“We may be cloud focused but we are very down to earth.”

Kirsten Hawke

Kirsten Hawke C.A.


Kirsten Hawke, Chartered Accountant and CPA is the founder and CEO of Astill Hawke & Associates Accounting and the driving force behind Business Buddy. Since first going into Practice in 2002, Kirsten had the vision to create an accounting practice that focuses on its clients. Her drive and enthusiasm has lead Business Buddy to become the number one provider of accounting in the cloud, an approach that’s revolutionizing the accounting world.

“We are here for our client’s like a buddy would be. The name sums up what we do, we care, we look out for you and we walk by your side. We’re your Business Buddy, we want you to succeed and we know that our proactive advice really makes a difference.”

Kirsten has a strong background in business management, her experience and expertise means she can readily understand businesses and provide guidance in human resources, business structuring and regular management reporting. Kirsten currently lives in the Farm Cove area with her  two  children and their multiple pets. Kirsten is a past President and Assistant Governor of the Manukau City Sunrise Rotary Club. She enjoys spending time with her family, entertaining family and friends, wine tasting, travel and hiking.

Jatin Patel

Jatin Patel C.A

Director, Chartered Accountant, Certified Public Accountant

Jatin strives to make New Zealand a better place to live, laugh and do business.

With more than 19 years of working with SMEs he has assisted a network of businesses from Christchurch to Kaitaia.

Being a qualified chartered accountant, Jatin uses his expertise to give business owners entrepreneurial guidance and strategies to reach their goals.

“If our clients grow – we grow.”

As a genuine people person, Jatin is approachable, genuine and full of good humour.

He stands by his clients, through the good times and the bad – recognising that sustainable business growth is a series of gradual ups and downs.

Jatin finds it extremely rewarding when he supports clients through challenges, such as a full IR audit and achieves outcomes that make all parties happy.

Early in his accounting career he dedicated his evenings to adult education classes, teaching small business owners how to use first generation accounting software in their businesses.

This was a valuable opportunity to really understand the issues affecting small businesses, and family-owned and operated enterprises.

Jatin made his home in East Auckland and his wife Kamini supports the BUSINESS buddy team, managing the Ellerslie office.

As well as advising business owners, Jatin is committed to helping his community.

He is a board member for Totara Hospice, Manurewa as well as a fundraising legend.

Jatin has completed more than eight endurance cycle rides for the Unicorn Foundation, Tearfund, Cancer Society and is the driving force behind Light for Life Charity fundraising dinner.

To-date, the event has raised more than $200,000 for organisations including, Cancer Society of New Zealand, Totara Hospice and Starship Foundation NZ.

Jatin has completed a governance course with Institute of Directors, which will present Jatin with new opportunities in corporate world as an independent director for various businesses.

Nirang Shah

Nirang Shah C.A, Master of Taxation Studies

Practice Manager, Chartered Accountant, Master of Taxation Studies

Nirang has developed extensive business expertise throughout an accounting career spanning more than 30 years.

He has worked with large companies, mid-tier accounting firms and most recently, focussed on SMEs.

Nirang enjoys supporting and advising clients to establish good business practices, right from the start.

He capably reviews and overviews systems to ensure they will meet business owners’ goals.

“I have a strong sense of responsibility for my clients and take their business very personally.”

When Nirang achieves a positive financial result for his clients and he sees their gratitude – he knows he has achieved his workday goal.

Completing a Master of Taxation Studies at The University of Auckland has steered Nirang to specialise in tax advocacy and consulting for SMEs.

It seems that Nirang was destined to be work in accountancy because he comes from a family of accountants, who work and studying around the globe.

When he isn’t busy helping entrepreneurs, Nirang enjoys family time at his Flat Bush home.

To keep fit he enjoys cycling and regularly enters the Unicorn Foundation Tour of New Zealand endurance cycle ride – supporting BUSINESS buddy director Jatin Patel and the important charity.

Amy Posthuma

Amy Posthuma

Junior Accountant

+64 9 985 9791

Being young and aspirational has established a great career pathway for BUSINESS buddy’s youngest accountant, Amy Posthuma.

Following her internship at BUSINESS buddy’s East Tamaki office, Amy was offered a full-time position as their junior accountant.

In 2016, Amy completed her bachelor degree in applied management at Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT). She recognised accounting is practical and applicable to wide-ranging elements of business, and opted to major in the discipline.
Amy enjoys management accounting as well as identifying how companies can grow by analysing costings.

She also enjoys the ease of using Xero as she has become more familiar with it.

When Amy isn’t busy helping businesses she enjoys reading, great movies and social sports.

Dee Whelan

Dee Whelan

Reception/Office Assistant

Dee joined the team at Business Buddy in July 2010, returning to the workforce after being a full time mum to her two boys. She previously worked in secretarial and Administration roles and enjoys getting to know our clients and understanding their needs. 

Dee lives in Botany and loves shopping and spending quality time with her husband and sons.

Jonathan Sturm

Jonathan Sturm C.A

Chartered Accountant - Business Buddy franchisee

A career that started out in a New Zealand bank call centre gave our Waiuku BUSINESS buddy an exceptional understanding of customer service.

Jonathan Sturm also learnt that when you are determined – anything is possible, and it wasn’t long before the self-starter leapt into his commerce degree at the University of Victoria in Wellington.

His banking vocation progressed beyond answering phone inquiries to providing business support, lending and finance.

The allure of travel took Jonathan to London where he found himself in the middle of the global financial crisis (GFC) working with a major European bank and analysing staff reduction strategies.

The excitement of London came to a sudden halt when Jonathan experienced a serious accident and returned to New Zealand, with some long-term rehabilitation ahead of him.

You can’t keep a good person down though and Jonathan briefly returned to his banking career while he completed some accounting papers.

Later, while working with a multinational manufacturer and a Kiwi IT telecommunications company, Jonathan completed his chartered accountancy qualification.

During those years he became a father and decided a long day commuting in Auckland traffic was not achieving the work-life balance he wanted with his young family.

He found a new management accounting role in Franklin, found the perfect property for his family in Waiuku and thought there had to be more to life.

“I was looking for a challenge and wanted to make a difference,” says Jonathan. “I even had a crack at studying to be a secondary school teacher.”

“When I saw an opportunity to run my own BUSINESS buddy franchise – I could see the potential to really help other business owners.

“I worked with a few local smaller companies and saw how helping them with their business – helped them with their lives.”

His strength comes from good understanding of business banking, as well as business and manufacturing systems.

Jonathan can identify ways to apply big business principles to growing businesses, helping them achieve their goals.

And, because he loves hanging out with his wife and three daughters – he’s often found in the garden or tackling his latest DIY project around the home.

Business Buddy - a great place to work

Business Buddy - a great place to work

Hear the inside scoop on what it's like to work at Business Buddy.