18 Nov 2014
“Waiariki gave me the ability to start my studies locally and build my confidence without having to change my whole life. I didn't have to move from Whakatane. I didn't have to leave my job. I had the best of both worlds.”
For many Jason Paul Lougher still does. A former student of Waiariki’s Diploma in Business, Jason has enjoyed an incredible career. One which has seen him work at prestigious accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and recently return to Whakatane, co-founding Legacy Accountants Limited.
While he has a photo from the Legacy opening day to remind him of the milestone, his future once seemed much bleaker.
“I worked so hard through my baker’s apprenticeship that just as I finished, I broke my wrist. I was left unable to work. I’d left school early and had no other qualification. I was quite concerned about my future and decided I had to take control and upskill.”
Dared by his mentor John Fisher, Jason enrolled at Waiariki in 2002. “I remember my first class like it was yesterday” he recalls. “Alison Marton was the teacher. It was Accounting Principles. I was quite nervous and I loved it.”
Studying part-time, while working at Johns Fishers Chartered Accountants, Jason rose to the level of intermediate accountant at the company.
Cross-crediting some of his papers, he was able to keep his full-time work / part-time study ratio going when he began his BBS (Accounting) and BBS Hons (First Class Hons) (Taxation) at Auckland University, after obtaining a tax consultant position in the city, at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
A vacancy he bet out over one thousand other applicants for.
Returning to Whakatane in 2010, it wasn't long after Jason gained his ‘Chartered Accountant’ status that Legacy Accountants Limited opened its doors.
Tired of an industry he defined by ‘the same type of people over-promising the same types of things’, Jason says Legacy’s focus on relationship building and the directors availability buck that trend.
“Accounting isn't about boring people in suits. Accounting is about giving local business owners the confidence and systems to do what they do best.” Jason states, providing advice for future business students.
“The accounting profession doesn't need nerds who want to sit in front of a screen and find it hard to talk to clients - we need people who like working with people, are outgoing, and have life experiences they can share.”
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Page last updated: 02 May 2017