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.
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.
Caroline, or Cazza as she is more commonly known by the team grew up in Dunedin and went onto study at the University of Otago and gained a Bachelor of Commence. She has one final module to complete to receive her Chartered Accountancy qualification.
Cazza enjoys working with clients to help them feel confident about their finances. Prior to joining us she had worked for 2 years in Wellington and more recently for Sidekick, Timaru.
When the books are done and its time for fun, she can be found on the slopes snowboarding or in the kitchen trying out a new recipe.
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.
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.
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!
Harry the Spoodle is our loyal friend and official client greeter. When you come to the office you can expect to see Harry happily bound through to welcome you in.
Harry has a kind and loving nature, and apart from eating dog treats his main goal in life is to have your attention for as long as you’ll give it. However if you’re uncomfortable around dogs, please let us know before you come in and we’ll make sure he stays tucked up in his bed when you arrive.
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 an 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.
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
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 is a lawyer with 20 years’ experience in litigation and employment law. In recent years Kirsten was a partner of a medium sized Canterbury law firm leading the litigation and employment team. Kirsten’s passion is working in-depth with businesses to assist them with their employment and health and safety needs and this was the driver for her in making the decision to form Sidekick HR with Dave and Tom.
Kirsten’s commercial, practical and common-sense approach to her advice sets her apart from most lawyers, in that her focus is really understanding each individual business and how they operate, and what their goals and aims are. In this way, Kirsten is then best placed to form long term relationships with her clients and provide them with the very best advice.
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.
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 young daughter.
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.
Louise, one of our friendly Senior Accountants at Sidekick, has a BCom majoring in Accounting and is a fully qualified Chartered Accountant. She’s had experience in a large firm in Auckland in both Audit and Business Advisory, and after some travel and returning home to Christchurch, Louise joined the Sidekick team in 2016.
Working Tuesday – Friday, Louise enjoys working closely with her clients in small and medium businesses in a range of industries, and especially enjoys clients who have external reporting requirements.
Outside of work Louise enjoys spending time with friends and family, being active outdoors, a good comedy and anything arty.
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.
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 Christchurch 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, and is currently studying towards becoming a qualified Chartered Accountant.
Modecai’s role at Sidekick includes training new clients in Xero, supporting Cameron with a variety of accounting tasks and forging strong relationships with our awesome clients.
In his spare time Modecai enjoys volunteering, and practicing for and participating in marathon running events.
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.
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.
If somebody asks ‘who is the best person to do this tricky job?” our answer is likely to be Vanessa. She is our all round superstar and Office Manager.
In between managing our internal office processes, Vanessa completes our clients’ 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 Group Ride, R30, Group Blast and Group Power instructor and competes in Body Building competitions, so in her spare time you will find Vanessa at the gym, hanging with her son Tyler, or pottering around the garden with her dog, cats, and rabbits – a bit of a pet farm to say the least!