Historic Local Firm Passes the Mantel



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On 1st June, one of our long-standing historic businesses, Prideaux & Co, officially passed the mantel to relative new-comer to Whakatane, Rural Accountants Limited Partnership.

Marked with a celebratory event in recognition of the managing director’s retirement and successful sale of his business, over 120 guests attended from all over the region in honour of John Banbury’s career and time as owner of Prideaux & Co. The event, hosted by Rural Accountants, included an official passing of the mantel to the company’s new owners and directors.

“We were so impressed with how many people turned up and everyone was so enthusiastic and friendly,” exclaimed Rural Accountants’ partner, Christine Craig. “It was a great opportunity to get to know each other and to reflect on the history of this wonderful business.”

Aside from presentations by John Banbury’s partner, Jane Tyson, and Christine Craig, local solicitor and friend of John Banbury, Brian Carter also shared a few words on behalf of John as well as a client who knew some of the history of Frank Prideaux, who established the business back in the early 1900s.

A Time for Reflection

Jane Tyson, who joined the business in 2005, reflected on her time at Prideaux & Co, “John was very much the leader of the business, supported by a team of five.

“In 1990, the opportunity came for us to buy into Prideaux & Co in Whakatane which was exactly what John was looking for. Whakatane was always a good fit for us and especially for John who is very much into his hunting and fishing.”

John & Jane’s two children are now also working for Rural Accountants which has taken on the full Prideaux accounting team, now undertaking Xero and other business systems training.

“It’s certainly a challenge for everyone to learn so many new processes but both Christine & Shannon have been great in paving the way and making it as easy as possible for us,” explains Jane. “We all feel comfortable enough to ask whatever we need.”

Next Steps

The Prideaux & Co office will continue to operate from its current premises for the next few months. On 1st September the entire team will move to join Rural Accountants at the other end of The Strand. This ground floor office is access-friendly for people of all abilities plus there is ample parking at the front of the building.

Achieving Dreams

“We get a lot of comments that our accounts are actually very easy to understand and that they mean something - they are useful to our clients,” says Christine. “We go beyond just recording data from the past, we also want to look to the future to be able to see where improvements can be made to help our clients achieve their dreams.”

Christine, Shannon and their team operate on the premise that not everyone has the same dream. “We make it our goal to help our clients identify what they want to achieve and how to get there because not everyone wants business growth so it’s important that we get on the same page with our clients.”

Farmers Helping Farmers

Christine has been involved in running farms and married to a farmer most of her life.

“We have a good spread of knowledge and expertise, dealing with companies, limited partnerships, trusts and syndicates. We currently work with a lot of syndicates which have 10+ orchards so doing the accounts for these and keeping everything separate is one of our strengths.”

Passing the Mantel

Rural Accountants partners, Christine, Shannon and Frans, have an office in Waipukurau and decided to establish an office in Whakatane in November 2017 to support the growing client base in this region. On 1st April they took over Ritchie Accounting Services which, coincidentally, was previously a partner at Prideaux & Co so most of the team have worked with each other before.

Jane Tyson presented Christine Craig with an abacus plaque symbolising the passing of the mantel before cutting a replica abacus cake celebrating John Banbury’s retirement.


What Our Customers Think

Great local Accountants. They provide an excellent service with great explanations for the layman. They provide accounting services for non rural clients too.

Quinn Wilson, Restaurant Owner, The Wagon
What Our Customers Think

Rural Accountants is a real asset to our business.

The team at Rural Accountants pretty much manage all our administrative tasks for the group including payroll and tax planning, ensuring we don’t pay any more than necessary. They are at the forefront of technology and have helped us get up and running with Xero and Figured which is much more efficient than the way we used to work.

Sam Jones, Managing Director, Sybton Farm Ltd Partnership
What Our Customers Think

Christine is very knowledgeable, great to deal with and knows our business well. She is also a sheep & beef farmer so knows the industry really well and understands our needs.

Rural Accountants keeps us on track through strategic and forward planning meetings throughout the year. Christine knows our business inside out so she can deal with our questions instantly.

Mathew & Gemma Barham, Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the Year 2012
What Our Customers Think

What Our Customers Think

I used to work out my GST and process it manually which would take me at least a full day every two months. The team set up reconcilliation rules and other quick tools, and showed me how to do all my reconcilliations and process my GST returns through Xero which now takes me no time at all!

Mike O'Neill, Financial Services Northland Ltd
What Our Customers Think

As a farmer, Christine understands our business and how farmers and growers operate.

We use Rural Accountants to provide a full accounting service to an orcharding partnership which operates a number of orchards with a wide spread of varieties and management systems. Rural Accountants are always timely and accurate, and their annual financial accounts are extremely easy to understand and very grower-friendly.

Paul Jones, Orchardist