We Are Rural

Our team of chartered accountants specialise in delivering sound strategic and accounting services to rural businesses throughout New Zealand. What does success look like for you then? Not everyone has the same goals so we make it our goal to help you define and achieve that picture – whatever it may be.

Our directors are actively involved in owning and managing rural businesses. We practice what we preach. Get to know our directors here…

 

Christine Craig BBS, CA
Director
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My passion is to ensure clients have the correct structure for their businesses, and have their succession planning in place sooner rather than later. 

There are so many instances where early planning could make it possible for a family farm to be purchased by one of the younger generation. If it is left too late there is often no other alternative than for the farm be sold to enable parents to treat all their children fairly.

I have operated an accounting practice in both Dannevirke and Waipukurau for the past twenty years, and have had a lot of experience working with farmers, succession planning and small business in a rural setting.

I currently own a sheep and beef farm east of Dannevirke and have recently gone into an equity partnership with the farm manager and his wife which will enable them to take over the farm at some point. Our farm has been the over-all winner of the Business Awards in the Tararua region plus we were the first Monitor Farm for the region. I have been involved in the Monitor Farm programme for many years, including being a facilitator for a three-year period.

I am also heavily involved in the kiwifruit industry alongside my husband, Ian Craig, who is well-known in Opotiki as co-founder of OPAC and now Chairman of the Opotiki mussel farm as well as his success in the kiwifruit industry. 

Together we have interests in a dairy farm and the apple industry in Hawkes Bay all of which keeps us exceptionally busy. For this reason, I now work mainly in Whakatane but still have an active role in both Whakatane and Waipukurau, and am available for clients in both areas.

 

Shannon Harnett BBS, CA, PGDip AgriCom, CMInstD
Director
M: 027 207 6302
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Shannon is passionate about the New Zealand primary sector.

With extensive experience in the dairy, sheep & beef and horticulture sectors, Shannon has held a number of senior management and accounting roles including being 2IC at a NZ Agribusiness with global reach. As a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors, Shannon also holds directorship roles alongside being a partner and manager of Rural Accountants Limited Partnership.

Growing up on a sheep & beef farm in Southern Hawkes Bay, Shannon's farming background has continued to guide her career from the moment she left school. Her accounting career started straight out of school in a farm accountancy practice. She then gained her BBS majoring in Accounting and Management at Massey University, and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Agri Commerce. 

Shannon also has investments in agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture businesses where she is able to practice what she preaches and truly walks the talk.

Frans Els CA, MBA
Director
M: 021 0249 9798
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Frans excels in building close, long-term relationships with his clients, helping them to improve efficiencies and add value to their business operations.

Highly skilled in Xero, Frans moved from South Africa in 2017 to join our practice in August of that year.

Having worked in the accounting and tax environment for over 27 years, Frans opened and ran his own very successful private practice from 2002 until his move to New Zealand.

A qualified Chartered Accountant, Frans' most recent success was earning a Masters in Business Administration in 2012. He also holds a B.Com, B.Com (Hons), Post Grad Diploma in Auditing, Higher Diploma in Taxation and Diploma in Estate Tax through University of South Africa.

When he's not keeping the team organised and running smoothly at our Waipukurau office, Frans is playing dad to his three canine babies - absolutely adorable Dashaunds, Khloe, Kelvin & Kenzo.

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
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