What is your role within RG?
I lead the audit and assurance service line and provide strategic and financial advice to our clients.
Tell me about your career to date …
After studying Economics at Northumbria University I qualified as a chartered accountant (ACA) at a large local practice in South West Durham. I joined RG as an audit manager in 1993 and with hard work and the opportunity for progression, as is the philosophy of the firm, I was promoted to partner in 2000.
What does your current role involve?
My RG role is extremely varied but my objective is to work closely with and support our clients, ensuring our service delivery is excellent in all regards. As a team we have a good understanding of all financial disciplines including business tax, group organisations, succession and exit planning. I am heavily involved in the delivery of our technical services, including audit, accountancy and other ad hoc assurance assignments. I work closely with most of our larger businesses, which means I am able to get involved in a lot of interesting (and unusual) projects ranging from acquisitions and reorganisations to disposals and establishing family trusts. Most importantly, I learn something new every day.
What makes RG different?
The ethos at RG is to place the client at the absolute centre of everything we do. We have a genuine interest in our clients’ affairs, challenges and successes. We don’t work in silos internally and have a very joined up approach. I believe this comes across in our day to day interaction with clients but if not please let me know!
RG is successful in no small part because of our staff. Their depth and breadth of knowledge is very impressive and it is tailored specifically to our client base. We invest heavily in our staff in terms of training, resource and progression within the firm.
My 3 most notable achievements to date would be …
I honestly don’t know. I have a great family and enjoy my work, but suspect these things may have happened despite, rather than because of, me!
Tell us about your day so far …
I started the day at home clearing down and responding to email and mobile phone messages before heading in to the office for 9am.
I had my first client meeting at 9.30am, an early stage discussion covering off the audit and business tax implications of a planned group reduction and restructure.
In between client phone calls and emails I provided guidance to staff on a wide range of subjects, both technical and non-technical.
At midday I attended an internal meeting to discuss our approach for a new client tender. This is an exciting opportunity, from an internally generated lead, for audit and business tax work for our growing infrastructure and renewables team.
Back at my desk I was able to deal with my post and allocate this across the firm for action as needed.
My next meeting was with our Head of Business Tax, Simon Whiteside. We discussed a substantial group restructure involving the creation of a family wealth trust for a large audit client and this was followed by a phone call with the client to advise on the progress.
During the rest of the afternoon I caught up with the team and the progress of other ongoing audit and assurance jobs. I made several phone calls to clients and after reviewing audit files to ensure our work is of the expected high standard and conclusions reached are reasonable, I down my pen at around 6.30pm.
A final check and response to emails and phone messages were made before switching off to recharge both me and my phone at 9pm.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
Every other weekend, weather dependent, we enjoy walking on the Northumbria coast and the occasional pint in the Ship at Seahouses.
I enjoy most sports and have been a Newcastle United season ticket holder for many years.
And finally, leave us with one interesting fact about yourself …
Please, I’m an accountant!