Matthew's Story

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Matthew's Story

How would you describe what you do? What does a typical day look like for you?

As a senior audit and accounts manager, I work with owner-managed businesses of various sizes. My day-to-day work involves routine procedures, but as a manager, I must also be flexible to assist the team and meet client demands. Part of my role also includes managing three trainees, ensuring that they are supported and that all their reviews and college work is up to date.


What was it about Haines Watts that made you decide it was the right firm for you?

I joined Haines Watts in July of last year after working at an independent practice for seven years. I preferred to work for an independent practice rather than a larger firm where I would be "just a number." Haines Watts offers national support but maintains a local, small-business feel, which I really like. The national support has been beneficial, and I am a member of the audit committee, where I receive additional support.

It also helps that I grew up and have lived in Wolverhampton for a long time, which means that I know the area and also a lot of the businesses, in terms of connections it’s great.


What has surprised you most about your journey at Haines Watts?

Although I am relatively new to Haines Watts, I am surprised by the collaboration between offices, recently we needed assistance on a review and we had support from one of the team members in Liverpool which was fantastic. The intranet system is also great for finding resources quickly and easily.


What advice would you give to anyone with aspirations to be a manager/partner at Haines Watts?

Working hard and gaining your qualifications first and foremost, people skills are also really important if not more so! If you can’t work and collaborate with people internally and externally you won’t get far. Building a good relationship with a client can mean that they’re more likely to refer you to other businesses. Coming in and doing an audit can be intrusive sometimes so building that solid foundation with people is essential.

In terms of progression, always ask questions when you don’t understand something and get on as many training courses and workshops as you can, it’s important to be expanding your knowledge and understanding. There are some really great courses for seniors and managers offered here to help you progress quickly!


How would your colleagues describe you?

I try to be an easygoing manager who is accommodating to colleagues. I believe that explaining "why" when asked questions is more valuable than just providing an answer. Maintaining good relationships with colleagues is essential for success in a managerial role.

I think it’s important to also have a good personal relationship with other colleagues, being able to go to a social event after work but then also be respected as a manager is the ideal situation!

What changes have you seen in the profession, and how have these changed your role and/or skill set?

Even during my time in audit, I’ve seen a lot of changes. The quantity of information that we have to deal with now is a lot more than before. Things have gotten stricter but for good reason, we need to make sure we are always complying with standards and producing accurate work. Technology is also a huge change, when I started we had clients that still used paper ledgers! Going through 40 pages of transactions to find what we needed was a long process so now our job is a lot easier with technological advances. I think the technology will continue to advance with different software packages and automation, I’m looking forward to seeing that


What do you think the managers and partners of the future will look like?

I don’t think it’s a one size fits all. Going back to the technology comments, I think managers will need to lead that and work alongside it to find the best balance for teams. The ability to manage people is going to become more important in terms of staff retention and ensuring your team are happy. Recruitment can be a challenge in accountancy so keeping good people in the business is really important. Managers and partners are more involved than back in the day, you don’t often see partners just spending all day on the golf course anymore!


If you had a theme song, what would it be?

I always liked Oasis, mainly because my brother always used to play it very loudly and I could hear it through my wall so I didn’t really have a choice! But I met my other half to an Oasis song so I’m going to say Wonderwall. 

If you could be a superhero, who would you be?

Iron man - he has a cool life both in and out of his suit!

If you could be an Olympic athlete, in what sport would you compete?

I used to compete nationally in athletics as a multi-eventist until I did my back in! I was always good at hurdling so I’ll say that. 

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