Training to be an accountant during a recession had some advantages. I trained with a small firm in Scotland during the early 1990s. When the recession bit, I was retained and thrown in at the deep end, which gave me a really good grounding.

After qualifying with ACCA, I joined a mid-tier firm in Glasgow. I was working with much larger clients, which helped me to progress from an audit senior to audit manager and in May 2008 to partner.

Networking is important; it led to my next move. After discussions with the partner group, I joined Alexander Sloan in 2013. I could see the huge potential in a firm with a solid reputation across Scotland’s central belt.

The ACCA Qualification has proved enormously helpful to me. It gives professional credibility and is a badge of technical expertise. I couldn’t function without it today.

Our firm sees real benefits in rotating staff. We understand the importance of continuity of partners and senior staff to our clients, and we introduce new members of staff at lower grades to help grow the pool who have knowledge of our clients’ procedures, systems, staff, etc. 

I relish working with my diverse client base. I get a buzz out of the variety – from advising small businesses to attending board meetings of large audit clients. 

My preference is always to go out and visit my clients. This provides a real window into the business and the key individuals behind it. It’s amazing what you can pick up from talking to people.

FRS 102 presents clients with the biggest change to accounting rules I have seen in my career. Clients are not always aware of its impact. We are working closely to help them with the transition process, including the provision of compliance health checks.

Alexander Sloan will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2017. One client has been with us since 1908 and will be helping us celebrate.

I have been a member of the  committee for just over a year. We are ACCA’s ‘eyes and ears’, providing perspectives of the accountancy market in Scotland. We also promote the regional networks and encourage members across the country to take advantage of the many benefits of membership.

Away from work I drive my 10-year-old son across the country to play rugby. Even then, my skills are put to good use – I am treasurer of his club.