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Our alliance with The Icehouse, NZ's top business growth centre

Posted by Bellingham Wallace on August 14, 2013

The Icehouse and Bellingham Wallace have formalised their relationship to strengthen the financial management capability and confidence of Kiwi business owner managers.




The Icehouse is committed to bringing New Zealand into the top half of the OECD by 2020. To do this, the country needs 3000 internationally competitive, sustainable organisations. The Icehouse has committed to deliver 1000 of these businesses. Achieving this relies on partnering with individuals and organisations that can bring the relevant knowledge, expertise and networks to the table. Not only that, but they must also genuinely believe in the importance of the owner manager and SME businesses to the success of the New Zealand economy.


 "Many business owners don't know what they don't know so we (The Icehouse) provide the knowledge, tools and frameworks to help them discover the gaps which may exist and expose them to new ideas and stories that are relevant to driving growth in a business," says Liz Wotherspoon, Director of Growth at The Icehouse. Ensuring New Zealand's owner managers fully understand the numbers side of the business is an important part of this. It is also a gap, which a relationship with innovative accountants Bellingham Wallace will help fill.


Truly understanding the numbers goes beyond simply being able to read a company balance sheet or profit and loss statement. It's an art and few do it better than Matt Bellingham, a Director of Bellingham Wallace. "The numbers tell a story and they are often an underutilised source of insight. Showing people how they can be used to anticipate future problems, manage performance and even direct strategy is what I enjoy doing," says Matt.


It was this combination of passion and insight which first put Bellingham Wallace on the Icehouse's radar just over a year ago. "Matt takes a really pragmatic view of a topic that is known for creating some anxiety and uncertainty for many programme participants. He has a unique way of demystifying the numbers and through understanding, made our customers more comfortable with looking at and making sense of the key drivers in their business," says Liz, "enabling them to make better decisions as a result."


The Icehouse was named one of the top 10 start-up business growth centres in the world by Forbes magazine and has successfully worked with 4000 ambitious owner-managers - from start-ups to established multi-million dollar companies - and helped raise more than $50 million capital through its Angel Investors group - New Zealand's largest.


For Bellingham Wallace the opportunity to partner with an organisation with such an extensive track record of success is a big deal. "The last year has been an amazing journey.  I've had the opportunity to connect with some truly innovative entrepreneurs whose passion is an inspiration," says Matt. "I'm just glad to know that we've been able to make a positive difference to their businesses along the way."


"Matt and his team get the market we work with, because they work with them in their own business too.  There is definitely a philosophical alignment, but more importantly they share our passion for SME owner managers," says Liz.


In the coming months The Icehouse will be releasing a new framework called Businesses of International Quality (BIQ). The BIQ framework will enable The Icehouse to measure how they are tracking toward their goal of delivering 1000 internationally competitive, sustainable organisations. Eventually every Icehouse programme will be aligned within the context of this framework.  For more information on The Icehouse and their programmes visit www.theicehouse.co.nz.


What does this relationship mean for Bellingham Wallace?

"Most importantly, it opens up our clients to new networks and resources; keeping them at the leading edge of the latest trends shaping business. For our team, I think it is a fantastic acknowledgement that we are getting out there and making a positive difference by adding so much more to the business of accounting, which is what we set out to do from day one." 
- Matt Bellingham, Bellingham Wallace.


What does this relationship mean for The Icehouse?

"At the Icehouse we measure our success on the impact we have on customers and their businesses and from the feedback we receive. This relationship is part of creating that positive feedback and impact." - Liz Wotherspoon, The Icehouse.



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Topics: Business Improvement