportswoman and Accountant, she’s a great asset for the Sidekick team!