Seventy years of membership was acknowledged at a special afternoon tea at Bruce Ott CA's Christchurch home in October.
Bruce received his 70-year Milestone Award surrounded by family, including sons David Ott CA, Richard Ott CA and grand-daughter Amanda Ott CA.
However, they represent only part of the family's connection with chartered accounting. Bruce's brother is Malcolm Ott FCA whose son Andrew is a CA; David Ott's son, George, is a CA based in Los Angeles.
Bruce and Malcolm's father William Alexander Ott was a founding member of the first New Zealand Society of Accountants' Board, established in 1908.
David says the family was not pushed into accounting. "We did what we wanted to do."
"Economics and accounting just took my interest. It's in my genes I guess."
"Chartered Accountancy has been a very worthwhile profession to have been a part of for 70 years."
Bruce started his career straight out of Southland Boys High School in 1944 in Invercargill at Malloch & Co where he mainly learned accounting and then Webb Stark & Co (learning mainly auditing).
All his studying was after work through Hemmingways Correspondence School and studying auditing at the local technical institute.
Bruce recollects that in summer, he and other firm staff had to leave their city office to help with the harvest on the firm owner's farm.
He qualified in April 1950 and the following year moved to Christchurch starting work at JWK Lawrence & Co which became Lawrence Godfrey & Co, which then became Lawrence Anderson Buddle with partners in Dunedin, Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland and associations with the US and Australia. This firm morphed into Price Waterhouse where Bruce became a consultant.
Bruce enjoyed the variety of his work – accounting, auditing, advising, installing new systems and the connections with other firms and individuals. He learned among many other things the importance of loyalty, honesty and integrity.
This lead to voluntary work in many areas and especially with Aged Concern for which he received a QSM.
Commenting on how accounting has altered over the years, Bruce says computers changed accounting by doing away with the drudgery of mental and manual work, giving more time to interact and advise clients in their businesses.