“The peer group support is fantastic, with colleagues always willing to listen and help.”
The client base and location. I wanted to feel I was able to make a difference to business owners working as part of their team and PKF Francis Clark is the natural home for those businesses in the West Country. I joined a long time ago so the firm was much smaller then, but growing and an exciting place to be.
I’m a client engagement partner, working with businesses across a range of sectors. My role is to provide advice, bring in specialists where needed and take overall responsibility for our work on those clients, very much as part of a team. I have a couple of specialist areas, healthcare and not for profit, but have retained a wide ranging client base that I’ve built up over time.
The variety and the people. No two days are the same, as although everyone is working under the same accounting and tax rules, each client brings their own business challenges and needs. And I get to work with great people, both clients and in-house.
I’ve always found it very friendly and supportive. There are opportunities to get involved in how the business develops.
I joined as a newly qualified manager in 1995, and became a partner in 2003. Career progression was less structured then, so it was quite a big step up at the time. Since becoming a partner I’ve taken on a number of roles, developed specialisms in healthcare and Academy schools, led the firm’s HR team for a time and worked in both the Exeter and Torquay offices. I want to play my part in the continued development of the firm and help those coming through have successful careers.
Hopefully I haven’t peaked yet! The great thing is that the biggest achievements happen all the time, when you help clients achieve their ambitions or dig them out of a hole. And seeing people I helped recruit flying in their careers is a real buzz.
The peer group support is fantastic, with colleagues always willing to listen and help. The firm also provides infrastructure support – it’s great to have the back up from specialists, people services, marketing and finance teams to enable me to focus on my role.
Commitment to the clients, working well in a team, being technically strong but also able to communicate that expertise effectively. Embracing change and being able to use or develop new ideas helps people progress.
Make sure you understand the role, a career here doesn’t fit the stereotype many people still have about what being an accountant means. Take advantage of the events and work experience to gain an insight if you can, or speak to someone informally. And if you think it’s for you, definitely apply!
Rewarding, Challenging, Fun.
Michelle Obama, Agatha Christie and Simon Hopkinson (ideally he would cook too). Or the cheesy answer, my husband and daughters.
Howards End is on the Landing, by Susan Hill.
Much to my family’s disgust, Rick Astley’s ‘50’. You can tell I’m not that much into music, or not cool music anyway.
I was advised to write down my goals and tell people what they are – really seems to make a difference in making things happen.
Cling film dispenser.
A long dog walk on the beach and cooking a roast for the family.
Your kids will be OK when they leave home…
With my family as much as possible, walking, cooking, reading.
To play the piano – a childhood ambition not yet realised, and it will be good for the brain.