Case Study: Kate The Gardener

Kate The Gardener is an Auckland-based garden business (believe it or not!), owned by garden design superstar, Kate Rogers. Kate The Gardener Ltd was established in November 2016, when Kate saw a gap in the market with a service driven focus of helping people fall back in love with their gardens. Since then, Kate has been taking care of everything from maintenance to soft landscaping and consulting, along with her growing team of contractors.

Kate hit the ground running in her first year of business, winning the 2017 David Award for Most Outstanding Lifestyle Business . Like most start-up businesses she did her best to take care of all of her business admin herself, which she found manageable in the early days with a few clients.

However, as the business grew, and Kate began taking on more clients, she began struggling to keep on top of key tasks – bookkeeping being one of them. Kate soon admitted that bookkeeping was not her strength (or her passion) and knew, as it was fundamental to the success of her business, she was going to need help.

“In the early days, I tried to do it all myself using Xero.  I then began working with my Accountant, a big company who deal with my personal taxes.  They’re really good, but they just didn’t have the time to help me understand the smaller stuff.”

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Kate was soon on the hunt for a bookkeeper to work with who would be both acccessable and a good personality fit. Knowing she didn’t want to step out of the equation completely, she wanted to work with someone willing to take the time to talk through what was happening in her accounts.

As a member of The WE Network , an online networking group for New Zealand women in business, Kate kept seeing recommendations for Irene and Admin Army popping up in the forum and reached out to see if Admin Army could help.

“I had an initial chat with Irene, and she sent me an overview of the Admin Army bookkeeping service offering – we were able to get up and running almost straight away. After talking to her, I really felt ‘she got it‘ followed by an immediate sense of relief.”

When Kate began working with Admin Army in August 2017, her bookkeeping was frustrating her for three key reasons:

She didn’t fully understand what she was meant to be doing

She didn’t have time to keep on top of her bookkeeping

She didn’t feel she had the required visibility to know exactly how the business was tracking financially.

The Admin Army team took a methodical approach to getting on top of Kate’s bookkeeping giving her the tools she needed to make more effective business decisions.

Initially, this was a case of getting all Xero bank reconciliations up-to-date and ensuring that GST was being applied correctly to all transactions.

Now, Admin Army provides a weekly bookkeeping service to Kate The Gardener, encompassing bank reconciliation, accounts receivable, and filing GST and PAYE with Inland Revenue. More importantly, Kate is now able to have a week-by-week snapshot of how her business is tracking and make the right decisions to grow within her niche.

“I now have a level of visibility that I didn’t have before. At any point in time, I know how much is owing and when things are due. With access to up-to-date financial information, I now have confidence in my day to day business decisions.”

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Kate now has the space she needs to put her energy into growing her business, without worrying about her accounting.

“I would recommend anyone gets in touch with Admin Army to see how they can help. For the amount of time I would have spent sorting this myself and the cost I would have incurred, Admin Army is extremely affordable. Beyond that, the service Irene and her team offer feels more like an extension of my core team, than an outsource. Irene has become more like a key team member!”

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