First Class Accounts – more than just numbers

Meeting Abhi Jagwani was a true delight. A sparkle in her eyes and a lovely, caring persona is not what first comes to mind when you think of a Chartered Accountant. I was fascinated to hear about her business, her life and her plans to expand.

How did you come to be in business?

I did my BCom in India and seventeen years ago I got married and came to live in NZ. My first job was with Westpac. While I was there, I worked hard and finished my finished my CA (Chartered Accountancy). I was with Westpac for nine years. I always wanted to run my own business, but I got married first and had kids. Having a full-time job offered security. Back then, the thought of leaving that security was nerve wracking. But then I thought let’s just try it and if worse comes to worse, I can go back and do a job again.

Kids were to be honest one of the driving factors for me. I was an accountant and an auditor as well and when you are an auditor you have to travel alot. We had no family in NZ and at times childcare was difficult to juggle. My husband was also working long hours too. We had to arrange a nanny or someone to look after the kids. So now I can plan my work and be there for my kids. I’m glad I made that decision because we can see the difference in family dynamics. Perfect business and a perfect life!

Have you owned businesses before?

We have owned two businesses in the past. Two completely different businesses. One was a French café and the other was a vege shop in Three Kings. We sold the vege shop and bought a café in Kingsland thinking that a café would be an easy operation and it wasn’t (laughs).

I was always in regular work and my husband was in business – we have always played it safe. One person had a regular job. This time I thought, let me get into business. And now of course, I wished I done it earlier.

What are you plans for the future?

To expand. To acquire more clients.  I’m very customer centric – it’s what I’ve always been. I’m a people person. I don’t want people to be just numbers. I want to make sure that I help all of my clients and I work with them as a business partner. Covid has reinforced the fact that my mission is not just about doing the accounts. It’s about working with businesses to help maximise their returns.

What sort of clients do you work with?

I have wide variety of clients which include Rental owners, Business, Sole trader, Incorporated Societies, Social Club and Charities. I am also an Anti-Money Laundering (AML/CFT) Auditor.

I’ve got clients in Whangarei, Wellington Christchurch US, UK, Australia. Basically everywhere. A lot of them have investment properties in New Zealand that I help them with.  Now everything is online it makes it easy.

I love being based in Mt Eden. I live here and I work here. A lot of people told us to go towards Penrose or a more commercial area, but I wanted to stay local. You do a good job – clients will come from anywhere. You don’t necessarily have to be in a commercial area and time has proven this. Wherever you are you do a good job and people will follow you.

Abhi Jagwani is the director of A First Class Accounts and you can connect with her here: https://fcaaucklandcentral.co.nz:8443/wordpress/.