Richard Williams - Director, Waikato

If you can’t find Richard in the office you will most likely need to widen your search. He’s probably out visiting a client to check out their latest piece of kit, getting an update on how the year is going or chewing the fat about current market conditions. 

Time to read: 3 mins

And if he’s not there then you might find him on one of his regular Uber-Dad trips to the pool with his swimming offspring, out for a run, in the gym or maybe poolside clearing emails in between watching his kids race.

A Director in our Waikato Firm for over 15 years, Richard has built long term relationships with clients, gaining a deep understanding of what clients want to achieve and how they plan to get there. “I don’t see myself, or our firm as “just the accountant””, says Richard. “I see our role as a business sounding board, almost like a counsellor. Clients speak to me knowing they will get good, well reasoned advice, and the opportunity to be connected to the right people who can help their business to grow and thrive”.

Global connectivity is one of the key strengths Richard sees with Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Waikato. He leads International Services and Taxation for the firm and has personal connections with many of our network firms, in particular throughout the Asia Pacific region. This means when a client is looking to work overseas, or knows someone wanting to work here, Richard has all the resources and people at his finger tips to make it happen. “I’m really proud of the international work our Waikato office receives,” he says. “We have great connections with people who trust us with their important clients. That’s what really demonstrates our capability and strength. And in turn, I feel confident that our international contacts will look after our valued clients when they turn to move their business offshore”.

Richard also enjoys working with clients who lead their sectors – partnering excellence with excellence. He has award winning clients who lead the pack in construction, housing and tourism sectors, as well as agriculture, agri-services, landscape supplies and commercial fit-out. By working with these top operators, he gains knowledge and exposure to best practice which translates into support for other clients in business. “The most exciting part is when you see where you can help, that slighty cheesy line of “adding value”. There will invariably be a time in a meeting, usually late in the piece, when a client shares their deepest concern or a problem they just don’t know how to solve. It’s such a great moment when you can 100% see the solution, knowing you have the opportunity to provide purposeful, meaningful and relevant advice.”

And what guidance does Richard have for young people looking at a future in commerce? “Don’t take a fixed position in an ever-changing world. Sure you might need to do those first three to four years of hard graft to get your accounting skills up and running, but after that the opportunities are endless. Once you’ve got those building blocks in place, your career can go down all sorts of pathways. And if you join a firm like ours, you’ll be working with clients from day one (or maybe two) so you get to see the real world impact of your efforts and how your skills can help that business to build its road map. Keep an open mind on how you might develop your career, it won’t be linear in the same way of the generations before you. Be accepting and embracing of change. And come talk to us: we’d love to hear from you.”

And a final word on leadership. In Richard’s mind, leadership is not telling people what to do, it’s about giving them options and seeing what they can do. Our value to our clients is in the collective knowledge of people. Being adaptive is crucial – we’ve never seen that more than in the last two years. Adapting to, and adopting change as part of business is core. Just like Richard seeing his hours idle pool-side as an opportunity to work, or taking the moment to celebrate client milestones, always make sure to grab life’s changes as a chance to grow.


There will invariably be a time in a meeting, usually late in the piece, when a client shares their deepest concern or a problem they just don’t know how to solve. It’s such a great moment when you can 100% see the solution, knowing you have the opportunity to provide purposeful, meaningful and relevant advice.

Leadership is not telling people what to do, it’s about giving them options and seeing what they can do. Our value to our clients is in the collective knowledge of people.


We have great connections with people who trust us with their important clients. That’s what really demonstrates our capability and strength.
Clients speak to me knowing they will get good, well reasoned advice, and the opportunity to be connected to the right people who can help their business to grow and thrive.