Letchworth-based Richard joined George Hay back in 1986; he qualified with the firm, was appointed as a Partner in 2001 and took on the role of Managing Partner in 2017.
He is responsible for auditing within the practice and has vast experience in this area.
Richard specialises in advising small to medium sized businesses (SME’s), start-ups and he also has a significant portfolio of property clientele.
Q1. With your 35th anniversary with the firm coming up in August, and with it being your fourth year as Managing Partner, how has the firm, your role and the way in which we support businesses evolved in this time, and can you recall any particular career highlights?
The firm has changed a lot during the course of the 35 years I have been with it. When I joined the firm we had only one computer across the two offices, whereas nowadays we couldn’t do anything without them. Technology has transformed what we do and the way we do it.
From starting as a trainee and progressing to audit manager and then partner the firm has always maintained its personal approach to clients and staff, treating all as individuals and trying to do the best for everyone.
Probably the highlights I would pick out would be qualifying in 1993 at Biggleswade, then moving to Letchworth office in 1994 and being made Partner. I have enjoyed my many years at the firm and hopefully there are a lot more good years to come!
Q2. What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Competitive, determined and a realist.
Q3. We know from your profile that you’ve competed in a number of half-marathons and triathlons. With life looking like it is slowly starting to return to some form of normality, do you have any other sporting events lined up?
I’ve already done one half marathon this year and got quite a few more runs planned for the year, although no big event.
Q4. Audit, acquisitions and disposals, and property transactions are a few of your specialisms. How did you come to specialise in these areas, and what about helping clients with these matters do you enjoy the most?
I trained doing a large number of audits and that has persisted. I think the acquisitions and disposals work we undertake has arisen from the types of clients we look after – from small growing businesses to mature businesses with clients looking to maximise their wealth at the right time.
I enjoy advising property clientele; these transactions can often be complex looking at a number of taxes and the way they interact which include Income Tax, Stamp duty, Capital Gains Tax and, more than likely, Inheritance Tax. I like problem solving and helping clients through trying to understand their motives and helping them achieve their ultimate goals.
Q5. What is one word that you feel describes George Hay?
Q6. What is your food heaven, and your food hell?
Heaven: Pasta and Pizza followed by some nice gelato
Hell: liver and kidney
Q7. The summer sun has finally made an appearance. What do you enjoy most about the summer months?
The long evenings and more daylight to play golf!
Q8. Can you tell us a bit about your involvement in/experience of developing the Letchworth office in the years after it was first opened in 1982?
I moved to the Letchworth office in 1994. Keith Middleton had been tasked with setting the office up in 1982 and it was felt he could do with some more support. Being a newly qualified accountant I was enthusiastic, as well as being technically up to date. Keith and I built a good relationship and our diverse skill sets meant that we could provide clients with quality, timely and innovative advice. We managed to pick up some good clients and had a lot of fun along the way.
Q9. What three things would we find at the top of your bucket list?
I’d like to travel more so going to Peru to explore Machu Pichu; visiting the Galapagos Islands; and visiting New Zealand.
Q10. We recruit at both school-leaver and senior level and, as your career journey illustrates, there are plentiful opportunities to progress. What advice would you give to anybody considering a new career in accountancy, or a new role in the field?
The most important thing as far as I was concerned was enjoying what I do. I find that working in an accountancy practice every day is different and challenging.
For anyone considering a role in accountancy the number one thing I would say is to study hard and get qualified, be prepared to work hard and stick at it. Once you are qualified opportunities can open up for you.