My training and initial career as a chartered accountant was in general practice – the usual audit and accounting but also providing tax and business advice. I then got involved advising clients on buying and selling companies and loved that. Initially I was not sure if I would get the same buzz from working with charities – but oh, I do and more! I love the challenge of working with charities. I might be contacted about a VAT problem, but actually the problem is much wider, and may involve other taxes or business management issues. I then work with the charity to find the best solution for them. It is great to be able to remove the jargon and confusion and explain complex issues in a straightforward way. Charities are very business-like and have to cope with all the pressures and requirements of any business – but also with charity regulations, reporting and tax rules. So the more straightforward I can make this for them the better. It is also vital to consider all the differing requirements together – business needs, financial issues, VAT, other taxes and the Charity Commission – to reach the right outcome. I have recently finished a six year term as the treasurer of the Institute of Fundraising where I helped ensure everyone understood the financial background to, and impact of, what we were doing. As I am mostly sitting at a desk, I usually walk to the office and back rather than take the tube so that helps keep me fit, as well as walking the dog at the weekend.