• Role: Audit Partner
  • Location: East London
  • University: Bath
  • Degree: BSc (Hons) Economics

Simon Liggins

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Simon is and audit partner at the East London office.  He joined the firm in 1999 after graduating from the University of Bath with a BSc(Hons) in Economics.

I joined the firm’s ACA graduate scheme in 1999.  Having a finance based degree, pursuing a professional qualification in a field such as accountancy seemed an obvious choice.  At that time I didn’t fully understand the profession – and like many others I applied to some of the “big firms”.  However, I soon realised that I didn’t want to be one of a large crowd and opted to join Barnes Roffe, who’d shown a much more personal approach right through the application process.  I’m really glad I did!

The firm has grown a lot since then, but all of that growth has come organically, without mergers or takeovers.  This means that the firm has retained its friendly and personal feel and is still a great place to work.  One of the key factors in my development was the partners’ “open door” policy.  From day one I was encouraged to ask questions and to engage with the team at all levels.  The social side of things (we have 6 to 8 social events a year as well as numerous ad hoc gatherings) is also great, and really helps to build relationships with the team.

I’ve been lucky enough to progress through the firm and became a partner in January 2010.  Progression takes dedication and hard work but, still being a relatively small business, we identify future potential based on merit, and not simply those people willing to work long hours.  I now look after a sizeable portfolio of clients – it’s my job to understand all of the work we do for them.  When I meet the clients it’s crucial that they can relate to me as a person, so that I can build their trust and confidence. For this reason I need to have the right work life balance – it won’t surprise you that when I meet a client we don’t launch straight into the technical accounting and tax aspects of their business…. most people prefer to start things off on a lighter note by talking about holidays, sport, TV etc, so it’s important for me to be somebody other than an accountant outside of the office.

I’d thoroughly recommend Barnes Roffe to any young person starting out in their career.  Opportunities and speed of progression are second to none.

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