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Manawatu Accountants Win Top Award


Chartered Accountants of the Year Awards – Central Region

Manawatu Accountants Win Top Award

Manawatu came out on top in the Chartered Accountant of the Year competition for the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants' Central Region. The central region includes Manawatu, Rangitikei, Hawke's Bay, and the Greater Wellingon regional council area.

Judges couldn't choose between the two Manawatu candidates, because they so exemplified the characteristics sought – valued contribution to business and the community, and work-life balance. Lee Waller and Zoe Chrystall, both of Palmerston North, beat out the competition from other parts of the Institute's central region to jointly win the Accounting Technician of the Year award.

Lee Waller works for Palmerston North-based Truck Investments Ltd, providing management accounting support for two of the businesses within the group. He provides monthly reporting, financial and procedural advice and also manages staff responsible for accounts payable and receivable. Lee has been responsible for the review of internal processes and procedures to enhance management goals, leading to increased sales and reduced costs. Des Wilson, CFO of Truck Investments Ltd, says "Lee is a highly respected member of the accounting team."

Lee is married with one son. He is an old boy of Palmerston North Boys High School. After 16 years playing senior rugby (including representing Manawatu, NZ Marists and Classic All Blacks), he now coaches junior rugby. He also plays golf, and is involved in multi-sports, having recently completed the Akitia Challenge, the Lake Taupo Cycle Race and the Tour de Manawatu.

Zoe Chrystall works for MASH Trust, a not-for-profit organisation that provides community and residential services to people that experience disabilities. Since joining MASH two and half years ago, Zoe has completely overhauled the accounting information system and reporting processes, providing Board and management with information to allow them to balance the needs of the people receiving the services and the need to make sound business decisions to ensure the continued viability of the organisation.

Zoe is a parent raising a six-year-old son, and the energy she displays in the workplace is also evident in her support for his sporting endeavours. She is a keen indoor netballer, a regular gym attendee, and one of drivers behind social activities at MASH.

Commenting on the high calibre of this year's nominees, judges said they were each worthy of their nomination for the awards. "It is great to see the diversity of industries, cultures, and roles represented this year," said Andrew Johnston. "All of the nominees demonstrated professionalism and a high skill level. In many cases this benefited not only their employers but also the wider community as a whole."


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