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Kylie Filbee-Cronin has been with the Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Taranaki team for all her working career – they are her “work family” and her clients are part of her life.
Time to read: 3 mins
She left school in Year 12 and came straight into the firm, bringing her strong mathematical skills and focus directly into the workplace. Since then she’s built a career focused on helping clients grow and expand their businesses, walking alongside them as they navigate changing legislation, compliance requirements, tax issues and life in general.
Kylie places significant value on the relationships she builds with her clients. “I strongly believe the only way to have a successful business relationship is to work with people you relate to, not only on a business level but also personally. That is the only way both sides can openly question the status-quo, and provide much needed feedback that otherwise would have gone unsaid.”
With a specialism in the rural sector, Kylie enjoys the direct conversations she has with her clients in this area. “They certainly appreciate a direct approach: there’s no beating around the bush with rural clients”, she says. She also looks after some larger groups of tradies and property investors, all who appreciate her no-fuss and sensible approach.
And while she’s been walking alongside her clients on their journeys, Kylie has also been demonstrating what it looks like to be a working mum. Her older son is now 2 and she’s expecting son #2 at Christmas. While it’s a juggle, Kylie is proud of her ability to manage her family commitments alongside work and her commitment to her clients. “I’m very proud to have been promoted to Associate while expecting another child, as it’s wonderful to show our younger team that having career goals while starting a family is a possibility. I’m also extremely grateful that the partner group were able to see that even though I need to take some time to be with my family, I am still incredibly devoted to staying in touch with my clients and ensuring their needs will be met through that time. Our clients’ businesses don’t stop for them to have a break, so this is just another connection point for our ongoing working relationships.”Work has changed significantly in the 16 years she’s been with the Firm. It’s no longer “just” the tax return or a set of accounts, the increased requirements particularly for farming clients have meant a much wider focus around business planning, budgeting and forecasting in order to get bank support. And as concerns around the impact of climate change increase, clients are also needing guidance with sustainable business planning, implementing the government’s reforms and navigating increasing regulation of the sector.
When she had her first son two years ago, Kylie was chuffed to receive flowers from a few key clients, in fact some were the first to get in touch while she was on maternity leave. “To me that shows the depth of the relationship we have, how close we are in terms of my knowing them and their business, and them understanding my family commitments as well”.
What would Kylie say to a young person, also great at maths, wondering what to do for their career path? “I would say a career in accounting will give you so many opportunities. Sure you’ll need to do a few years crunching the numbers but then this world will open up for you. You’ll meet and work with clients who will be life-long friends and whose work will make you super passionate to be involved with their business. The opportunities you’ll get are more to do with relationship building than accounting: it’s a real advisory career pathway.”
We’re delighted that Kylie has been appointed to role of Associate in the Taranaki Firm and we know her clients will be as well. A trusted, grounded, down to earth advisor.