What is your role within RG?
I am a Director in our Audit and Assurance department, but I also work with a number of clients that are not subject to the annual audit requirement, assisting with various aspects of their accounting, tax compliance and VAT work. I have a particular focus on clients in the professional services and manufacturing sectors, but also look after an increasing number of tech-based businesses.
Tell me about your career to date…
I graduated from Newcastle University in 2008 with a degree in Accounting and Finance. Following a year out spent mainly on the golf course, I joined RG on a training contract to become a Chartered Accountant, qualifying in 2012 and being promoted to Director in 2021.
Since qualifying I’ve worked alongside a number of partners on both audit and non-audit work, including working with Chris Robson and his London based clients, which has given me the opportunity to do some travelling and helped me to obtain a diverse portfolio of clients that keeps my work quite varied.
What does your current role involve?
My role is mainly managing audit teams and working with other staff and partners, to ensure jobs are completed efficiently while our clients expectations and deadlines are met.
I look after a wide range of businesses and oversee a variety of the services we provide, so I have regular monthly and quarterly work to manage for clients as well as overseeing annual audits, accounts and corporation tax compliance requirements.
I’m fortunate that my role is client facing which gives me the opportunity to understand their businesses, the challenges and opportunities they face and their personal goals and ambitions, so I can advise them on matters that are important to them.
What makes RG different?
I think the way in which we look to build relationships with our clients by maintaining consistent engagement teams across service lines differentiates us from our peers. I am still advising clients that I first met when I was a trainee twelve years ago. This consistency of staffing allows us to minimise disruption during annual compliance work and also means we gain an in depth knowledge of our clients’ businesses, making it easier for us to provide relevant insight and advice.
My 3 most notable achievements to date would be….
Graduating with First Class Honours in Accounting and Finance from Newcastle University.
Qualifying as an accountant and finishing 4th in the North East order of merit for the final stage exams.
Playing the front 9 of Slaley Hall’s Hunting Course in 2 under par gross. Slaley Hall used to host a European Tour event and that is easily the best golf I’ve ever played on what is a challenging course (don’t ask about the back 9 though – my golf is consistently inconsistent!)
Tell us about your day so far….
I normally take the dog out for a walk before work, which is a nice way to start the day in the summer but not so great in the winter.
To begin my workday I had a call with a client to discuss their upcoming audit, how the draft results were looking, any areas of the accounts where we might face challenges from an audit perspective and the logistics of the audit being performed remotely due to Covid.
Following that, I reviewed some year end accounts and tax comps before sending queries to the client and discussing the amendments needed with my colleague, followed by a set of management accounts for a recruitment company operating in London and New York.
When I’m working from home, I always take half an hour away from my desk for lunch, to get a break from the laptop screen: I will normally take the dog around the block too (weather dependent!).
In the afternoon I prepared for a Teams call with a client in London, to discuss their year end management accounts, the results of their new US subsidiary and the next year’s budgets and forecasts. During the call we also ran through the outputs of a bonus model we helped them develop and the impact that paying the bonuses will have on their cashflow as well as future dividend policy.
Following the call I responded to some e-mails on a variety of technical matters for both clients and colleagues, and then I shut down my laptop shortly after 6pm, before taking the dog out, cooking and settling down in front of the TV. I’ll probably check my e-mails on my phone later in the evening in case anything urgent comes up that can’t wait until the morning.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
A few years ago I would have said playing golf and watching Newcastle United (I’m still a season ticket holder) but both of those have become less enjoyable in recent times due to my own lack of ability and the football club’s lack of ambition. It is still nice to get out on the course or to St James’ Park to meet up with friends, even I have to approach the sporting elements with suitably low expectations these days.
Other than golf and football I’ve always enjoyed the fairly simple things in life – beer, wine, travelling and eating out. More recently I’ve started to actually enjoy cooking, with Asian food a particular favourite at the moment.
And finally, leave us with one interesting fact about yourself…
When I was younger I wanted to be an airline pilot and I was once lucky enough to be allowed to sit in the cockpit of a British Airways Boeing 747 while it landed at Jakarta Airport on a flight from Kuala Lumpur.