On the Professional Front
How did I get here?
I joined the Inland Revenue in 1986 as a trainee inspector and left in 1989, to join a national firm of accountants in Manchester, passing the Institute of Taxation final exam in 1994.
In August 2004 I set up in partnership (John Jepps LLP) but left there in 2010 to form PB Taxation Services Ltd so that I could work more closely with clients and their advisors.
Why I like my work:
I really enjoy giving clients the good news that there IS an answer to their problem – and that we can work together to sort it out.
What I don’t like in business:
Other professionals who let me down.
Key piece of advice to others:
It is very important to manage people’s expectations:
- Don’t say “yes” when you mean “probably”.
- Don’t say ”possibly” when you mean “no”.
- Don’t say ”this week” when you mean ”this month”.
Best business moment:
Hearing the words “I’m thinking of selling a property…”and the Worst… Hearing the words “I sold a property 6 months ago…”
If I weren’t a tax consultant:
Guess I’d be Reiki practitioner from a beach hut in Bali!
Paying my debt to society:
I work as a volunteer for a charity, on a scheme called “Tax Help for Older People,” which has the full backing of HMRC. We provide free advice for pensioners on low income and I have done home visits and “surgeries” from Age Concern in Manchester, Urmston and Wythenshawe.
The charity, “Tax Volunteers,” was set up jointly by the Low Income Tax Reform Group of the Institute of Taxation and TaxAid.
What I do to keep fit: Play golf (does that count as keeping fit?). In my other life: I have been a school Governor at a local primary school since 2001.
I enjoy a wide variety of music which is handy as my 2 sons play in a brass band and jazz orchestra!
Some Fun Stuff
Favourite Holiday Destination:
West Coast of Canada watching the Orcas Where I’d rather be: Re-living a birdie at the 17th hole at St Andrews over a pint of Guiness
I wish I could:
Sing in tune
Superpower I’d like to have:
Ability to fly (but I’d settle for being able to sing in tune!)
My personal hero:
Mohammad Ali has always been my sporting idol and I would love to listen to the 1980’s version of him talking about his life.
I’d like an audience with:
The Dali Lama, as I would be fascinated to hear his thoughts on the modern world and how his beliefs help him to make sense of what is happening.
…and on the professional front:
The Head of HMRC along with Mr Thornton (one of my TOP clients). He can tell him face to face what it’s like to be a taxpayer in 2016 and how distressing it is when you can’t make yourself understood.