We also provide ongoing support in response to each client’s needs, so I’m usually busy responding to emails if not working on accounts or tax returns.
I also work closely with a trainee accountant to help them build their knowledge, so they can provide the best possible service to their own clients. I help answer any questions they have regarding their work, and we regularly meet to review their progress through our internal training and development ladder.
What is a typical working day like for you?
The first thing I do each morning is check my emails from overnight. We always aim to respond to emails within 1 working day so it’s important for me to keep on top of them.
I usually also have a client consultation call at 10am to prepare for. We offer initial telephone consultations to all of our clients upon signing up.
These are mutually helpful, as they allow us to answer any uncertainties the client has at that stage, as well as allowing us to gain a better understanding of the client’s needs. That way we can better tailor our advice.
After that, I’ll check my current workload and complete what I can throughout the day, prioritising them by when they’re due.
What are some of the biggest challenges your clients face?
Brexit and COVID-19 are, of course, the two biggest challenges facing many of us at the moment. It’s been particularly important for us to keep up with any changes to tax rules and financial support available for those businesses negatively affected by the pandemic.
There’s also changes to “off-payroll working (IR35)” rules, which are due to be introduced from 6th April 2021, after already being deferred once from 6th April 2020.
What particular challenges do you regularly encounter?
Making time to keep on top of all of the changes I mentioned in the previous question!
How are you able to use your skills to solve problems for clients?
Having dealt directly with HMRC across a wide range of issues in the past, this comes in really helpful for being able to point our clients in the right direction if they’re unsure of their filing obligations, or what they need to do about a particular letter from HMRC etc.
I’ve also spent much of my accountancy career so far specialising in contractors working through personal service companies, so have a strong understanding of IR35. It means I’m able to explain the tax and practical implications, as well as the options available.
What is your favourite part of the job?
I’ve always liked working with numbers, so I tend to prefer the number-based parts of our work, such as tax. I tended to reflect this while studying as a chartered accountant. The tax-related exams were usually the ones I felt more comfortable with.
What do you like most about working for The Accountancy Partnership?
I love being exposed to so much variation amongst my clients. I’ve recently qualified as an ACA chartered accountant, so it’s great to be able to apply that knowledge to real-life scenarios, which I haven’t always been able to do in the past.
I also really like our large open plan office which we moved to earlier this year. It’s great for the social aspect of our jobs, but also allows us to bounce ideas and queries off each other. The instant sharing of knowledge helps everyone work better and faster.
Of course, due to current circumstances, many of us are working from home at the moment. We’re all looking forward to being able to work together again in the office as soon as possible.
What skills do you find most useful to do your job?
Knowing where and how to find the answer to any questions which I might not be familiar with, and being able to communicate things in a way which is easy to understand. I like to try and explain things using examples.
Where’s your favourite place to visit on days off?
My wife and I have been members of Chester Zoo for years so we try to visit as often as we can. We’re also looking forward to taking my 6-month old daughter more often as she grows up. She’s already been 3 or 4 times, even with the lockdown measures in place this year.
If we aren’t able to travel to Chester, we like to go for family walks at one of Wirral’s many waterfronts. Usually either the long promenades at New Brighton or Hoylake/Meols, or the beautiful area around Thurstaston
Tell us about your proudest achievement.
Personally, my proudest achievement is my daughter who was born during UK lockdown back in May 2020.
Professionally, my qualification as a chartered accountant in October this year, after 5 years of studying for ACA.
How would your colleagues describe you?
Haha I was dreading this question – I’m not sure I know how to answer it!
I think they would describe me as quite quiet, but hopefully helpful. Also, probably sometimes a bit of a nerd, as I tend to remember things off the top of my head, like sections numbers from important pieces of technical legislation, or HMRC telephone numbers to provide to clients.
What are you reading/binge watching at the moment?
The latest thing I’ve been watching on Netflix is The Queen’s Gambit (not quite finished yet though – no spoilers!).
In the last few months I’ve also finished streaming Game of Thrones, after I wasn’t able to watch it when it originally aired. I also have a guilty pleasure for adult animation series like Rick & Morty, Bob’s Burgers, Futurama etc.
Who do you admire, and why?
My wife is the most amazing person I know. She’s been extremely supportive and encouraging over the last few years while I’ve been studying, and is doing an amazing job of raising my daughter during all the difficulties faced by us all this year
What question would you really like to answer, and what’s the answer?!
If given the option to visit outer space, would you? My answer would be – OF COURSE (as long as just temporarily!)