Customer Showcase: Connecting the leading edge of tech with Annie Conza
Annie Conza has always been an early adopter. For her business, Add iT Accountants, that means leading with the latest technology
These days, working from home is the norm. Pre-pandemic, digital nomads were already spreading across the world, barefoot and wifi-seeking. Now, after a few lockdowns, working from home has become a reality for the majority of office workers.
Annie Conza, however, has been living the remote working life since before it was even a thing. That was back in 1993 when she was on maternity leave from the law firm she worked at. She was using a dial-up modem.
Annie has pretty much worked remotely since then, and thankfully connections have gotten faster. In 2012, she started her own accounting firm, Add iT Accounting, and today her four staff are based across Auckland and the Philippines. Annie works from Tomarata, near Mangawhai in Northland.
“I’ve always been an early adopter of technology, and it has constantly paid off for me. I got the tech bug in 1981, when I left school at 15. I love testing software, I love a workaround. So I’ve come from a technology-in-accounting background, rather than strictly accounting.
Annie is also New Zealand’s first-ever Xero consultant. This, she says, has helped her to shape her practice and her own business into the blend of technology and accounting that it is today.
“I started using Xero for my consulting business in 2007, and it was a really interesting space to work in. When Xero was young, I would be having conversations with the developers about what their ideas were compared with what the realities were, and we could get changes to the code done overnight. That’s the really fun stuff. So that’s what’s allowed us to be online and not be tied to a particular place or have to travel to see clients.”
Paving a path of agility for their customers
The remote, paperless revolution that Xero brought to accounting practice is something that Annie and her team love to share with their clients. It’s part of their expertise in solutions; systemising and helping people’s businesses become portable so that Add iT can do more to help them in the long run.
According to Annie, their clients also tend to be people who are tech-driven or are interested and open to the changes they recommend.
“I think we’ve helped nudge our clients along to be more remote, more flexible. We’re a little bit unconventional in that we do a large amount for a small number of clients, whereas most accounting practices do a small amount for a large number of clients. So we’re more like their finance department.
I just wanted to feel like I had job satisfaction, and my team, too. In a conventional accounting firm you don’t really get involved in the business and you’re on really tight time restraints. Those are all the things I didn’t want this firm to be.”
Annie knew from early on that tech was the way to make this happen. She’s used to the unconventional approach, too, teaching herself to become both an accountant and an iT expert over the years.
“I wouldn’t be an accountant if it wasn’t for the technology. Unless you really utilise it and the opportunities it brings, this can be a really unrewarding profession.”
Add iT also utilised the opportunity to start offshoring to the Philippines six years ago, becoming one of the first accountants in New Zealand to do this. So yes, Annie is used to being at the experimental end of change.
Add iT has been with Wireless Nation since the very beginning
It’s been a wonderfully mutual relationship, too – Add iT does the accounting for us here at Wireless Nation. At her base in Tomarata, Annie has two Wireless Nation internet connections, and for her, they are the missing piece of the puzzle which enables her vision.
“Without businesses like Wireless Nation and Xero, all this wouldn’t be possible. The two are very similar – both aiming to be the best service and the best at what they do.”
Annie loves working from home amongst the hills of Northland. It gives her more time to enjoy her surroundings (which include peacocks, a pink caravan called Dixie and a miniature home made Leprechaun Land), and spend time with her partner, who works part-time on the property alongside his own business.
“To feel like you’re working on the best systems in the world from a little office in Tomarata and be able to really service the clients well is pretty amazing. Having clients like Wireless Nation who are also extremely innovative just opens up so much more than you would ever think was possible. It’s pretty cool, but it’s bloody hard work.”
Get connected and stay agile with Wireless Nation.
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