What attracted you to accountancy?
Initially, the technical discipline, the fantastic symmetry of double entry book-keeping and the challenge of yet more exams attracted me to accountancy. That was just the beginning. During my training at KPMG, in the UK and in Europe, the opportunity to see the inside of clients’ businesses drew me in. This really clicked into place when I joined Sayer Vincent and started working with charities.
What do you enjoy about the charity sector?
In the charity sector you can build great connections with people and this has kept me hooked. My role is about so much more than balance sheets, systems, and controls. I meet really interesting people – from the accountants we train to the management teams and trustees. We always say the people and relationships, not the fees, come first and the interactions with clients and our team matter most.
What are your key skills?
As well as managing a portfolio of audit clients, I love advising on governance and risk issues and working with boards and committees to help them develop governance practices, financial performance management and risk management.
I lead many of our training and facilitation assignments, including away days for boards or training for non-financial managers. I also lecture at Bayes Business School and help run the Inspiring Financial Leadership course to train future charity finance leaders and recently co-wrote The Honorary Treasurers’ Handbook, a practical guide for honorary treasurers.
As a partner at Sayer Vincent, I share the responsibility for managing the firm and lead on HR issues. Learning and development is a field I love. I believe that, with the right support and training, we can master many things we may be anxious about such as numbers and finances.
What makes you proud?
We are a training firm for ICAEW and it’s really rewarding to see our trainees move up through the firm. Some staff remain with the firm, becoming managers and fellow partners. Others have become financial leaders at charities.
Tell us something people may not know
I am a trustee. It is so important to understand how it feels to be on the other side of the table. My trustee roles have brought new perspectives to the work we do and recommendations we make. I sat on the board of a grant maker, and now chair the finance committee of a learning disability charity, as well as being the treasurer of sector infrastructure body.
What do you get up to outside of work?
I am keen gardener and love taking photos of beautiful flowers and plants. I also like organising events and fundraisers in the village where I live.