Our People

We believe it’s important to listen to our clients and there’s never a question to basic.

Stephen heads a team of six capable accounting staff with business experience from diverse backgrounds.
We are all very approachable and avoid baffling clients with jargon.

Stephen Lace

B.B.S. C.A

Accountant / Director / Adviser

Stephen recommends and personally follows a simple philosophy for business - put your customers first and success will follow.

Leading an experienced and cohesive team, Stephen ensures that clients are regularly surprised by the support the firm delivers.

Stephen is able to draw on a wealth of previous experience to help you achieve the best outcome, whether in evaluating a business concept or growing an existing business.

I rate myself as being:

Ø An independent thinker

Ø A leader

Ø Informed

Ø Highly experienced in Business/Farm Accounting matters.

Ø Prepared to give an opinion and sound advice.

An active sportsman, Stephen currently enjoys kayaking, skiing, body surfing and walking.

Community participation has fostered longstanding involvement with key Whanganui entities including Mainstreet Wanganui, Rotary, The City Mission and the Waimarie Paddle Steamer.

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Eve Bailey

Credits in Accounting Principles and Accounting Practices

Accountant / Client Advisor

Eve Bailey joined the team in May 2009. Eve has over 10 years accounting experience. Eve has mixed studies in Science and accounting and was awarded top year 1 accounting student at Whanganui UCOL in 2010. Eve enjoys spending time with her two grown sons and grandson.

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Karin Smith

B.B.S. C.A

Chartered Accountant

Karin has been part of the team since 2006. She graduated from Massey University with a BBS in Accounting in 1989 and became a Chartered Accountant in 1991.

She worked with Peat Marwick Accountants in Wellington and then Waitaki International/ Alliance Group meat company in Invercargill as a management accountant.

After a 2 year trip to Europe she returned to work in the family business where she under took a wide range of functions, co-managing the business with her husband.

Karin leads our Xero accounting skill base and is Xero certified.

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Luke Watts


Accountant/Client Advisor

Luke Watts joined the team in June 2016. In 2015 Luke completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree at Victoria University of Wellington with a major in Accounting & a minor in Commercial Law.

Since joining Stephen Lace & Associates, Luke has been accepted as a Provisional Member of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand as he works towards his full Chartered Accountancy Registration.

Luke enjoys a lot of running and rowing, along with various other sporting codes. Luke has been a competitive rower for fifteen years after taking up the sport while at Cullinane College in 2006.

Luke represented New Zealand as an Under 21 Lightweight Rower in 2012 and competed again that same year at the World University Rowing Championships in Kazan, Russia as the New Zealand Lightweight Men's Single Sculler. In 2012 Luke was awarded the sportsperson of the year at the Victoria University of Wellington Blue Awards for his success in both his rowing and his academic studies.

Luke is currently an active member of the Aramoho Wanganui Rowing Club, Wanganui Harriers Club and Wanganui Young Farmers Club. .

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Suzanne Ballard

Dip. BS Accounting. Dip. BS Business. Dip. BS Business Management

Accountant/Client Advisor

Suz Ballard has worked at Stephen Lace & Associates since July 2014. Suz had 3 years accounting experience before joining us, and has diplomas in Business, Accounting and Business Management.

Suz and her husband Greg, also own and operate their own business. This, plus being bought up on a dairy farm, provides Suz with first-hand knowledge on the ups and downs farmers and business owners face when running a business.

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Fiona Dempsey

A.T Dip. Bus Studies


Fiona has worked with Stephen since the accounting firm was established in 1999. She is a qualified Accounting Technician (AT) and also an Associate of Stephen Lace & Associates Ltd.

Fiona leads our farm accounting specialty and has strong IT skills.

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