Oliver Irwin tells us more about his role as a Senior Accountant here at The Accountancy Partnership.
Give an overview of the duties, functions, and responsibilities of your job.
I look after my own portfolio of clients, including limited companies, sole traders, partnerships. It’s my job to provide year-round support to them over email and phone, as well as taking care of their annual accounts, corporation tax returns and VAT returns.
We always have initial consultations with new clients, to make sure we get everything set up correctly, too.
What is a typical working day like for you?
My first stop is dealing with overnight email queries first to ensure we meet our 24-hour turnaround. We have morning consultations with new clients, providing initial support and answering any questions they have prior to getting the ball rolling with their company.
After that, I’ll get to work on the next accounts and corporation tax returns/VAT returns that are on my list, followed by afternoon consultations and monitoring emails throughout the day.
What particular challenges do you regularly encounter?
Meeting client deadlines is the main challenge, so that we can make sure any penalties or interest is avoided.
What are some of the biggest challenges faced by your clients?
Understanding of the accounting world, and working with deadlines in particular can be hard to get to grips with. We also can’t overemphasize the importance of keeping bookkeeping information up to date, to give them a real time update on how their business is doing.
HMRC and Companies House letters can appear to be more scary and severe than they seem – big wording and threats of future legal prosecution can lead to panic, when the letter may just be explaining worst case scenario if deadlines are not met.
How are you able to use your skills to solve problems for them?
I have a degree in accounting and finance, which gave me the base knowledge to deal with the majority of client queries. I also have a problem-solving attitude, which is useful for more difficult queries and rare questions that I haven’t come across.
I’m happy to delve into the void of legislation to find an answer for a client. With nearly four years of experience in accounts, I have the practical experience to support clients.
What do you like most about working for The Accountancy Partnership?
The office environment is fun and bubbly, and we always have a laugh. The professionalism of the office shows though when we still manage to hit our targets and deliver a great service to clients.
What skills do you find most useful to do your job?
Time management – the majority of our work processes involve working to timescales: deadlines, turnaround times and response times.
Maths skills are useful too. I’ve never struggled with numbers and that obviously helps with being an accountant.
Where’s your favourite place to visit on days off?
The Welsh countryside. Being a Welshman means I’m proud of my home country and know of nowhere more beautiful and enjoyable to go for a walk in the world.
Tell us about your proudest achievement.
Achieving my degree in Accounting and Finance – off the back of the lowest point in my life; not being able to join the RAF for medical reasons (something I’d worked towards since childhood). I had no plan B. I turned my life round, looked at my strengths and achieved a first-class degree when I had no desire to take on further education.
How would your colleagues describe you?
Office joker – I’m always around for a sarcastic comment or two and I have very dry humour. Hard tackler/Poor diver – the lads enjoy football once a week, and I am renowned for my world class tackling antics and poor diving quality.
What are you reading/binge watching at the moment?
I’m just coming to the end of the Harry Potter books; I’d seen all the films years ago but have never read the books. I’m also currently watching Snowpiercer on Netflix.
Who do you admire, and why?
My fiancée – she is a doctor and has dealt with the worst COVID had to offer in only her first year of being qualified, even contracting it herself. Her strength of character in dealing with that, the rest of her job (and me) is something I admire, and I am immensely proud of her.
What question would you really like to answer, and what’s the answer?!
Should Max Verstappen have won the F1 World Championship in 2021 via an FIA decision that ultimately destroyed the sport I love? Absolutely not!