What is your role within RG?
I am a Senior Manager in the Personal Tax service line. I deal with a wide range of compliance and advisory matters for individuals, partnerships and trusts, I also work closely with the Business Tax service line.
Tell me about your career to date
In 2003, I returned from travelling in South America and working in Australia. I took a stop gap job as a cashier at Ernst & Young, with the intention of doing a few weeks there while I worked out what to do next. Somehow I ended up leaving as a fully qualified Chartered Tax Adviser eleven and half years later. That was 2015, when I joined Ryecroft Glenton as a Tax Manager.
What does your current role involve?
As with most personal tax roles, my job includes the annual routine of providing tax compliance services to individuals, in particular preparing and reviewing complex self assessment tax returns. I also provide tax planning and advisory services, both in the form of one-off projects and ad hoc advice to longstanding clients. The areas I typically cover include income tax, capital gains tax, stamp duty land tax and inheritance tax.
When I joined RG, I expressed an interest in dealing with clients with residence and domicile considerations. I am pleased to say that area has grown into a regular stream of work and has helped me develop specific knowledge to assist clients who are moving in or out of the UK.
A part of the job that I particularly enjoy is regularly meeting with potential new clients, which I do on an a weekly basis. I really like meeting new people and helping them to understand their tax issues.
What makes RG different?
The level of expertise in a wide range of areas and the degree of internal interaction between departments creates an attractive proposition for clients.
We are able to offer a ‘one stop shop’ for the vast majority of accounting and tax services. We have an understanding of the benefit of giving clients continuity in the partners and members of staff they deal with over the course of their relationship with the firm. We are in the position of being able to provide the expert knowledge associated with large firms with the personal touch of smaller firms.
I can honestly say that RG is the place I have been happiest in my career, the people are friendly, approachable and easy to work with.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
My lengthy but undistinguished career as a rugby player for Morpeth Rugby Club is all but over. However, I have been asked to help organise one of the teams this season and I have had a part to play in recent fundraising efforts. The club has been a part of my family’s life since before I was born, so I am very pleased to still have some involvement.
I love music, Spotify is a important part of my life as well as attending live gigs. Covid stopped the fun for a while but there has been good progress made this year in terms of ticking off bands and locations, with Rage Against the Machine in Edinburgh and The Damned (original line up, believe it or not!) in London still to come in 2022.
As I am now in middle age; gym, hill walking and cycling are my substitutes for the previous years of rugby and five-a-side football.
Eating and drinking are also pleasures, my tastes include everything from a trip to L’Enclume (a real highlight) to a pint in The Black Garter. The sublime to the ridiculous, and everything in between.
Tell us about your day so far?
I cycled into the office this morning, so today is a good day. I got a decent bike through the cycle-to-work scheme and we have a bike store and showers at the Newcastle office.
The first part of the morning was spent preparing for, then meeting with a client who is a senior partner in a North East law firm and is starting to consider the implications of retirement. Then it’s a question of dealing with the usual emails and ensuring items are crossed off the top of the To Do List as more items are added to the bottom of the list.
My afternoon was blocked out for writing the first draft of a tax planning report for an individual who intends to move to Portugal and become non-UK resident, whilst retaining some business interests and rental properties in the UK.
As the bike is at the office, I have no choice but to cycle home. Thankfully, the sun is shining.
My 3 most notable achievements to date would be….
Maintaining a large circle of friends, some of whom I have known since pre-school nursery groups. I loved growing up in Morpeth and there is a solid group of us that have always tried to keep the network together throughout births, deaths, marriages and relocations to the four corners of the world.
Passing my chartered tax examinations. In retrospect, I was probably a bit too inexperienced when I started the process and it proved to be a hard slog. I remember going to the Kendall Calling music festival the day after the final results, sitting outside my tent with a beer and letting the pure relief sink in.
Being promoted to senior manager was something I had worked hard towards, but I must say that I got a lot of support from my colleagues.