Accountancy wasn’t my dream – numbers don’t excite me. But 15 years ago when I approached my boss to hand in my notice, as I felt my accountancy journey had run its course, his response was to hand me a new challenge and convince me to stay while I tackled it. In fact, each time he saw I wasn’t being challenged, he gave me something new and extended my comfort zone further. Finally, the penny dropped and I realised there was a place for me within the industry. International tax is where I found my perfect fit.
Building and nurturing relationships is at the core of everything I do. I represent multinationals, SMEs and individuals, and I learn so much from my clients – their entrepreneurial journeys always interest and inspire me. I’m privileged to help my clients through some of their key moments and milestones, whether I’m assisting them to structure their assets before a move to or from the UK, preparing them for a sale or exit, providing guidance to expand their business , or helping them build a property portfolio with succession planning in mind.
The generations coming up think differently and they are not afraid of change, so it’s critical to stay relevant to them
Accountancy as a profession is moving quickly and so are clients’ expectations. Artificial intelligence is rapidly improving, and technology continues to develop apace. Both are transforming the way we work. Where compliance was our driver historically, clients are now looking for advisory, consultancy and specialist services too.
Professionals need to stand out and differentiate themselves. Individuality and creativity matter. But most of all, relationships and creating those deep connections matter. And the battle to attract and retain the best people has never been more testing than it is today. The generations coming up think differently and they are not afraid of change, so it’s critical to tailor your approach and stay relevant to them.
While technical ability remains at the heart of accountancy, a wider skillset is required in today’s changing market. Having the emotional intelligence to understand the evolving landscape clients are working in is critical, as is infectious energy and belief.
Recognising and reaching out to people who may feel undervalued or alienated is crucial. I was once a trainee too and I never forget this. People are the most important part of any business – you must involve them and bring them with you. Be inclusive, share information, communicate relentlessly, and constantly reinforce your vision, embedding it in everything you do.
And what happened to the boss who mentored me all those years ago? It was their intuitive approach, support and unwavering faith that helped me carve out my own path to a role I love. I’m happy to say we still work together today, but side by side now as two of the sixteen partners leading Gerald Edelman.