My typical day could be in the office or out with clients. If Iím in the office I would mainly be planning, supervising and reviewing the completion of client accounts and audit working papers or performing tax planning & compliance work as well as answering client queries. I would also be ensuring our own administration was up to date.
If Iím out with clients, I could be supervising a statutory audit, sitting in on a Revenue audit, advising on how the client could streamline their business or even helping them interview accounts staff.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
As a partner in a Chartered Accountancy practice my role is very diverse. I have responsibilities in every aspect of the business, from planning & supervising to hiring staff and marketing the firm.
I really enjoy the diversity of the work. One day I could be doing a field audit on a chain of car dealerships, the next day I could be advising on UK property management or providing tax planning advice. Being a Chartered Accountant has provided me with a wealth of financial and business knowledge. It has also exposed me to how other businesses are formed and run.
In short, having a Chartered Accountancy designation is like owning a passport to any finance related position, anywhere in the world. Its only limit is your imagination. In my case it has enabled me to become my own boss.
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
I have gained a considerable range of experience from sole trader accounts to SME and Plc audits as well as in tax compliance & planning and corporate finance. Also, I feel I have very strong communication skills and an ability to see what course of action is most suitable for the client.
What's not so cool?
As a partner the buck stops with me. So, if deadlines are not met or errors are made, itís me who has to take ultimate responsibility. Be it putting in the additional hours or apologising to a disgruntled client. This can be a bit stressful at times. But, it is swings and roundabouts. Last year I clocked up roughly a month in overtime. However, I got remunerated for it and took over 30 days holidays during the year.
How did you go about getting your current job?
After successfully completing a four year chartered accountancy training contract, I took a new job as assistant practice manager. During my employment, I was instrumental in the installation and maintenance of the office computer network, departmentalising and computerising both the taxation and the company secretarial operations with dedicated software. In addition, I was tasked with upgrading and reviewing all the audit and accounts preparation procedures to ensure the practice was meeting all its compliance requirements.
This experience put me in a great position to apply for more technical jobs, which lead to my next job as an audit and technical manager in a medium sized practice. This hugely beneficial experience was the most important contributing key to my current position. I had always known that I wished to end up as a partner. But more importantly I knew that I needed to experience working in other small to medium sized practices in order to gain experience on a wider spectrum of the business. This has helped not to just maintain the current business but also to expand and create a new and exciting approach to both management of jobs and staff.
What are the main challenges?
The main challenge that I come across is the ability to manage several tasks at any one time. This could be billing, recruitment, client audits etc. These can all require input from both colleagues and clients in order to complete whilst monitoring the budget associated with each job and making sure they are prioritised correctly and completed as timely and efficiently as possible.