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Member Profile Interview – Simon Sweeney of Mazars
March 16, 2018
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Simon SweeneyMazars Edinburgh

What was your first job after leaving school/further education?

During the summer & winter breaks at University, I worked in the construction industry which was a great hands on experience before interning at an accountancy practice in my final year. From there, I have worked in practice ever since, completing my professional qualification in 2016.

Why did you decide to join your current company & what appealed most to you about them?

After the completion of my professional exams, I was keen to move to a larger firm in order to progress my career and extend my professional network. Mazars was the perfect choice as an innovative firm which has a real focus on the SME market.

Explain what your role is.

As part of the Financial Outsourcing team, I work closely with our clients on a daily basis to ensure their finance needs are being met and removing the burden of the day to day financial management of their business from them. A key part of my role is to work with our clients to help them understand their business performance, allowing them to focus their efforts on areas of their business where they can add value.

What do you enjoy most about it?

Every day is different. As we are embedded into our clients business, we work closely together through periods of growth and change which is exciting as you feel involved and part of the business. When you apply this across the many different sectors our clients operate in, it makes no two days the same.

What type of clients do you work with?

The portfolio I manage is primarily made up of hospitality and retail clients, ranging from a single high street shop to a restaurant chain operating in 5 different sites. As a team, we have experience in a number of sectors; recruitment, scientific research and construction, to name a few.

What is of most importance to you in the services you offer to your clients? Helping clients understand their true business performance. In order for clients to make key business decisions, it is crucial that they understand how their business is performing and how changes will affect the business, financially and operationally.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced?

Embracing the technological change which has been revolutionary in the industry we operate in. In the past 5 years, the way we work has been transformed by cloud accounting and the apps which go along with it. The change is definitely for the better as it has allowed us to become more engaged with our clients. As a firm, we are always trying to be ahead of the curve with technology to ensure we provide our clients with the best possible solution to match their need. This is showcased by our recent offering to the SME market, elev8 by Mazars.

Which entrepreneur inspires you the most?

Jeff Bezos – the concept he has created with Amazon is incredible. The way the business operates is exactly in tune to what their target market demands, genius.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to set up their own business? Take time to ensure the business is set up in a way which aligns with your long term plans. Through my experience, I have seen many clients who have grown their business from startup and when the time has come to exit the business, they are not in the optimal position due to the structure of their business.

And finally, what do you hope to gain from being a member of WeDO?

Through WeDO, I am looking forward to building and growing my professional network which will help develop my career. The Masterclasses which WeDO run are also of great interest to me and hope to get along to one soon.