Be impactful for NZ businesses, our community and our planet

Melissa Peters has been with BDO ever since she was an intern, undertaking her Chartered Accountant (CA) qualification and progressing to her current role as Associate at BDO Taranaki. 

We spoke to Melissa about how BDO supports her to be impactful in her work. 

Tell us about your BDO journey. 

“I first started at BDO Taranaki as an intern in 2010, completing three summer internships before joining permanently as a graduate in 2014. Since then, I’ve completed my CA and developed a special interest in the Not-for-Profit and technology sectors.  

I love working with my clients; within the Not-for-Profit sector especially you can clearly see the impact these organisations have on the wider community. Often, I see that clients in this sector are not necessarily businesspeople by trade but come from different backgrounds and have joined their organisations due to being passionate about the cause. I thrive on being able to provide them with advice to ensure their impact is being felt for the right reasons. 

I’m always looking for new ways technology can be used to drive efficiencies, whether that’s for us internally at BDO Taranaki or for clients. This was heightened during the COVID lockdowns, when clients suddenly needed to work remotely and become more cloud-focused. It’s rewarding for me to see clients who may have previously been quite nervous of technology harness it to improve their business operations.” 

What does it mean to you to be impactful? 

“It’s about being present and mindful of our surroundings, including the clients we work with and what they’re trying to achieve. It’s important to be on the same page and address the real needs they have. To do this, we need to be client-focused and client-driven, with strong connections and a deep understanding of their requirements. We also need to think about the impact of our work and what we leave behind. For me, this means working with good businesses and organisations that have their community in mind.” 

How does BDO allow you to be impactful? 

“I’ve had a lot of training and development opportunities through BDO, including my CA, a Business Advisory Services training programme, and the Elevate leadership course. In 2022 I attended Xerocon, which allowed me to connect not just with clients but with software providers and the wider community.  

The BDO Taranaki office has a flat management structure and as such I work with all our partners. Doing so gives me exposure to different ways of thinking and working across different clients. This breadth of experience has helped me figure out what kind of adviser I am and how I can best serve our clients.  

As I’ve become more senior I’ve been able to determine my own work path, owning projects and client plans, and am continuing to build this path with the support of my clients. Their encouragement has enabled me to dive further into the technology space and find my niche here.” 

How does BDO’s approach to being impactful make you feel?

“It makes me feel excited to work for an organisation that is bigger than itself and wants to give back to the community. I know our Partners care about our team and our clients and I’m proud to do work that extends to different pockets of our community. 

At BDO I am my best when… “I’m challenged to find a better way forward.” 

Interested in a career at BDO? View our current opportunities here or read our other BDO colleague stories.