At HB&O, it’s our people who really make us special. This week we sat down with Simon Turner, who joins us as a Director, to find out more about himself and what he hopes to achieve at HB&O…
When did you begin your career in accountancy, and was it a profession that you always wanted to work in?
After completing a HND in Finance and Business at New College Durham, followed by a BA (Hons) in Business and Accountancy at Sunderland Uni, I began my first job as a trainee at a small firm in Surrey in 1996.
My real passion always lay in business. I’ve always been good with numbers and I loved working with my Dad from a really young age in his shop, but it was the business side of things of things that lead me down the accountancy route. Working with people to help them achieve their personal and professional goals has always been something which I’ve felt I needed to have as part of my career, and that’s exactly what this profession has allowed me to do.
How you do feel accountancy, as a professional service, has changed and evolved over the years?
Thankfully, a lot, and I certainly think it’s been for the best! Accountancy firms have become far more focussed on providing business advice and really understanding the needs of their clients. The development of technology has also played a huge part in improving the way in which we provide support – it’s removing the mundane stereotype which surrounds this profession and showing people that there’s so much more to what we can offer. As technology continues to evolve, our service can only improve.
In terms of accountancy practices themselves, I think the pandemic has helped us all realise how much we can actually achieve when we’re not physically in the office and this is particularly true for a lot of older firms. Wellbeing has also become a focal point for a lot of companies which is really great news; looking after staff members is becoming a far greater priority and I think this will continue.
What do you believe sets HB&O apart from other accountancy firms?
In short, three key things: it’s people, it’s values and the great culture. These three factors are essentially why I wanted to join!
HB&O’s priority is to engage with clients and to really understand what they want to achieve, before thinking of which services we can offer to help them reach their goals. Nearly all firms say that this is the way they work, but HB&O really do take the time to listen to their clients, not just at the beginning, but along the entire journey of working together, which often spans many, many years.
The Corporate Finance offering and the Financial Services offering are key stand-out features of HB&O. It’s really unique to have these departments within an accountancy, and it means that our clients have access to such a wide range of support. The dedicated VFO team is also a great asset and being able to process R&D claims in house is another key advantage. It really is the case that clients come to HB&O and they’re completely looked after with all these different departments operating under one roof, and this makes processes so much more effective and efficient.
What are you most excited about achieving as part of your role at HB&O?
I worked at my previous firm for 23 years, so I have to say, I’m most excited about embarking on a new journey! I’m looking forward to bringing the knowledge and experience that I’ve gained over many years, to HB&O, and combining it with the rest of the teams’ to achieve our ambitious growth plans. HB&O are an extremely modern, forward-thinking firm and that’s something which I find very exciting. I think I’m going to learn a lot here and I’m looking forward to helping others learn too. As I’ve mentioned, I really enjoy helping clients achieve their goals, but I feel exactly the same about staff members- personal and professional development of staff is hugely important to me. I’m coming into a company which is built upon such a fantastic foundation and I can’t wait to be a part of all that we’re going to achieve to together.
Welcome to the team, Simon!
Whether you’re looking for specific advice, or some more general guidance, get in touch with us today.