The golden rule for every business person is this: Put yourself in your customer's place. (Orison Swett Marden)
We provide the information on this page, not because we think we're the best accountants since sliced bread, but to help you get to know us. Every business is ultimately about relationships - and ours is no different. If we are possibly to become your accountants and / or business advisors, then it can only help if you know a little about us. Of course words on a web page are limited. For example, one of our clients tells me I can't be a "real" accountant - I've got a sense of humour. But that is an aspect that doesn't really show up on a web site.
We are Phil and Lynette Astley - a husband and wife team who provide accounting and business services to support business owners who want to grow their businesses - and to keep onside with IRD (even when you feel they lose too much in tax).
I am a Certified Public Accountant - a member of CPA Australia with a certificate of public practice. I'm also a member of RAN ONE - an international organisation helping accountants and others provide quality services to help their clients grow.
I was born in Wellington and raised in the Wairarapa, before returning to Wellington to study at Victoria University. We moved to Lower Hutt a couple of years after we got married.
I have worked in various organisations, mainly as an accountant. Business experiences combined with family and church experiences, led me to the view that bigger is not necessarily better - hence the move into public accounting dealing with businesses largely run by the owners. While small businesses face many challenges, there is not the same sense of battling institutions (apart from IRD, ACC, etc).
Hobbies: In earlier days, I enjoyed slot cars (if you remember them), and also "real" photography. I developed black and white film, and did my prints in a dark-room - otherwise known as the kitchen. I learned the hard way the importance of batteries after taking a lot of slides on a three week trip around the South Island, only to find on our return home the flattish batteries had been giving me erroneous meter readings - so all our slides were significantly underdone.
Home schooling: Our developing view of life lead to home schooling our children - a fascinating time which greatly affected our approach to life. It opened our eyes to all sorts of possibilities we might never have considered and we met some truly amazing people. One thing in particular that affected me was realising there's more than one way to look at things - and just because someone doesn't agree with me doesn't make them wrong. That was quite a revelation.
House church: This desire for continued growth and exploration of new areas also contributed to a move out of institutional church and a search for more substance in our lives. It's an exciting and challenging time, and brings into question much of accepted culture. We look forward to the future with anticipation - if less certainty.
Frustration: We didn't start out in practice with this as our goal. Rather frustration levels built up over years in business - including conventional practices. I saw businesses running the same way year after year, often earning their owners less than they could earn as an employee. I realised that this was a very common scenario - the not-for-profit business. Probably 90% or so of businesses could not pay the owners a reasonable rate of remuneration for the work they do as employees, directors' fees for managing the business, interest on capital employed, and still generate a profit.
Health: On another front, my health threw in a complication. I discovered that I have a hereditary condition that caused my kidneys to deteriorate to the point that after more than a year on dialysis (and a heart operation) I received a new kidney (courtesy of my magnificent wife / office manager). So now I'm focussed on making the most of my life and work.
Born and bred in Taranaki, I came to Wellington for tertiary training as a computer programmer. We moved to Lower Hutt a couple of years after we married. Then I became a stay-at-home mum, focused on helping our children grow into adulthood - including raising them at home rather than sending them off to school. This was initially a nervous decision - but eventually it became a natural part of our lives.
Hobbies: My hobbies include sewing and knitting and other "crafty" type things. I made a lot of the clothes our children wore, decorating t-shirts and sweatshirts with 'Tri-chem' paints before the variety available today was around. I also enjoyed a quilting course and have completed my first quilt.
I have been involved in singing since my childhood, singing with cousins or sisters, and school productions. Later, I was involved in church and other music groups and enjoyed singing with David Dell's Take Note Singers.
With the advent of digital cameras, I enjoy taking photos that you can see straight away, without worrying about the hassle of printing. Experimenting with close-ups of flowers etc is a favourite.
Over the years at home I have done programming for Phil in his different places of work. Now I work with Phil, looking after the paperwork in our businesses (especially tax), as well as looking after our own business, and working on our web sites. It's also been interesting working with our son on this - watching his abilities develop.