- Auckland’s WE Accounting is owned by married couple Eli and Wyndi Tagi, who have five sons.
- The firm’s draws on their diverse skill sets, include accounting, sales, marketing and business development.
- Separating their professional and personal relationships has been key to the success of the firm.
By Alexandra Johnson.
Where did the two of you meet and how did you come to work together?
Wyndi: Eli heard about me from someone we both knew, we got to know each other and realised we had so many similarities. We’ve been married now for seven years. Before starting WE Accounting, Eli had been working in auditing for over six years. I have a finance background, having worked in banking prior to WE.
Eli: We started WE with just me in the office, until Wyndi started to help out while on maternity leave. But it soon became apparent that the business needed Wyndi's skill set. It's not common to see a husband and wife working on something they both believe in, and creating change for good in the world together. We get to see that every day.
How do you separate your personal relationship from your working relationship in the office?
Wyndi: We have learned not to carry over any anger or frustration from one situation to another. We know that any disagreement is simply either miscommunication or differing points of view, so we take the time to sit down and talk it through.
Eli: Separating the two, as much as possible, creates a better balance. We try to talk business in the office and personal stuff at home... but it's not always doable. Any big decision-making is not done in the bedroom.
What different personal strengths do you bring to the business to make it work?
Wyndi: Eli brings the accounting knowledge to the table, he's like WE's CFO. But we both have backgrounds in sales, marketing and business development, which is why we are not your typical accounting firm.
Eli: Wyndi has been integral in the growth of WE, coming up with ‘outside of the box’ strategies, building our brand and focusing on people.
What do you like about working together?
Wyndi: WE Accounting grew into a company that was built on both of our values, passions and vision. We love what we are doing, the change we are making with our team and our clients. We have five sons, so sometimes being in the office is the only time we get alone.
Eli: We love working together. We even share the same office. Anytime that we can get together, we snap it up with both hands. When [you are] watching each other work in their element, you can't help but feel immense love and admiration. Life is also short: Wyndi being diagnosed recently with breast cancer was a reminder of that.
Does practising together make parenting and working easier or harder?
Wyndi: Owning a business together has some big benefits for our family. If need be, one of us can be at work while the other attends to our boys and we take turns doing this. And now we have a team manager, we can both take time out and the business still runs without us.
Eli: This has been a blessing while Wyndi has been recovering from her mastectomy. It’s given me the chance to be home with her and help with her healing. We have created a business together that we love, so we are happier in our work, which means we are happy as parents. The WE team is just one big happy whanau (family).
Related: Keeping CA in the family
Melbourne-based Chartered Accountants Greenberg & Co is the very definition of a family accounting firm. Selwyn Greenberg FCA set up the firm in 1987 with wife Hannah, also an accountant, and now works alongside his son Jay and a daughter, Bonnie.
Alexandra Johnson is a freelance journalist based in Wellington.