Doug Marshall [AAT Accountancy]

The Interview

Hi Doug, tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Doug Marshall, I was born and raised in Kidderminster, and now carry on in business here in the town. My accountancy career started in 2002 while on an apprenticeship with Kidderminster College and a family-run two partner firm based in Kidderminster. I won various awards during my term with Kidderminster College and Laud, Grice and Co. I left the firm to move to a larger, more corporate company in Droitwich where I was promoted through multiple positions, after 13 years of service I decided I wanted to return to Kidderminster to open my own accountancy practice. I formed Wyre Business Consultants on 1st March 2020 and operate from an office in Church Street, Kidderminster. Our practice provides Accountancy, Taxation, and Business Consultancy Services to individuals and companies across Worcestershire and now further afield. Our core focus of clients is property investors, the Construction Industry, and the Recycling sector. We are a digital practice utilising the best software available to ensure we are a responsible and eco-friendly firm. We are currently a small firm employing three members of staff plus a part-time payroll clerk and a part-time management accountant. I currently hold the Managing Director title, but as a small firm, we have to cross into other roles to ensure we deliver for our clients. To date, we act for 263 individuals, 12 partnerships, and 137 companies. We have a clear vision and are aspiring to be an award-winning accountancy firm within the next 12 / 24 months, we want to be the most recommended firm within the area.

Would you hire an apprentice within your business?

At present we do not employ an apprentice, however, our next recruit will be an AAT apprentice. I foresee this particular role to cover some administrative tasks as well as learning the profession. Once AAT qualified we will encourage further education into ACCA or ICAEW. I am a huge advocate of apprenticeships and believe that investment in young people has many benefits. Each generation of apprentices will bring their own ideas which will contribute to the evolution of the firm. I enjoy training and investing time in young people, to see them develop gives me great satisfaction, the investment encourages these homegrown talents to remain within the business and be promoted to senior positions. At my last firm, I formed an award-winning apprenticeship program for the company working in conjunction with Kidderminster College. We won the Medium – Employer – Apprenticeship Firm of the year award.

How has Covid-19 affected things?

Starting my business at the very start of COVID-19 was unnerving, but we have gone from strength to strength. We have not furloughed any staff nor made redundancies. We are looking to add an apprentice and a tax advisor to the business in quarter 1. I decided from the initial outset that I wanted my workforce to have flexible working arrangements enabling them to work in the office or remotely.

What advice and tips would you give new apprentices?

Be early, look sharp and smile. Ask for a glass of water. Nerves will always play a part in interviews, so take the time to digest the interviewer’s questions and think before you speak. If you are unsure of the question ask for clarity. Always have a notepad, your CV, and questions in a presentable and neat format so you look organised.

The CV is an opportunity to showcase your talents and experiences. Keep the CV to 2 / 3 pages. Check for spelling and grammatical mistakes. The opening paragraph needs to be catching to hold the reader’s attention.

New roles are nerve-racking, but make an effort to say hello when you are making a drink or walking the floor for any reason. Get involved in work activities to get to know others. One thing I always liked to do was if I didn’t know the answer to something I would ask the ‘go to’ person as opposed to researching online, I used it as an ice breaker.

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