We are delighted to announce that we admitted three new partners on 1 December 2012. Very many congratulations go to Andrew Noton, Neil Williams and Phil Moss.
Neil and Andy are both home grown having joined us as trainees. Phil is a bit of a latecomer having joined as a tax director in 2010. Fine Lines recently spoke to all three of them.
FineLines: What do you most like about working for Lubbock Fine?
Andy Noton: For me the opportunity to work on interesting clients of a size which means we get to know how our clients’ businesses work on a personal level. On any day I can be involved in anything from business reorganisations or company acquisitions to just getting a client’s annual accounts prepared.
Neil Williams: I started life at Lubbock Fine straight out of college, so I’ve grown up here and loved every minute (well, nearly every minute!). I agree with Andy that the variety of work is far and wide; it’s also always interesting and of course challenging. One of the key things for me is that the firm is forward looking, moving with the times.
Phil Moss: Along with all of that, it’s full of great people and great clients. There is a real team ethos, with everyone pulling together to get the best result. From day one I’ve been involved in a
wide variety of interesting tax and business issues which have fully tested my problem solving skills.
FL: What has been your most interesting assignment?
PM: There are a lot to choose from in a relatively short space of time, but one that stands out is ending my first week at LF in conference with counsel on a particularly complex area of tax in order to prevent a client’s disposal from falling apart.
AN: During my last 12 years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel and one of my favourite assignments has been an annual visit to Lebanon. The country is fascinating and the people friendly and welcoming, not to mention being able to eat great food in Beirut’s many cafes and restaurants!
NW: Unlike most of my colleagues, I’ve had the chance to experience life on the other side of the fence, acting in quasi finance director roles for clients and working closely with their board/owner managers. This experience has given me a great understanding of the issues our clients face on a daily basis which stands me in good stead for the future.
FL: What are you most looking forward to about becoming a partner?
NW: Helping the firm move deeper into the digital world, whether that be behind the scenes or adding services for our clients, such as cloud accounting or remote assistance/portal.
PM: More of the same in terms of finding solutions to clients’ tax issues but with an increased focus on building relationships with clients and contacts, as well as developing the tax team to meet our clients’ needs.
AN: I’m looking forward to the next stage of my career with a view to widening my knowledge and experience. Also, becoming a member of the management team at Lubbock Fine means I’ll have a real say on matters I’ve had an opinion on for years!
FL: Where do you think the future of Lubbock Fine/accounting firms lies?
PM: I have always seen the role of a good accountant as being the client’s trusted adviser who can supply valuable guidance on the many business and tax issues that they face. How this is delivered may change but I think this core principle will still hold true.
AN: I agree with Phil, firms of Lubbock Fine’s size have a real advantage in that we are large enough to have the technical expertise to perform whatever our clients ask of us, whilst
being small enough to share that knowledge and expertise between each department providing a joined up service that thoroughly thinks through the impact of our advice.
NW: I’m very interested in making use of digital solutions to enhance client relationships. We don’t want to lose our personal touch, as it’s undoubtedly a major part of our firm, but with new technology we can connect and correspond with our clients in multiple new ways, allowing us to work even more closely with them.
FL: What challenges and opportunities do you see for clients in the year ahead?
AN: The UK Accounting Standards Board is in the process of bringing in a completely new set of accounting standards that will radically change the accounts of most medium and large
sized businesses. Assessing the impact of these changes and acting ahead of time to ensure any necessary actions are taken to avoid unexpected surprises in the year of adoption is one major challenge on the horizon.
NW: As well as the tax and accounting standard changes, the availability of cloud accounting/bookkeeping packages has never been greater. These new packages are relatively easy to use and have been designed to help supplement a user’s bookkeeping knowledge. Now could be an ideal time for clients to review the current systems and practices within their accounting functions. This may be triggered by increased or decreased trading, the use of outsourced bookkeeping for start-ups or as part of a cost cutting programme.
PM: Constant changes in tax are always a challenge, and with the recent large number of consultations on changes in areas as diverse as IHT on transfers from trusts to the holding of residential property by 'non-natural persons', the next year will be no different. Opportunities are always available too, whether it’s the ability to maximise allowances on a commercial building or the limited possibility of claiming 103% tax relief on an investment.
FL: What do you like to do in your leisure time?
NW: I enjoy the odd game of golf, weather permitting, and also have a fondness for football. However, nowadays you are more likely to see me watching rather than playing!
AN: My son (1 year old this month) means that leisure time is a bit of a distant memory! I try to play football for the Lubbock Fine team and love to cook for family and friends whenever I
can, a hobby that stems from a school time job working in a French restaurant in my home town.
PM: With two young daughters I really don’t get too much of a say! Other than spending valuable time with my family, I follow most sports, especially football, and play badminton plus the very occasional game of golf (the latter extremely badly). I have also tried to keep up my running after our Thunder Run exploits over the summer.