Gerard Bonnet - bringing it back home

When the opportunity came to take up an exciting new role as a senior accountant at Moore Markhams Wanganui in 2019, Gerard Bonnet jumped at it.

It meant moving from Dunedin back to his hometown. "It was always part of my long-term plan to return to Whanganui, and I'm really enjoying it," he says.

After graduating from Otago University, where he studied accounting and finance, Gerard worked for Deloitte for four years. While there he completed his chartered accountant studies and gained valuable work experience. "Being exposed to a wide range of accounting work was invaluable," he says.

Since joining Moore Markhams, Gerard has been given the opportunity to develop his career further as well as being more involved with clients on a day-to-day basis. 

He enjoys the diversity of work at Moore Markhams. "No two days are the same, many people refer to accountants as 'bean counters,' but there is much more to our job than just numbers.

“Much of our work is relationship-based, involves connecting with our clients to achieve business outcomes and add value to what they already do. We have a wide range of clients too – ranging from individuals to trusts, those involved in the primary industry all the way to small and medium enterprises.”

Thanks to modern technology, the days of 'shoebox clients', bringing in bits of paper and accounts in a muddle, are disappearing. "There has been a large shift to cloud-based platforms such as Xero, where all the information is live and at your fingertips - this speeds up the accounting process and is more efficient. It allows technology to do the grunt work and we add value in other ways.

"It is then up to business advisors such as me to dig down and ask the hard questions such as Does this make sense? Why this result? Where can we add value? Where do we go from here? It all leads to better business decisions; it's better to discuss potential problems at the front end than try and work your way backwards out of something. At Moore Markhams, we endeavour to mitigate and foresee these things as much as possible.”

Helping clients reach better outcomes is mostly the result of having direct conversations with them, says Gerard. As well, Moore Markhams offer mini seminars for targeted groups of clients. "The take-home message is we are not here just for the accounts. We can provide any service required for their business and, depending on how hands-on people want to be, we tailor our services as required."

Gerard is finding plenty to like about the river city, as Whanganui is often known, and says it is promising to see the progress that's taken place recently. "Whanganui has gone through a big growth spurt and has become a vibrant city with lots happening."

In his spare time, Gerard likes to get out and sample the best of the region’s lifestyle. He lists spending time at the gym, being at the river or beach as favourite activities. "Over summer there is heaps to do. I try to be outdoors as much as possible; either catching up with friends and family or I do a bit of hunting and shooting as well - either out to the gun range on weekends or up the river on a hunting trip.

“It's close to other centres too; with the Super Rugby competition starting, we are only a two-hour drive away to Wellington to watch, if you want to go skiing, the ski fields are nearby. It's a very central location."

Photo caption: Gerard Bonnet, enjoying being back home and the diversity his new role gives him.