Accounting For Schools Team

Ben Duflou

Director – CPP, CA, BCA (Hons)

Ben is a qualified Chartered Accountant, having been registered with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants since 1999.

Ben has been working directly with schools and childcare centres since 2008. He has developed a strong base of knowledge that ensures schools can operate at their best, while meeting Ministry of Education financial reporting requirements.

Ben has provided public practice services for nearly 20 years. His experience includes management and financial accounting, and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) compliance projects for large global organisations such as ANZ Bank, and Electricity de France.

In his spare time you’ll find Ben with his wife and four daughters or out on the golf course. He’s also a keen rugby supporter.

Allison Henderson

Business Services Manager – CA, BCA

Allison is a qualified Chartered Accountant, having registered with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2001.

Allison is highly-skilled in preparing financial information for schools. She has a deep understanding of the specific requirements for school accounting, and is committed to providing an exceptional level of personal service.

Allison has worked with clients in a wide range of industries, including: restaurants and cafes, rental properties, real estate, investment banking, consulting agencies, and not-forprofit organisations.

Outside the office you’ll find Allison with husband Brendon, and children Ashleigh and Lucas. She also enjoys running and watching her children play sport.

Sarah Toner

Business Services Manager

Sarah has worked as an accountant for more than 15 years. She brings valuable practical experience to each of the businesses and schools she supports. Sarah specialises in translating complex accounting jargon into plain English within the advisory area, and providing general Xero assistance.

Sarah has high-level experience in management accounting and project work. She has worked for large and diverse organisations, including Meat & Wool New Zealand Limited, and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation. She’s also been involved in a broad range of industries, including: motel management, restaurants and cafes, unions, rental properties, bakeries, butchers, printing and manufacturing, and consulting agencies.

When she’s not at work, Sarah enjoys spending time with her two kids, snowboarding, travelling and entertaining friends. She is also an avid All Blacks fan.

Jocelyn Simpson

Business Services Accountant – BBS, GDBS

Jocelyn has 20 years of public practice experience. Jocelyn has extensive experience within the non-for-profit sector, particularly early childcare, prior to joining the Accounting for Schools team.

Jocelyn has accountancy experience in a wide range of industries from automotive, farming and Maori Trusts to medical and veterinary clients. She has also spent time auditing, enjoys accounting for investment portfolios and has a passion for not-for-profit organisations after many years doing voluntary work.

Jocelyn has two daughters and during her spare time enjoys socialising with family and friends, watching sport and researching her family history.

Toni Russell

Business Services Accountant – BCA

Toni joined the Accounting for Schools team in July 2015 after completing her degree in at Victoria University of Wellington. Toni is currently undertaking her professional studies to become a Chartered Accountant.

Toni looks after a number of schools, having developed a significant level of knowledge around the financial challenges that schools face. Toni also gets involved with Xero implementations for the schools, which means she has an extensive knowledge of Xero.

Outside of work Toni enjoys exercising and spending time with friends and family.

Gracie Miles

Business Services Accountant – BCA

Gracie gained two years of tax and management accounting experience looking after small to medium businesses, before joining the Accounting for Schools team in April 2015.

In July and August of 2016, Gracie embarked on an international internship in management accounting in Medellin, Colombia, through an independent organisation. This gave her a broader understanding of international business, and new insights that she would bring back with her.

Outside of work, Gracie likes to socialise with friends, exercise, and spend time with her partner and family.

Matt Percy

Business Services Accountant – BBs, BA

Matt graduated with his Bachelor in Business Studies in Accounting in 2015, and is now working towards his Chartered Accountant qualification.

When Matt joined the team in 2016, Matt brought with him over a year’s worth of experience in financial statement auditing at a big four firm. Matt has a passion for looking after the community by assisting schools throughout the country.

Outside of work hours Matt plays field hockey and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Adam Forrest

Business Services Accountant

Adam joined the Accounting for Schools team in December 2015. Adam is currently in his final year of completing his degree in Commerce, majoring in Accounting and Finance, at Victoria University of Wellington.

Adam has developed a wealth of knowledge around schools, with his dad currently serving as Plimmerton School Principal.

After completing his degree, Adam plans to become a Chartered Accountant and work overseas.

When he’s not working or studying, Adam spends time with friends and family, and is a keen sports fan – following the Hurricanes and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Kirsten Bell

Office Administrator – BComm

Kirsten joined the team in April 2017, upon her return from the UK.

Kirsten has a background in investment fund processing and administration at various financial services companies, in both Wellington and the UK. Kirsten can be relied on to provide accurate and consistent support for both clients and the Accounting for Schools team.

Kirsten likes to spend her free time walking, playing golf, and attending social events in the city. She also enjoys cooking, and drinking good quality coffee – which of course Wellington has in abundance!

Leo Duflou

IT & Compliance Officer

Leo is an experienced IT professional with 20 years’ experience. Leo provides administration support around Accounting for Schools’ Cloud-based solutions.

Outside of the office, Leo enjoys flying model aeroplanes and maintaining the numerous weather stations he has setup around the Wellington region.

Our Story

Accounting for Schools (AFS) was started in 2009, after Director Ben Duflou met with school staff and trustees who were looking for a better accounting and more cost-effective solution. After listening to what schools really wanted, we realised that traditional service providers were not delivering it.

The majority of schools identified that they had limited interaction with the school’s service provider when setting operational budgets, 5YA plans, and 10-year building maintenance plans. We also found that schools using external providers had limited control of invoice payment processes, and were struggling to understand aspects of the financial reporting process.

AFS was specifically set up to address these issues, and more. We began providing schools with accounting services, and understandable financial information, at lower prices, utilising Xero. We pride ourselves on the knowledge and strong relationships we’ve built in the education sector, and our ability to deal with complex issues facing New Zealand schools.

Our schools really appreciate the services we offer – particularly principals, executive officers, trustees, and other support staff. The overwhelming response we receive is that they have much stronger financial understanding and clarity, and our involvement often has a calming influence. Our explanations are always in plain English, we’re always available, and are usually able to resolve queries very quickly.

Success to us is when a school has better insight and control of their finances, and are able to deliver the best for their students.

“I have four young girls of my own, and I’ve enjoyed a close affiliation with their school having been the Home and School Treasurer for four years. I’ve come to understand the trials, difficulties, and challenges that schools face, and the lack of funds they have to provide the resources they want for their students. That’s where we can really help – stretching that dollar a little bit further, so Kiwi kids can get the best education possible.”

– Ben Duflou – Director, Accounting for Schools

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