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“What we like to do is take them part way through their studies, then we pay their fees for the time it takes to do the study.”
Savage and Savage works with businesses in Nelson, nationwide and overseas, providing a range of accountancy, financial planning, and marketing services.
Taking on NMIT students part-way through their studies is a win-win, Sari says. The students get to apply the theory they’re learning in class and gain real-world experience, while Savage and Savage get to take on qualified staff that understand the company culture.
Despite the disruption facing the industry in recent years, such as automated accounting software, Sari says it’s a varied and rewarding career.
“If you are into numbers and analytics and love people you should think about public practice as an accountant. Public practice is brilliant as it combines them all.”
Savage and Savage was started by Sari’s father 74 years ago. Both of her older brothers have worked for the firm and now she, along with husband Neil, run the boutique accounting business.
Savage and Savage has always been quick to embrace new technologies, being the first accounting firm in Nelson to digitise accounting back in 1982.
They have also been quick to adopt technological developments in the sector, such as accounting software Xero.
Sari says the number crunching is the “boring bit” and accountancy is more about helping clients succeed in business and achieve their goals.
“We help them achieve what they want to achieve.”.
To be an accountant today Sari says you need to be good at communicating, confident, and most importantly, trustworthy.
Sari has a personal connection to NMIT, having studied accounting here in the 1980s.
She says the practicality of the NMIT course put her two to three years ahead of her university-educated colleagues.
She’s also close to completing a marketing degree through NMIT. Sari says her advice to students who are looking at going into public practice as an accountant is to do a double major in Accounting and Marketing at NMIT.
“They go together so perfectly. It is another string to your bow and you can really help people.”
NMIT is accredited to Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand and, Sari says, that is very important for hiring staff to their business to become chartered accountants.
Find out more about NMIT's Bachelor of Commerce with majors in Accounting, Marketing and Management: Bachelor of Commerce