Who we are

Living Business was launched in Tauranga in 2014 by Helen Schafer and her partner Gerard Prendergast. Their vision is to offer business owners a whole new perspective and holistic approach to managing their financial business data, systems and processes. 

It all starts from quality bookkeeping for better monitoring, interpreting and forecasting.  We leave all interpretation and tax related matters to your accountant. Our job is to ensure your data is gathered and maintained at the highest level of accuracy and integrity. 

The Living Business team approaches bookkeeping from a data and technology perspective, helping you to understand how financial data gathering integrates with other aspects of your business.  To do this, we offer consultations, custom training and advice in the following areas:

– Xero book-keeping and cashflow control

– Payroll systems and compliance requirements

– WorkflowMax 

– CRM and how it integrates with your other systems

– Xero Connected Aps to optimise business efficiency

We provide meaningful support by following these key principles:

– Start from understanding your current situation and the challenges and constraints within your financial systems

– Understand where you are wanting to get to, and what your priorities are

– Recommend and help you test potential solutions, to draw out what will and will not work work for your business

Whatever stage your business is at, Living Business can help make your business processes more cost-effective, streamlined, efficient and up to date with modern cloud software solutions. 

Living Business’s high performing team with a wide range of experience and expertise ensure the successful delivery of a broad all-encompassing approach to enable positive change. The end goal is to help you develop a more financially robust and dynamic business. 

About Helen

Helen Schafer has a highly successful career in business spanning a number of years across a range of disciplines. Initially from Wellington, Helen moved with her husband to Tauranga in 2014 looking for a sea change, an opportunity to take on new challenges and to apply her entrepreneurial smarts in an exciting new environment.

With two bachelor’s degrees under her belt, Helen’s introduction to business ownership commenced 14 years ago when she, along with business partner and husband Gerard, opened a new Quinovic Property Management franchise in the northern suburbs of Wellington. The company flourished under their leadership and they worked hard to build an outstanding reputation for service excellence in a field that can be fraught with conflict and confrontation. Eight years later they had created a strong team of professionals, in a profitable operation that prided itself on efficiently managing a substantial portfolio of residential rental properties for their investor clients.

Once the property management business was sold, the sunny Bay of Plenty was in their sights. So, armed with the knowledge of how to systematize and structure a profitable business that has strong growth at its core, Living Business (formerly Bay Business Services) was born shortly thereafter.
Having selected a team of professionals to come with her on the Living Business journey, Helen now offers clients a co-operative, inclusive service where incremental sustained improvements of their business and a collaborative approach are the gold standard. Following the principle that people give of their best professionally and personally when they have the ideal work/life balance, Helen and the team at Living Business enjoy flexible hours, underpinned by Cloud based technologies and an adaptable company culture.

Helen is a Certified Accredited Gold Partner for Xero New Zealand Limited; a NZ Certified Bookkeeper (NZ Bookkeepers Association); Certified WorkflowMax Partner; and she also holds a New Zealand Diploma in Accounting.

Outside of the office, Helen and Gerard (director of the local FIFO Capital franchise) love to take Gypsy their four legged pound pup for regular runs on Papamoa beach and are keen foodies – both cooking and consuming!




Director / WorkflowMax Expert
Phone: 027 6005794


Office Software Specialist
Phone: 022 011 5358


Bookkeeping & Payroll Expert


Xero Guru and Systems Expert
Phone: 021 2712493


Office Systems Expert
Phone: 0211576893