Jason Te Brake

Job: Group Commercial Accountant     Area: Waikato

The Group Commercial Accountant
- AFFCO New Zealand

Brief introduction about yourself:
I grew up on my family’s dairy farm in the Waikato and have always been interested in running a business in the agriculture sector, however have always been interested in how product gets from the farm gate to the consumer. As well as being the Group Commercial Accountant as AFFCO in Horotiu, I am a board member of New Zealand Young Farmers, a Co-opted member of the Beef+Lamb NZ Farmer Council, and enjoy playing rugby for my local rugby club.

What is your typical day like?
Quite different day to day, largely works around preparing information and reporting for senior management and the board of the company, and where necessary finding out further information and doing financial analysis to assist with decision making in the day to day business at AFFCO.

How did you get to where you are now?
I left high school at the end of 6th form without really knowing what I wanted to do other than be involved in business and in the agriculture sector. I worked for 6 years at KPMG and did my qualifications while I worked there, before making the move to AFFCO.  

What do you love most about your job?
My job allows me to gain well rounded experience across all aspects of one of the largest businesses in New Zealand’s agriculture industry. Being an accountant, you get the chance to see all aspects of the business, especially in large and complex businesses such as AFFCO. I get exposure to all the big issues in the business, as well as working closely with the Board and Management. Also, being an accountant allows me to easily move between any businesses within the industry, whether it be farming businesses, processing businesses etc.

What skills do you need to do your job well?
Having a positive attitude and the desire to improve businesses is all you need. The rest of it you can pick up through studies or work experience. And also a good calculator helps. 

Work & Travel: 
Having a positive attitude and the desire to improve businesses is all you need. The rest of it you can pick up through studies or work experience. And also a good calculator helps. 

What advice would you give to young people?
Accounting is a lot more interesting than most people will think, and allows you the best opportunities to get exposure to the top management of any business. It is a useful pathway to begin for anyone who wants to own their own business, or run businesses.

What are your goals for the future?
I intend to use my business knowledge I have gained from accounting to be able to run large businesses in the New Zealand agriculture sector.

Back to The Real World
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How did I get here:

School - NCEA: English, Maths, Accounting, Economics, History and Physics

University: Bachelors Degree in Commerce or Management (After doing work experience following your degree, you can sit your professional qualifications to be admitted to New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.)