Research -


Professional Intermediaries

These statistics below identify the approximate number of professional intermediaries that the 2Shakes solution targets.  There are just under 50,000 professionals in NZ, and around 3,360,000 in the major western speaking countries. These numbers were collated in May 2016 from the sources given in the table.

Country Intermediary Group Number Source
NZ Bookkeepers and Accountants 33,225
Immigration Advisors in NZ 981
Lawyers (Solicitors and Barristers) 15,082
Australia Accountants and Lawyers 261,000
UK Accountants and Lawyers 469,099 &
Canada Accountants and Lawyers 490,782
USA Accountants and Lawyers 2,087,000


Bookkeeper Demographics

These statistics below are determined from a sample of 25 bookkeepers randomly selected and interviewed by 2Shakes during the initial customer research phase of our work.  These numbers are indicative only, based on our sample size.

Business Size

How many Bookkeepers work in a Bookkeeping firm

1 to 13 Range of Employees
2.84 Average Employees across Bookkeeping firms interviewed
28%  1 employee
28%  2 employees
44% 3 or more employees


Client Base

How many clients do Bookkeepers work for?

3 to 1000 Range of clients represented by each firm
179 Average number of clients in each firm
12%  1-10 clients
50%  10-100 clients,
38%  more than 100 clients




We asked Bookkeepers which organisations they worked with, on behalf of their clients.

100% Inland Revenue
76% ACC
68% Companies Office (MBIE)
64% Banks
32% Statistics
24% Utilities (Electricity)
20% Phone companies
16% Insurance companies
12% Department of Labour (MBIE)
4%  MSD (Ministry of Social Development)





Authority Set Up

Here’s what we have heard from Bookkeepers about getting set up to act on behalf of clients….

clients just won’t take an hour out of their day to do it.  It’s frustrating.  Once we are in, it is so much easier for us to keep an eye on things.” 

 … you have to do a separate authority to deal with ACC. So we don’t normally bother to set them up….”

 …the kind of people I deal with don’t want to do additional paperwork.  They won’t go and do it…”

…For insurance companies it would be good.   Because we don’t know what’s paid for vehicle insurance, for life insurance – it’s one bill.  But insurance companies will say, ‘sorry I can’t talk to you because you are not listed on the account’….”

The value of Bookkeeping

Bookkeepers provide small businesses, individuals and sole trader’s day to day help with financial compliance.  They often fly ‘under the radar’ but in reality provide a huge value to both businesses and to the NZ economy.

“There is the gap, between what an accountant will do… and what a client can do for themselves.  Bookkeepers fill that gap.”

 “Bookkeeper are really trusted…(and are) there all through the year, in regular contact, supporting our clients.”

 “Bookkeepers ensure a better quality of information to government.  Because it is being checked by someone who knows what they are looking at…Because you don’t know what you don’t know.”

Supporting Organisations

“We fully support the work of 2Shakes. We are actively working with 2Shakes to help them be successful. We would encourage other government agencies and organisations to support the valuable solution that 2Shakes is creating. – NZBAI”

“The 2Shakes system is an innovative solution that delivers increased efficiencies for businesses. MBIE is supportive of the work that 2Shakes is doing to automate client signup and authority creation, and the potential of this solution to simplify authority set up across government. – MBIE”

“Making things easier, simpler and faster for our business customers is important to us and we support the efforts of other organisations who are attempting to do the same.  We hope that 2Shakes can help to make the authority process both better for business and more streamlined for all government departments and agencies. – ACC”

How Bookkeeper Sign Up Clients

Results of EA Survey

This survey was completed by Bookkeepers between 27th May and the 24th June 2016. In total responses were received from 18 bookkeepers. The responding Bookkeepers were distributed throughout NZ.  This survey shows that:

  • Bookkeeper see ‘must have’ benefit in being set up with authority at a range of organisations. Authority set up at IRD, Banks, ACC, and Companies Office were all rated as ‘must have’ or ‘very useful’ by over 80% of bookkeepers surveyed.
  • Most Bookkeepers (65%) have to chase clients for information either all the time or frequently.
  • The majority of Bookkeepers sign up new clients, on average every month (72%).
  • About half of the Bookkeepers (44%) got leads from a website. But the number of new clients found this way fluctuate significantly between bookkeepers (from 95% leads though to just 1%).
  • Around 40% of Bookkeepers had a busy sign up period – around end of the financial year. 

We have included some of the statistics and graphs collected in this survey in a short report Bookkeeper Survey1_2Shakes.

Understanding Bookkeepers & Accountants work

Results of EA Survey

This survey asks our early adopters questions about:

  • Online branding and partner programs or memberships
  • RealMe, electronic signatures and identity checks
  • Payroll

Key findings were:

  • Branding: Almost all have a logo, email & website.  Half use Facebook and LinkedIn.  Few bookkeeper use Fax, Twitter, Google Plus or Instagram.
  • Partner Programs or Memberships: Most use Xero Partner Status and NZBAI membership About a quarter use MYOB, Payroll software, Tertiary Qualifications. Some use ATAINZ and NZICA
  • RealMe: Just over half of respondents already have a Verified Real Me, and most of the rest (43%) would be happy to get one if it saved them time.
  • Identity Checks: Most respondents check client ID OR would be happy to. About a quarter were unsure or uncomfortable.
  • Multiple signatories: While one signature is often sufficient, it is common to need to get multiple people to sign agreements .
  • Payroll: On average respondents do Payroll for 25% of their clients, although some don’t do payroll at all, and some do payroll for most of their clients.  There is a wide variation in how much time payroll takes to set up. From 5 minutes to 300 minutes. The Average time spent was 85 minutes.

You can download a report on these survey results here Survey_EAA Making 2Shakes Work For You_Pub3. These results are provided in the spirit of supporting the bookkeeping and accounting communities and the organisations that they work with.  But 2Shakes are not a research firm and accepts no liability or responsibility for the accuracy or use of this information.