Jo on a winning streak

Jo Mankelow wins for the fourth year in a row. Photo supplied

For the fourth consecutive year, Jo Mankelow and her team have picked up industry accolades at the NZ Bookkeepers annual awards.

This year, Mankelow Accounts won Bookkeeping Business of the Year. The business now has six industry awards that attest to the company’s professionalism.

“We just work hard and care about our clients,” says Mankelow.

“I do what I love to do – working for the client, not anyone else.”

The Highland Park entrepreneur describes the company as being software agnostic, that is, they use the latest software that best suits their clients’ needs.

The bookkeeping team has grown significantly and has progressed from a home-based business to two moves in commercial offices to accommodate more staff.

Most of their work is with small to medium enterprises throughout the Howick and Pakuranga regions.

“Issues affecting these businesses include keeping up the paperwork and it makes sense for them to hire what they don’t do.

“If a builder or a website designer charges out at a higher rate than a bookkeeper charges, then why would they do their own books when they could be generating revenue?”

Mankelow started her business because she wanted to see other local businesses succeed but with her success, the growing bookkeeping workload meant most of her days were spent doing the doing.

She decided to step away from her bookkeeping foundations and focus on coaching local business to achieve their goals.

“The local construction industry is going nuts and building businesses have started everywhere, but few of them have the support they need to run a business.”

She offers businesses a WoF, much like a car warrant of fitness.

She reviews what is broken, identifying the business owner’s personal goals and what must be done to achieve them.

From personal experience, Mankelow has learnt that working 60 hours a week tied her down and she spent too much time looking after everyone else, which affected her family life.

She always wanted financial stability and a better life for her family, so she took the plunge and sold 60 per cent of Mankelow accounts and brought in a general manager.

It took Mankelow six months to step away from the hands-on work, which has given her the freedom to work on the business.

Mankelow sees this growing pain period is when smaller businesses either flourish or fail.

It’s not all about money for Mankelow and she balances paid work with volunteer hours.

She is a member of Business Mentors New Zealand and assists small business owners in need of some direction.

“Many entrepreneurs have plenty of confidence, but they lack direction.

“They start out thinking they love doing something and it’s their new career, but they miss out all of the planning at the beginning.