A life-time of service – Charles A Smith

100 years of BDO Gisborne – Celebrating our stories behind the numbers. 

Mr Charles A Smith (FCA)

bdoBorn in Dunedin in 1891, Charles was educated at Otago Boys High School and started his working life in the offices of the Union Shipping Company.

During World War 1 he served overseas and was an Officer-In-Charge of the Home Guard in the Gisborne area during the outbreak of World War 2.  He joined the firm of McCulloch Butler and Spence in Napier in 1920 which serviced a number of key clients in the Gisborne and the East Coast area.

Due to the nature of work at the time and the increasing number of audits that needed to be performed in the region, there became a great need to establish a physical office presence in Gisborne.

In response to this, Charles became the founding member of the Gisborne branch of McCulloch Butler & Spence which opened their doors for business in February 1921 (located on the corner of Lowe and Childers Road). 

Charles’ service to the accounting profession saw him representing the Gisborne-East Coast on the Council of the NZ Society of Accountants from 1939 to 1949, was an elected president in 1948 and was recognised as a Life Member in 1963 – a wonderful tribute to a man who lived by the highest standards of care and integrity.

Outside of the office Charles was a very keen bowler and an active member of the Gisborne Rotary Club. He also held a life-long association with the Presbyterian Church as an elder and leader of bible classes.

Under his leadership, the office grew rapidly over the years in size and reputation, becoming the largest and most diverse accounting practice in Gisborne.  Right up until his retirement in 1962, Charles held the role of Head Partner of McCulloch Butler & Spence.


Read more about BDO Gisborne's history on their website: www.bdo.nz/gisborne/our-history