Over the course of my 35 years in the industry, I have moved from advising large corporates, which I found to be technically challenging but very impersonal and personally unrewarding, to advising individuals on issues that affect them personally which I find to be far more enjoyable. At some point or other I have been involved in most taxes that are in existence and quite a few that no longer exist. During my career the tax legislation has grown exponentially and you can never stop learning or believe that you know it all, there are always new avenues to explore. You start off with a Chartered Tax Advisor qualification and then new avenues open up which have lead me to the trust and estate Practitioner qualification and more recently to Will-writing and Probate qualifications.
The really interesting part of my role is not in the technical solutions that I apply to clients problems but in helping them to explore the issues that they need solving and in ensuring that everything is properly considered. This process can take place quickly if needed but more often over an extended period allowing the client to fully consider everything. Sometimes the final outcome, which may be several years down a planned route, is totally different from where they thought they would end up and the initial solutions put in place therefore have to be flexible enough to cope with these changing situations.
I have had the honour of working with some families for over 20 years. During that timespan you get to watch businesses grow, often in unexpected directions when what was an insignificant part of a business comes into its own and outgrows the main business. You also see people develop, children coming into the family business, maturing and taking over from their parents. Sadly you also see the decline of the older generation as they lose their vigour and need to be looked after or businesses that are past their prime and need an orderly close down. Each of these phases bring their own problems to be explored but whilst the problems are common the people are different and so the issues that have to be dealt with to arrive at a solution are subtly different and nothing can be taken for granted. You can never go into a situation believing that you just need to apply standard solution A, instead you have a range of solutions at hand to be tailored and adjusted to fit that individual.
Outside of work, I have to confess to having little or no interest in sport. I keep fit by walking the South Shropshire hills and vegetable gardening, with a 30 ft polytunnel and 3 acres of land to keep me going. During the cold winter months I hide away and read science fiction.
I am also a Governor at two local schools which gives me the opportunity to apply my business experience in a different context.