My first introduction to farming and rural clients, was as a trainee accountant whilst with a firm of Chartered Accountants in Salisbury, Wiltshire who specialised in advising farmers and landowners. It was here that I learned my craft and the basics of preparing accounts and considering tax implications for this sector.
Over the course of the next three to four years I developed my specialism, before joining Strutt & Parker, Chartered Surveyors and Farming Consultants, as Head of their Client Accounting Department, based in their Salisbury office. I was responsible for the South and South West area – servicing their Salisbury, Newbury, Moreton-in-Marsh and Exeter offices and clients. Such clients ranged from mixed farms and rural businesses/estates to the prestigious heritage estates/larger estates. I worked closely with the Surveyors and Farm Consultants in delivery of the farms/estates bookkeeping, payroll and year end requirements, including the tax compliance work needed.
I re-joined the profession some three years later, when I took up the role of lead partner of a mid-tier firm based in Chippenham, Wiltshire and where I serviced a number of farming and rural clients across Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire. I was also instrumental in establishing a Frome Market office presence.
Coming full circle and my current status, I joined Milsted Langdon in early 2015 and now lead the Bath office and Wiltshire reach. I head-up Milsted Langdon’s ARA (Agricultural & Rural Affairs) group, covering Wiltshire, Somerset and Gloucester areas – as serviced by our Bath, Yeovil and Taunton offices and team.
My USP for clients is that I provide a proactive and ‘holistic’ approach, working as part of their team and as a trusted adviser. I have close working relationships with other professional advisers such as solicitors, bank managers and rural/agri consultants – all of whom have known me personally for some 20 years or more. I provide strategic planning to my clients, looking at succession planning, capital taxes planning and tax savings overall, as well as the opportunities for diversification. I am always accessible and pride myself in being client centric at all times.