Accounts & Outsourced Services Partner Ian Smith goes under the spotlight!

What is your role within RG?

Head of Accounts & Outsourced Services, IT Partner, Cloud Specialist…or a few names I don’t get to hear, when not in the room!

Tell me about your career to date…

An unusual career by modern standards – left school, completed a one year foundation course in accountancy and then joined Ryecroft Glenton in 1986. Yes, this is my only job, although while here I’ve been involved in many different types of work and roles, including secondment into industry for six months, when younger, to help a client manage some particularly complicated government subsidies.

I’ve also been chairman of the ICAEW Solicitors Group, CCH Northern Usergroup (our in-house practice management system), a member of the ICAEW IT Technical Committee and an ICAEW Software Accreditation expert.

Although not strictly linked to my career I’m also chairman of the GTR Drivers Club.

What does your current role involve?

An incredibly varied role, as you may expect of a Partner in a mid-sized accountancy firm.  My role involves dealing with all clients types in all sectors – from sole trader hairdressers to multi million pound companies, handling day to day management of our firm’s IT and practice management systems and helping a large team of hard working and loyal staff within my service line. 

Client work includes annual accounts and tax compliance work, statutory audits, management reporting, specialist cashflow forecasting and cloud software setup, configuration and customisation.  Essentially, I like to help clients by being their “invisible business partner” offering help and advice whenever they ask…and sometimes when they don’t but need to!

What makes RG different?

Our culture of putting ourselves in the shoes of our clients and going the extra mile to ensure we deliver as promised.

I’m told I’m refreshingly honest and direct and will tell a client when they can’t do something, rather than being a “yes” man.

My three most notable achievements to date would be….

I would have listed getting married, but that’s hardly an achievement, so…

  • Becoming a partner at 32
  • After preparing a cashflow forecast for a client at very short notice, being told that the bank manager said “this is the best cashflow I have seen in my commercial career”.
  • Winning most improved driver of the day, at a track day training event at Llandow circuit.

Tell us about your day so far….

Up at 6:45am, gym for an hour, office around 9:00am. 

After clearing any (urgent) emails and voicemails I tackle my ongoing works list – VAT returns, billing, several year end accounts and tax jobs and a dozen payrolls all need to be completed.  After speaking to team members, signing off the work or establishing they’re on target, I return to my scheduled appointments.

Seven meetings today, including two client meetings for annual accounts reviews/discussions, one for me to complete a covenant certificate for a client to satisfy their lender and four internal meetings for an HR issue, practice management matters, IT department update with my IT manager and formulating a new report with my IS & Data manager.

In between meetings, I normally have to deal with questions from partners and staff on operational matters or client work and unfortunately, this means I don’t get back to my emails and voicemails until after 6:00pm.

I catch up (a little!) and head home around 7:30pm to see my poor long suffering wife.

What do you enjoy outside of work?

I played rugby all of my adult life until six years ago, when my inability to recover in time for the next game forced me to retire…otherwise known as old age!

I have been a keen track day enthusiast for about 15 years.  My last car Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R became too rare and expensive to race, so I stopped for four years, until I sold that last year.  However, I couldn’t keep away and have just bought a rough Skyline R32 GTS-T for trackdays.

I’m also now building a 1972 replica of the Skyline C110 Racing Concept Car.

And finally, leave us with one interesting fact about yourself…

I’m the only partner to have legally driven at 175mph on a public road…the Autobahn.

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