“Turning vision into value.”

Rise Accountants

Established: 2002

Location: Auckland

Website: http://www.rise.co.nz/

Business vision and mission:
Rise Accountants aims to make the lives of its clients easier through timeliness, price certainty and friendly staff. They want to turn your vision into value – and that’s value for you, not the IRD!

Company director Bill Mancer has worked in the financial sector since the 1990s until 2002 working first as a General Manager for finance at Sanitarium and then as a Financial Controller for Tip-Top Bread, a subsidiary of George Western Foods.

Due to family circumstances, Bill realised that he would need a lot more flexibility in his working hours and so he gave up salaried employment to start out on his own. Although personal circumstances forced his hand, Bill had gained a lot of valuable experience in the commercial world and wanted to create a future of his own. With family support, he created Rise Accountants, named after his desire to see his clients’ businesses grow.

During the business’s infancy, Bill took a chance by going into business with another accountant. Together they brought in 100 new clients between them and expanded by buying a block of fees on the North Shore. However, it quickly became clear how much disrepair the business was in: less than 25% of tax returns were being filed. When Bill told the staff of that firm that, within a year, they would file 90% of their tax returns on time, they didn’t believe him. The business managed 99%. “Staff that we planning on quitting turned around their decision when they saw what their branch could become.” In 2015 Bill sold the Waiuku branch with another in the region so that he could focus more on his region of Auckland.

Rise Accountants is still going strong 15 years on.

Clients have said that Bill and his team offer clearly explained advice and introduce customers to easy to use systems ‘without forcing their way onto their customers’: one size does not fit all.

Bill is most proud of the relationship Rise Accountants has with its clients: “They tell us what they see now are the same people we portrayed in our initial meetings: Genuine, honest, friendly and interested in their business.”

The first challenge was moving away from familiar territory and finding clients for the business. Bill discovered early on that cold-calling was not his style, but he found his first client within a month and from there word of mouth spread. Soon, his challenge became managing his workload and employing additional staff to run Rise Accountants as it developed into something bigger.
Rise Accountants has expanded since 2009 to cover two sites and for four consecutive years, Bill and his team have doubled the previous year’s turnover. At the second site where everyone knows everyone, Rise Accounting are the preferred accountants.

“Our clients don’t leave – even the IRD have advised our clients that they have received positive outcomes due to the proactive nature of our work,” says Bill. “We do the boring stuff – annual accounts and the like – the interesting stuff – business plans, wealth structures and the the like – and the challenging stuff – tax audits, credit issues, and picking up clients when they have felt like they have been hit.”

Bill takes on university graduates and provides all his staff with ongoing training opportunities and professional development, including attending a Xero accounting course in Brisbane in 2016. At a junior level Rise Accountants provides training in systems, which is a transferable skill.

Rise Accountants only outsources when the skill-set is not available in house, such as gaining an independent evaluation from a tax specialist in an investigation of fraud. Any work contracted out is done so with the client’s knowledge and consent.

Rise Accountants places a lot of importance on environmental protection and sustainability and as such they support Tiritiri Matangi – an open scientific reserve which is home to many rare New Zealand birds, including pakahe, tieke and kokako. Bill originally acted as treasurer and has more recently provided their accounting software.

The company also supports Aotearoa New Zealand Tertiary Chaplains Association and The Legend Charitable Trust, who run an annual Marathon in honour of Arthur Lydiard who introduced jogging to the world. They have also in the past provided mentoring support to Enterprise in Action and Gateway programmes.