Vanessa Bornman immigrated from South Africa to New Zealand five years ago to escape the lurking crime and start a little family. “The people in New Zealand are laid back, not as rushed, and they tend to love the same things as we do – BBQs with friends, sports, and good chat”, says Vanessa.
Her career in accounting began in South Africa, with ten years of experience, Vanessa worked as a Financial Manager for various commercial industries such as medicine, engineering, architecture, consulting, and manufacturing. In between the corporate dealings, Vanessa also set up her own accounting business, which is where she gained most of her practice experience.
Since living in New Zealand, Vanessa has worked in public practices before choosing Gilligan Sheppard. “One of their core values, ‘the freedom to be real’, highly resonated with me. I, too, am not a ‘normal’ accountant, so the freedom to be real and think outside the box relates to my attitude,” explained Vanessa. She also loves that GS values a culture of a healthy work-life balance, something a mum appreciates. Vanessa chose accounting because it is like a Tetris puzzle that makes sense to her, so solving problems and cleaning up any mess is actually enjoyable.
What sets Vanessa apart is her ability to relate with her clients and speak in a language they understand. She will give metaphorical examples – relating numbers to beer or golf balls – whatever it is that will help clients understand. It is no surprise that she becomes friends with most of her clients. Vanessa’s core values are honesty, communication (her friends would describe her as a bit of a chatterbox), mutual trust, and understanding.