Director Profile – Charles Craw

Newly-appointed Markhams Otago director Charles Craw has enjoyed a long association with the firm.  His father Gavin recently stepped into a consultancy role after serving 40 years as a Markhams director, and it was during school holidays that Charles first started working at the firm.

Charles Craw Markhams Otago

“I started working for Markhams when I was about seven or eight!  There was a big shredding machine I would have to feed paper into and I’d do other jobs like stamping envelopes, filing and even sorting floppy disks!” he laughs.

Charles has “officially” been at Markhams for 11 years and in April 2016, was appointed as a director joining the four other directors: Barry O’Donnell, Daniel Piebenga, David Russell and Denise Gow.

Charles tells of how he came to join his father at Markhams.  “After I qualified in accountancy and finance at Otago University, I had intended to move to Melbourne and work for a bank.  When I shared my plans with Gavin, he said there was a job opening in the firm and I should consider that.  I did just that and worked for five years until it was time for a change, so headed off and worked in London for two years.   When I returned to NZ I rejoined Markhams again – you could say Markhams has followed me around!”

Charles is involved with Markhams’ Business Advisory division, providing accounting and tax advice to a wide range of businesses.

“I get to deal with a variety of people and industries and I’m particularly interested in the complexities of numbers and financial situations.   I find that many people don’t have confidence in numbers and their relationship to money, so it’s great helping people to understand that relationship,”
he explains.

With Gavin stepping down into a consultancy role and Charles stepping up into a director position, Markhams is demonstrating succession planning within its own business.

“We discuss succession planning a lot with our clients and our firm is also putting it into practice.  I’m now working with many of Gavin’s clients. Some are businesses that he worked with but have since been sold and I’m working with the new owners.   It’s all part of the handover process.”

Charles is also one of a number of younger accountants who are stepping up and bringing new skills to the business.  “The big thing at the moment is technology and helping our clients utilise it in their businesses as well as in our own.  There’s so much technology available – and it’s not just the accounting software.  We must embrace it and use everything the digital world has to offer.”

Outside of work, Charles is interested in travel, music and is a keen follower of most sports, particularly cricket and rugby.  He has a target to visit 50 countries by the time he’s 50.  Last year he travelled to Vietnam and Cambodia, bringing his total to 36 countries.  At only 33 years of age, he’s well on track to achieve that target.

“It’s important to have a balance in your life – you can’t sustain working every day of your life – you’ve got to have time for your family and yourself.”

Charles and Katrina, his partner of six years, are expecting their first child in February 2017.

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