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A director at the Taranaki firm for the past decade, Carolyn spent a number of years heading the busy audit team, and is now focusing on her tax director role, providing clients from FMC reporting entities and large corporates, to small not-for-profits with audit, tax and compliance services and advice.
Hailing from the small Taranaki town of Inglewood, Carolyn had an unusual passion for accounting from a young age.
'I’ve always loved working with numbers, right from day dot. I also love to solve problems, so accounting’s a great vocation for allowing me to solve problems of all sizes and implement the solutions as well,' she says.
By her second year of high school, Carolyn was set on a career in the profession, joining the then-Staples Rodway Taranaki office as a student doing admin during the university holidays. Clearly the experience went well. Carolyn snapped up a role in the audit team as soon as she graduated from university, and with a small break for her OE in the UK, she’s been a part of the Taranaki team for more than 20 years.
Fortunately for an auditor, Carolyn has a passion for legislation, helping businesses and charities make sense of tax legislation, new accounting standards and many other areas of AML (Anti Money Laundering) compliance. Now chair of our audit company, Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Audit Limited, Carolyn has more responsibilities as an overseer, giving her more time to consult and support her clients on restructuring, cross-border tax, land transaction tax and taxation issues for new migrants and returning New Zealanders.
After hours, however, Carolyn can most often be found flying down a mountain bike trail with her family or bringing her skills to bear as treasurer of her children’s BMX racing club.
'We spend a lot of time in Rotorua, mountain biking over there, and I also enjoy getting out and walking. That outdoor lifestyle is part of living in Taranaki. I love it here.'
Things haven’t always been so relaxed, with Carolyn being appointed a director shortly after becoming a mum for the third time. She credits being 'a very determined person' and a love of structure back-up plans on back-up plans for her ability to manage the statutory deadlines that come with auditing alongside life with three kids under five.
'It’s really great that the firm’s leaders put such faith in me at the time although the need to manage your time never ends. Now the kids are older, it’s just a different stage of busy!'
With her appointment coming right on International Women’s Day, Carolyn reflects on the positive changes that have permeated accounting since she started out. While there have always been female directors in the Taranaki firm, the number is growing and the wider profession is following suit.
'But for me, everyone at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway has always made me feel supported, with no barriers in the way. I’m so lucky to have got a role with the variety I really enjoy, in a place where I learn something new every day. From the first time I walked in the door, I saw this was somewhere that if you worked hard, there were plenty of opportunities. And this appointment just proves that.'
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