Bookkeepers on a winning streak
For the fourth consecutive year Jo Mankelow and her team have picked up an industry accolade at the NZ Bookkeepers Annual Awards. This year, Mankelow Accounts won Bookkeeping Business of the Year and the business now has six industry awards that attest to the company’s professionalism. “We just work hard and care about our clients,” […]
For the fourth consecutive year Jo Mankelow and her team have picked up an industry accolade at the NZ Bookkeepers Annual Awards.
This year, Mankelow Accounts won Bookkeeping Business of the Year and the business now has six industry awards that attest to the company’s professionalism.
“We just work hard and care about our clients,” says Mankelow.
The Highland Park entrepreneur describes the company as being software agnostic – they use the latest software that best suits their clients’ needs.
The bookkeeping team at Mankelow Accounts has grown significantly – progressing from a home-based business to commercial offices in order to accommodate more staff.
Most of their work is with small to medium enterprises throughout the Howick and Pakuranga regions.
“Issues affecting these businesses include keeping up with the paperwork and it makes sense for them to hire what they don’t do.
“If a builder or a website designer charges out at a higher rate than a bookkeeper charges, then why would they do their own books when they could be generating revenue?”
Mankelow started her business because she wanted to see other local businesses succeed but with her success, the growing bookkeeping workload meant most of her days were spent ‘doing the doing’. She decided to step away from her bookkeeping foundations and focus on coaching local businesses.
“The local construction industry is going nuts and building businesses have started everywhere, but few of them have the support they need to run a business.”
She offers businesses a WoF, much like a car warrant of fitness – reviewing what is broken, identifying the business owner’s personal goals and what must be done to achieve them.
From personal experience, Mankelow learnt that working 60 hours a week tied her down and she spent too much time looking after everyone else, which affected her family life.
She always wanted financial stability and a better life for her family, so she took the plunge – sold 60 percent of Mankelow Accounts and brought in a general manager.
It took her six months to step away from the hands-on work, which has given her the freedom to work on the business.
Mankelow sees this growing pain period is when smaller businesses either flourish or fail.
It’s not all about money for Mankelow – who balances paid work with volunteer hours. She is a member of Business Mentors New Zealand and assists small business owners in need of some direction.
“Many entrepreneurs have plenty of confidence, but they lack direction,” she says. “They start out thinking they love doing something and it’s their new career, but they miss out all of the planning at the beginning.
“Some entrepreneurs respond quickly but others can take a long time to address the issues and by then it can be too late,” she says.
“Finally, it comes back to why they are in business, which is the first question I ask them.”
Freedom of lifestyle is a common allure but without a plan and business goals that lifestyle dream become increasingly elusive, says Mankelow.
Her personal experience helps her understand the pitfalls for business owners and she delivers concise messages when mentoring her charges.
And, what’s in it for her?
She doesn’t see volunteering as a selfless role and gains significant feel-good rewards from seeing a fellow entrepreneur succeed and progress.
In 2017, Mankelow was elected onto the board of New Zealand Bookkeepers and spent the first year learning the ropes. This year she has taken on the education leader role which involves supporting the education and professional development of bookkeepers.
One week, Mankelow could be working on developing training resources and the next, helping bookkeepers attain assessment standards.
“We work with our strategic partners and many other organisations to create awareness and training for our fellow bookkeeping community,” she says. “I love education, I love seeing others succeed and I get satisfaction from others’ success.”