Vanessa Bornman


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. 

Vanessa is a new mum to a highly active 18-month-old daughter and is loving every moment of it. Before mum life, she spent a lot of time travelling the world – places including Paris, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium, USA, and Prague. Experiencing different cultures and meeting people from all walks of life has taught Vanessa that “everyone is so diverse, yet everyone has some common ground, giving you this sense of connection”. The same goes for all the biographies Vanessa loves to read. With a particular interest in sports and business people’s bios such as Steve Jobs, Mandela and Jonah Lomu, she has learnt that you should never judge a book by its cover. 

What’s next on the bucket list? Perhaps to eat at a Michelin-star restaurant in New York.

Biggest Fear:


Family Deets:

Husband, one daughter

Fav Location:

New York City

Fav Food:


Fav Drink:

Coke no sugar

Fav Movie:

Sliding Doors

Sport Played:


Leisure Activity:

Reading, walking the dogs

Best Holiday:

First time to New York City


Personal Taxation

Cashflow Forecasting

Management Accounting