Most weekday mornings start the same for me. Alarm goes off at 6.30. If I go to the gym, it means I get it out of the way, then get to the office nice and early to have a healthy breakfast. If I don’t go to the gym, I normally get to work early, and get some work done before the phones start ringing and emails start landing in my inbox.
I normally have a catch up with Carolyn, my business partner, in a morning, to look at the week ahead, any new jobs coming in and we also have a bit of a natter to catch up! We have worked together for almost 30 years and there is never a dull moment as we are constantly looking to develop the firm and improve what we do.
This morning I had a new potential client come in for an initial meeting. This meeting is really about finding out about the person and their business, and what they are looking for from an accountant. It is also a chance for me to share what we do and of how we can support them. We offer a completely bespoke service to new business start-ups who want to clarify their vision and want to get advice to make sure they remain on track. So today, I did just that and met with a new business owner to talk through their goals and aspirations. We have had years of experience advising the local business community and take the long view on advising them of appropriate courses of action to get the best outcome. I enjoy seeing a client’s business grow and develop, so hopefully this will become another that we can support.
I will then spend part of the morning checking in with the team to make sure all clients are in order and everything is on track for deadlines. We have a number of trainees in our firm, and I believe in a real hands-on approach with them and supporting them with their work.
Lunchtime is, on a good day, a chance for me to get outside and walk into town for some food. Anything from a pasta salad and some fruit, or some soup. The fresh air and time away from my desk is very welcome at this part of the day, and it revives me for the rest of the afternoon.
Once back at my desk, and lunch eaten, I log on to a scheduled webinar, run by 2020 Innovation Group. As members, the training and solutions give us support in areas such as the upcoming Making Tax Digital and any new technologies that will affect accountants. This particular webinar was talking about tax updates and focused on how as a firm we can prosper in the changing environment that we face.
After an hour well spent, I go back to responding to my many email queries that have come through, before heading out for a client meeting. Today I visited a client in the engineering industry, who are in the process of changing over to cloud accounting. We are helping them with the transition from a desktop accounting package, to cloud accounting. Not only are we ensuring that they comply with the Making Tax Digital legislation coming into play in April, but also so that they reap the many benefits that cloud accounting provides. After a successful meeting and getting more actionable plans in place, it is time to head back to the office.
Once back at work, I have a quick catch up with our receptionist Lynne, who can update me with any phone messages, and I like to write up the meeting notes and take any immediate actions. Members of the team will often pop in with queries, some easier than others, but I always have an open-door policy, which I think is crucial. I get a few calls from existing clients wanting advice, and an invitation to a launch event next week.
Before I know it, it is time to leave the office, so I switch off, and jump in the car. I always listen to music while driving, as it really helps me switch my work brain off! If it’s been a particularly testing day then The Whole of the Moon by The Waterboys never fails to do the trick - sheer perfection!
I love listening to music - I bought a turntable last year and have been rediscovering vinyl. I can now often be found in Vinyl Tap in Huddersfield, or at record fairs. My wife Emma thinks I am obsessed, and she may be right!
After having a quick tea, it’s time to head out to train my local junior football team. I have coached the team for 10 very enjoyable years. They are Under 17 this season, so those days are almost over unfortunately. There will be a gap to fill there, but I might start to get my evenings and weekends back! I am a season ticket holder at Huddersfield Town so you can always catch me at their home games.
Once I am home from football coaching, I get to spend some time with my family, which may involve a chat on FaceTime with my daughter who is currently at Liverpool University. I will sit and watch a bit of TV, start winding down, then head to bed...then it all happens again!