Although accountancy may have a reputation for being a less than thrilling occupation, that is not the case for Mike Higgins of Minet Brooke – it has kept him happily occupied for his whole professional life.
Mike has been an accountant ever since he “fell into it by accident” at school, when the more popular science and engineering options for study were already full. His love of maths took over and he has now had an accounting career for 30 years.
“I enjoy seeing things through from start to finish and find that very satisfying,” he says. “You have to think on your feet, and multi-task.”
Mike, who recently set up a sole practice Minet Brooke in Silverdale, says being a sole practitioner means clients get personal service.
Minet Brooke provides most of the usual services of a Chartered Accountancy firm (with the exception of audit services), working with small to medium sized businesses.
There are a lot of compliance demands on business owners and a good relationship with your accountant can steer you safely through that minefield. As well as completing accounts for clients, Mike can review bookwork that a business owner has completed themselves and also provide business advice. He has good contacts and if people need help with more than the “accountancy nuts and bolts, he can leverage assistance with strategic aspects such as business evaluations, or how to deal with difficult business decisions.
He says the days of clients coming into the office weighed down with boxes of paperwork are over – most are now savvy enough to work on computer accounting software programmes, such as Xero. Mike prefers Xero prefers because it provides real time updates and can be viewed remotely by himself and the client.
Mike, who lives in Albany with his wife and family, says he chose to position his office right in the middle of Silverdale (behind Northern Union in Wainui Rd) because of a long-standing connection with the area.
His two daughters were founding pupils of Stella Maris school – both are now doing tertiary studies.
“The area is almost unrecognisable from those days,” Mike says. “The pace of change is huge and the amount of growth in the community is one reason I set up here.”