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Finance Industry Opinion

A day in the life - Accountant

A day in the life - Accountant

"I have been fortunate enough to work in good firms that are not such stereotypical accountants, making the job more relaxed, fun, and normal than I imagined."
Russell Silverman

Q. What was your dream career as a child?

A. A car salesman.  As cars sold for a lot of money, I thought it was a very well paid job!


Q. What qualifications did you gain? School/College/University.

A. Degree in Accountancy, BA (Hons)



Q. What made you decide to become an Accountant?

A. I had a friend who had a lovely large house filled with all up to date mod cons, a nice car and seemed generally “well off”.  I asked my friend what his dad’s job was and he was an accountant. That was my mind made up!  I would become an accountant and live that life of luxury!  It turned out the family was actually the benefactor of family wealth (on his mother’s side), so their financial situation was not due to his father’s career.


Q. What is your favourite part of the job?

A. Regularly meeting new and interesting people, helping businesses grow from nothing to successful companies, and socialising with clients and contacts.


Q. What is your least favourite part of the job?

A. People who don’t accept advice well.  When respect is not returned.  When you go above and beyond and it is not appreciated.


Q. Has the job lived up to your expectations?

A. I have been fortunate enough to work in good firms that are not such stereotypical accountants, making the job more relaxed, fun, and normal than I imagined.


Q. What is a “typical day” in and out of the office?

A. There is no such thing as a typical day in the office, every day varies a lot.


Q. Tell us about one of your most interesting work related experiences.

A. An ex client once decided to set up a club in St Petersburg, Russia in the early 90’s!  I went to Russia with him twice during the winter and although there were some terrifying moments, it was an amazing experience!


Q. Outside of work, how do you best relax?

A. Watching TV, Socialising with family, friends and clients.  Attending rock concerts. Watching and going to support my favourite football team Liverpool FC, although this is not always a relaxing experience!


Q. What have been the biggest changes to the industry over the years?

A. Definitely the introduction of computers, as well as the continuous introduction of more regulations.  Also deadlines and penalties are enforced more rigorously.


Q. Do you anticipate further changes and developments in the future and if so what?

A. I expect more regulations to be introduced and higher penalties to be issued for non-compliance.


Q. What is the best piece of advice you have received?

A. 1. Don’t ever reply to a letter or email when angry.  2. Make a decision, stand by it and move on from it, even if it turns out to be the wrong decision.  3. Send bills to clients before “tears of gratitude” dry on their face. 4. Do whatever you can to make the customers’ life easier.


Q. What would be the best piece of advice you could offer to Trainee Accountants?

A. Work hard, pass exams, show interest, commitment and flexibility.


Q. Who has been your biggest influence?

A. That would be a man called Dermot Power who was my employer at GLF, where I worked after qualifying.  He was very inspiring and unconventional.  My job, at first, was to shadow him and assist in any way needed.  He regularly “dropped me in the deep end” and I learned a lot from him.


Q. What are your plans for the future? Post retirement

A. I would like to continue working part time and take part in more charitable work by volunteering my time/services and not just monetary donations.