The Journey of a Bookkeeper - Natalija Bogosavljevic

The Journey of a Bookkeeper: from Serbia to New Zealand

Recently our team sat down with Natalija Bojosavljevic to talk about her journey in the field of bookkeeping.

This is her story:

Hi there, I’m Natalija! A few years ago, my family and I decided to leave our home country of Serbia and move to Auckland, New Zealand. We were hoping to find better opportunities and a brighter future.

Ever since I was young, I’ve been fascinated by numbers. It’s amazing how you can do so many things with them! That’s why I trained and worked as an Accountant back in Serbia. In fact, I’ve been working in this field for over 15 years now.

When I first arrived in New Zealand, I didn’t know a word of English. It was quite challenging, but I didn’t let that stop me. I took up nightshift jobs where I didn’t need to talk much, but I could immerse myself in the language and learn. At the same time, I worked hard to get my accounting degree recognized in New Zealand.

I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to learn and improve my skills. That’s why I became a member of the New Zealand Bookkeepers Association. It’s an amazing organization that supports bookkeepers like me in our careers. Being a part of it has had such a positive impact on my bookkeeping journey.

Here are a few ways Natalija told us her membership has positively impacted her bookkeeping journey:

Membership Impact

Looking back, I can say that being a member of the NZQBA has made a big difference in my bookkeeping career. One of the best things about being a member is that I’m constantly learning from other members. We have a great community where we can connect and share our knowledge. I feel comfortable reaching out to other bookkeepers through social media groups, and they have helped me adapt to new technologies and ways of doing things.

It’s also amazing how friendly and supportive the bookkeeping community is. We all support each other because we know that there’s enough work for everyone. By helping each other grow, we all benefit. Bookkeeping is a journey of discovery and empowerment. The numbers we work with come alive and tell us stories about progress and possibilities. They show us how businesses grow and succeed.

One of the things I love about being a member is that we can test our skills and learn from each other. We’re all connected in the same industry, so we provide resources, support, and opportunities to grow. The top three things I value the most from my membership are:

  • Technical support network from NZQBA and other members.
  • Networking opportunities to connect with others in the industry.
  • And believe it or not – emotional support from fellow bookkeepers.

Every member has something valuable to contribute, no matter how small it may seem. Together, we can achieve great things.


Skill Enhancement

NZQBA offers a variety of educational offerings that have greatly contributed to my skill development. One of the most valuable resources they provide is webinars. These webinars cover a wide range of topics, and I always learn something new from each one. They teach us technical things and share real-life experiences and the latest information.

Even though I can’t always watch the webinars live, I make sure to catch up on the recordings during the weekend. It’s great to have access to the recordings because I can reference them whenever I need to.


Recognition and Opportunities

Being a member of the NZQBA has brought me recognition and opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Sometimes, even small things can make a big difference. By being a member, I have enhanced my professional credibility in the bookkeeping community. When I tell my clients that I’m a member of the NZQBA, they know that I have the knowledge and experience to help them with their finances.

One way my membership has helped me is by attracting clients. Some clients prefer to work with Chartered Accountants, but when they see my reviews and the services I offer, they realize that Bookkeepers can provide excellent financial services too.

My business offers services such as bookkeeping, tax assistance, payroll management, cash flow management, and even offshore data updating. I love working with spreadsheets!

During the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, I also offered high-level Excel skills as a service. It was a way for me to adapt and provide value to my clients during a difficult period. Currently, it’s just me and two staff members who help me with data updating.


A world of difference

During our conversation with Natalija, we were discussing how accounting principles don’t differ globally, but she told us about some fascinating differences between the two countries on the practical aspects of accounting that we wanted to share:

One interesting thing I’ve noticed is that where I am from in Serbia people still use cash a lot. It was only 8 years ago that businesses started paying salaries into bank accounts. Not many people have online banking access, and businesses rarely use email for communication. Transactions and bank statements are often done manually, with physical printouts. But here in New Zealand, things are more automated, and we use accounting software to manage finances.  It really is a world of difference.


And in summary

Overall, being a member of the NZQBA has been an incredible journey. It has helped me grow both personally and professionally and supported me incredibly in my journey across the world.  It is great to have an Association to raise awareness about the importance of Bookkeepers in our society. We want to be seen as equals to Chartered Accountants and have our expertise recognized.

If you’re interested in bookkeeping, I encourage you to explore the NZQBA and see how it can benefit you too!

We would like to thank Natalija for taking the time to chat with our team about her journey in bookkeeping. To learn more about Natalija, you can find her here on LinkedIn, or view her website here.