What is your role within RG?
I am an audit and assurance partner (RI) with many accounts and tax clients too which requires me to have a broad range of knowledge.
I have a number of specialisms including charities & education, pension schemes, property & investment businesses and research & development tax claims for innovative companies.
I am the firm’s primary point of contact with our regulators, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, (ICAEW).
Tell me about your career to date…
I graduated with a chemistry degree from Newcastle University, started a research degree at Northumbria University, became the sabbatical general secretary of the students’ union and finally left chemistry and student politics for accountancy. Since then I’ve worked at RG, qualifying to become a chartered accountant and progressing to partnership.
What does your current role involve?
I act for a varied client base but the common denominator is that my clients come to me for advice and I frequently find our discussions expanding beyond purely financial considerations.
I always enjoy getting to know my clients and their businesses and I get a real buzz from seeing my clients succeed in achieving their goals.
My three most notable achievements to date would be…
- Qualifying as a chartered accountant, becoming a partner in the firm and helping many people develop their careers and improve their livelihoods;
- At the third time of trying, witnessing a solar eclipse (clouded out the first two times..); and
- Accepting my lacklustre sporting abilities but persevering as a supporter, since the age of five, of Wolverhampton Wanderers to a time when they might finally achieve some success (please!).
Tell us about your day so far…
I started today with a discussion with a junior colleague about the best way to prepare the first set of financial statements for a new client, including providing background detail about the business.
There followed a technical discussion about a client’s audit and the difficulties faced in the current economic environment.
Later in the day I received some sad news which resulted in a client urgently needing some personal tax advice.
After that another new client dropped off their books which we plan to convert to being fully computerised over the next two years in order to speed up their internal reporting.
Finally when I sat down to read the afternoon’s emails, I found one from our newest client who explained that she has just decided to engage RG because, as an accountant herself, she’s looking for someone more than a number cruncher as her adviser.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
Astronomy, beer, watching action films, gardening (but not weeding!), hillwalking (with and without a dog), many styles of music, reading Scandi and early/mid-20th century crime books, science in general, watching the Royal Shakespeare Company, whisky, whiskey and explaining the difference!
And finally, leave us with one interesting fact about yourself…
Never one to make things easy for myself I have worked out there are 924 mountains in the British Isles i.e. those over 2,000 feet with at least 500 feet of assent/decent from the next one. So far, I’ve climbed 343 of them, many more than once. So that leaves me with 581 left to do before I start on the Faroes, Iceland and Norway……