Date posted: 13/11/2020 3 min read

Episode 2: Annika Dickey on supporting clients with trusted advisory

Annika Dickey CA, Director at Whitelaw Weber Northland NZ, talks to Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand Regional Manager, Mike O’Leary, about how her team stepped up to support their clients with trusted business advisory during COVID.

In brief

  • Putting ‘everyday’ accounting on the back burner and change strategy during a crisis
  • Moving into the business advisory role to fulfill the real and present needs of clients
  • Trusting your staff to work hard and uphold your business’ core values in the ‘new normal’

Business was far from usual for Northland, New Zealand in March 2020. The region had been hit by a trifecta of crises - one of the worst droughts seen in over 70 years, the COVID pandemic, and then heavy flooding.

During lockdown, for one NZ firm it became clear that the way they were supporting clients needed to change for the sake of both the business and its clients. Annika Dickey CA, Director at Whitelaw Weber Northland New Zealand, made the decision to provide business advisory services to clients free of charge.

“We looked at what our clients really needed at the time. That wasn’t necessarily book keeping and assistance with numbers but advisors that would help them face the risks and uncertainty that COVID brought,” says Dickey.

“We basically spoke to every single client either just before lockdown or during lockdown because it was a pretty scary time and they appreciated us for our time and support.”

For Dickey, taking a new approach to advising clients solidified the purpose and mission of the business, and her team’s passion for the work they do.

The shift to working remotely and the firm’s ability to continue paying its staff allowed for a focus on strengthening client relationships and redefining their roles from functional to trusted advisors.

“I have learnt to trust my staff. They have the business' best interest at heart. When you invest in them and you look after them, the return you get far outweighs the cost in time and money investing in them. We were really proud of them.”
Annika Dickey CA, Director at Whitelaw Weber in Northland NZ

Find out how pivoting towards a business advisory offering helped Whitelaw Weber and its clientele make it to the other side.

Making to the other side Podcast Series

Listen to the podcast series via your favourite podcast app.

Listen now

Search related topics