What was your first job after leaving school/further education?
Quite sadly, I have always been an accountant. After leaving school at 17 to join a medium sized Glasgow accounting firm I got underway with my accountancy exams fresh after completing my highers. I qualified in 2012 and have now been in practice for over 10 years.
Why did you decide to join your current company & what appealed most to you about them?
I joined Mazars in 2014 after a large number of our partners moved here from our previous firm, ultimately I joined as I wanted to continue to work for the partner group. On joining I noted that Mazars however is a great firm to work for with a real family feel, which is a unique thing to have in a firm of this size. Mazars is a real innovative firm with a strong focus in the SME market which is my specialist area. I have enjoyed the journey so far and look forward to continuing to do so.
What’s your role?
I am responsible for the accounts and advisory team at Mazars, we are predominantly based in Glasgow but with clients across Scotland. We work closely with owner managed businesses, at whatever stage of their business life cycle they are at, to provide financial advice and support. We offer compliance and advisory services and are solutions focused, providing the technical expertise to ensure our clients’ accounts are accurate and they are meeting the statutory deadlines while also advising them on their business performance, processes and systems to help them achieve their personal and business goals.
What do you enjoy most about your it?
I can honestly say that I do love my job. I am responsible for a large team with a lot of clients and I must say the variety is what is most enjoyable. We have clients in every sector and of varying sizes and every day something different can come up. I enjoy and value the close relationships I have with my clients and contacts, being involved and helping them, in whatever way I can. I get real pride and enjoyment watching our clients succeed. However, you are only as good as your team and I get huge pleasure in developing the team and seeing them succeed and grow as individuals. A key aspect for me is that the people I work with are friends, and not just colleagues.
What type of clients do you work with?
I work with clients of all shapes and sizes, from start up to growing and maturing and even businesses that are looking at an exit. Generally my clients will have turnover up to £10m and are across all sectors. We primarily focus on owner managed businesses who are looking for advisers that they can build a real working relationship with.
What is of most importance to you in the services you offer to your clients?
That our clients receive value from the services they engage us for. A lot of competitors can provide the services we offer, so how do we differentiate ourselves? I see this in the personal client service that we can offer, the strong relationships that we build with our clients and the ongoing business support we provide.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
The accountancy world is in the eye of a storm at present, facing the biggest changes to reporting requirements in my lifetime and with new technology hitting the market daily the power really is being given back to our clients to really be responsible for their own accounting function, should they wish to be. Embracing this change has been difficult, especially for such an ‘old school’ profession, how do we keep up? How do we change? At Mazars we really are ahead of the game and with launching Elev8 last year it really has seen us engaging with the changes and being able to provide our clients with the best solutions that they need.
Which entrepreneur inspires you the most?
Richard Branson – very obvious you say, however over the years he has built an empire yet he still has his focus on the customer, the customer always comes first at virgin and the customer service ratings are exceptional. He also isn’t scared to fail which is I think is important as an entrepreneur.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to set up their own business?
Go for it. Owning your own business must be so rewarding. However, it is important to take your time, make sure you lay your foundations and you are comfortable before you take the next step and don’t get too excited, make sure it’s the right decisions for the long term and not only for the short term. We are currently working with a startup who has just taken the leap, however he has been very careful in his first year to ensure he has the correct set up to build on and most importantly that he has the capacity to build.
Tell us something about you that isn’t commonly known.
I am a massive Shania Twain fan and I actually know all of the words, to all of her songs…. Not that must impress you?
And finally, what do you hope to gain from being a member of WeDO?
I have heard a lot of great things about WeDO over the last few years and am delighted to be one of the Mazars Corporate Members. I’m really excited that the WeDO family has moved to Glasgow to help the entrepreneurial business community. I know I will benefit hugely from making new contacts in Glasgow, building new relationships and also attending the regular events that WeDO deliver (along with drinking wine). Hopefully I can also help members if they have any accounting requirements and needs, as I would like to be able to give something back to WeDO.