Osbornes Chartered Accountants is the longest running accounting firm in Otorohanga with a proud history of supporting families and businesses throughout New Zealand.
The humble beginnings all started when John Osborne returned from war service in 1946 and was contacted by a war buddy who had established a furniture factory in the northern King Country town. The friend wrote to John suggesting there was an opportunity to set up practice and that he should leave his secure job with a big accountancy firm and come give it a go.
John came to Otorohanga for a weekend, decided to resign his position in the Hawkes Bay, and commenced practice here on 1st October 1946. His first office was in the front window area of the furniture factory. He often interviewed clients by walking the street with them to escape the factory noise.
In the first three months the gross fees totalled £6.00, but in January 1947 he was able to write to a former colleague in Hastings to say he had sufficient forward work to make the practice profitable and that he needed an employee. Remarkably, at that stage there were no farmers among his clientele.
The practice expanded rapidly, and in October 1949 he was joined in partnership by Jock Archibald and in October 1952 by Eric Garnett. In 1954 Alan Doole joined Osborne Archibald and Garnett as chief clerk and was admitted to partnership in 1960, making a team of four partners and 16 fulltime staff. Jock Archibald withdrew from the practice in 1962 to move to Auckland.
Graeme Osborne joined Osborne, Garnett and Doole in 1975, coming from Wellington after successfully designing and developing one of the first computerised farm management accounting systems in the country that was marketed to accountants by his then employer, the Dairy Board.
On joining the practice, Graeme had the specific responsibility for computerising accounting records and services, which led to the office purchasing and installing one of the first computers in the region, filling a dedicated, purpose built room in the office.
Mike Greggains came to Otorohanga from Wellington in 1978 and became partner in 1979. Eric Garnett retired to Papamoa in 1988, while Alan Doole retired in 1997 and stayed living in Otorohanga.
Tim Jones, who came from Price Waterhouse Coopers in Napier to be office manager in 1992 was admitted to the partnership in October 1994.
John Osborne was a partner until his death in March 1995, his last diary entry being on 13 March, two weeks before he died.
With the retirement of the early partners and changes in the profession, the firm incorporated in October 2001, changing it's name from Osborne, Garnett & Doole to Osbornes Chartered Accountants Limited.
Born and bred in Otorohanga, Aaron Cornelissen joined the firm in 2008 and bought Mike Greggains' interest in 2009, becoming a director of the practice at that time. Tim and Aaron bought out Graeme Osborne in 2012, who retired and moved to Silverdale to be closer to his family.
From the 'window office' the practice grew to occupy three separate offices, one in Maniapoto Street and two in Tuhoro Street. In 1955 all the staff were brought under one roof in new premises built for the firm in Tuhoro Street.
For nearly 26 years a grocery/supermarket occupied the ground floor of the building, and in 1982 Osbornes reclaimed the building and the present set-up was established. A major office development was undertaken in 2011, extending the available area and to provide additional client facilities.
The practice has continued to grow over the decades, serving more people and providing an expanding range of services. With some families, the firm is now looking after the third generation.
Being an excellent employer has always been important to Osbornes, with many in the community having had some experience within the practice. Continual training and development is encouraged for all staff, providing for up to date skills and a superior customer experience.
Constantly changing technology has brought many changes throughout the years, most noticeably being the efficiency gains in workflow and ability to be more proactive with services provided.
Osbornes continues to be at the forefront of technological advances within the industry, offering 'cloud' services amongst the other latest software developments.