So who are you anyway, and what do you do?

Lisa A Martin (Anne with an E)

5 foot 2

Pisces – likes long walks on the beach

Oh you mean my other profile?

Owner, founder and Managing Director of GoFi8ure – a bookkeeping practice in Wellington New Zealand and as described by my staff, what I do is; “work all the time spreading the good word about bookkeeping best practice and brand promises to NZ SME’s, and anyone who will listen!”

What was your last job before getting into this?

I worked as the financial controller for a multi disciplined design-company based in NZ and Australia with distribution in Asia and USA. I focused on financial administration, management accounting both domestic and international, project management and HR. I always get roles in organisations that are on the fast wave to massive growth and usually the existing staff and systems can’t keep up, so it has always been my job to get in and establish systems and processes, test and measure and then when it gets to routine maintenance, I usually get promoted, before I get bored.

And why did you decide to do what you do now?

Towards the end my last role was like a rollercoaster – an industry totally based on economic growth and the building industry was boom bust. In 2002 I went to my then boss and said “I have an idea for a business that means you don’t need to fund my 40 hours a week” He liked that idea – no responsibility but still didn’t lose my institutional knowledge, and so GoFi8ure was born – part-time financial controllers who go-to your business to implement financial processes and bookkeeping practices making a 24 hour a week job only 8 hours – clients loved it!

What is it about the 60/70/80/90s that you miss most?  (Choose one)

If I don’t just choose one then I could say I miss … My Youth… the most!

Or specifically? The 90s because that’s when I was on my big OE in the UK and I never got home sick once in 7 years – absolutely loved being in the northern hemisphere working in pubs, nursing the elderly, partying up – the social life, English pubs, the music, the Church, the Bier fest, being on the doorstep to Europe and travelling, and getting a job in the UK no one else could do so they sponsored my visa for like 3 years!

What is the biggest challenge facing SMEs today?

The ability to think big and/or sticking their head in the sand when it all goes tits up! I’m not sure why but way too many SME owners think they have to re-invent the wheel and do business badly because they think they can’t afford it. GRrrrrr you know the old saying “if you think it’s expensive to hire a professional wait to you hire an amateur!”

I wish people would recognise the warning signs earlier and act quicker – make a decision and stick with it!

Can cloud software solve that challenge?  And if so, how? And if not, what can?

Of course – it’s exciting for a start, people want to #cloud and there is a level of transparency that means the warning signs slap you in the chops a bit quicker. Also if something can be done in 5 minutes a day rather than 20 hours once a year then you should be 10 steps ahead not always behind. I think proactive is fun and sexy – reactive is just mental!

If you could retire now, what would you do? Or not do?

E-gads retire? What would I do? I am just getting the hang of this business owner thing now and I am finally beginning to enjoy it so nope I am just going to keep going until my candle burns too bright and then consider management consulting or a bookkeeping school for international students.

If you could give your younger self some advice, what would it be?

Kiss a few more frogs – one of them might have been prince charming – I mean come on there is picky and then there is being picky so yeah I wish I could tell myself that in 1995!

If you could buy anyone a drink in a bar and chat to them about anything, who would it be, what drink, and what would you talk about?

Hmmmmmmmmm still has to be Rod Drury and the eye spy question on a road trip! Or at a stretch I wouldn’t mind having a chat with Richard Branson over a nice glass of sauvignon blanc – checking in with his thoughts on the global enterprise question and of course does he have a recruitment criteria for trolley dolly’s because have you ever noticed there are no ole boilers on those flights….

If you could walk up to anyone, kick them in the shins and shout something at them, who would it be, and what would you shout?  Go on….get it off your chest!

I guess you would have to know the history for this to not sound wanky but my birth mother.

Sure I learnt a lot about what to do and what not to do, but man what a waste of talent – so gifted and so many opportunities but just couldn’t find the stamina to beat the demons!

If you could walk up to anyone and hug them, who would it be, and why?

Jon Bon Jovi – a hug equals a smile and I’d like to see one just for me when I gave him a squeeze! Oh and Batman of course I think he gets a bit over it you know; fighting demons in alternate dimensions so he would appreciate a hug!

What’s your favourite meat and gravy meal?

Roast pork and crackles – with lashing of roast taties!! In the UK my cousin and I would always catch up for a “roastie with the mostie”  – growing up we had them every Sunday night for the grandparents so it’s like home and history all wrapped up in a roastie bite!

What is your greatest achievement?

The Associate GoFi8urines – Gina, Jamie and Anastasia. I saw something in them and GoFi8ure has been an amazing environment for them to thrive professionally and personally – because they then teach the other GoFi8urines. Emulation is the highest form of respect and when I see it I get a little choked up so I’m taking a bit of credit. Business hasn’t always been easy for me – those guys make it worth it!

What do you want to achieve that you haven’t as yet?

Bookkeeping domination on a global scale – wouldn’t it be cool if Business Owners everywhere knew that GoFi8ure was a best practice firm putting fun and fitness back into figures and there was a waiting list to sign up with us? Oh and an award for best bookkeeping partner of the year (yes I said that out loud!)

What’s next for you?

Kissing a frog!

Lisa is Managing Director of GoFi8ure in New Zealand.


  1. Anne Stephenson

    And nary a word about your ability to drink copious volumes of sav blanc! Or your ability to scare the pants off people who are preventing you from doing what you’ve got your mind set on.


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