The average person doesn’t share their secret fears with their accountant – do they? Actually, it seems many do – and Michelle Oldfield wouldn’t have it any other way. “It’s when they start opening up about what’s really worrying them that you know you’re doing a good job,” she says.

A few social games of squash led Michelle (left, with Dame Susan Devoy) to be offered the role of president of the Devoy Squash & Fitness Centre.

Michelle is a far cry from the average accountant, and it’s her down-to-earth approachability that her clients value so highly. A newly appointed associate at Te Puke-based Bennetts Proactive, she’s known for jumping into things feet first. When you learn that her footwear ranges from pit boots to squash shoes to more elegant attire, the story gets even more interesting.

Part of the family-run Mayhem Drag Racing team, Michelle’s cool head and careful planning is integral to their success, although in typical fashion, she downplays her role, leaving the glory to brother, Glen Oldfield. Her approach to her role at Tauranga’s Devoy Squash & Fitness Centre is much the same. She works tirelessly behind the scenes towards the club’s success, initially supporting Dame Susan Devoy in her role as president, then more recently stepping into the top spot herself.

How does this translate to her work as an accountant, and more specifically, one people feel so comfortable with? Michelle attributes much of it to the culture at Bennetts Proactive. “I’m fortunate to be part of a great team of people who do things a bit differently,” she says. “It means I can go the extra mile for my clients, knowing I have the back-up I need.”

Michelle enjoys travelling to meet with her clients throughout the Bay because she believes people are more relaxed when they’re in their own environment. “Being in business can be lonely and for many people, the business is an extension of themselves. It’s often more personal than you realise, and our clients appreciate having someone to talk to who gets it. Doing their books gives us a window into the business, and we build on this to help them work towards whatever their vision might be.”  

8 Queen St, Te Puke