Johnston Carmichael's Richard Brown CA - Industry to Profession Q&A
Richard Brown, Audit and Assurance Financial Services Manager at Johnston Carmichael, shares his experience of moving from Industry to Profession with Mairianne Kpedekpo from Wilkinson & Associates.
Could you give a brief summary of yourself and career background?
I am a Chartered Accountant and qualified with ICAS in 2009. I specialise in Financial Services but with particular expertise in asset management, investment funds and FCA client money/custody asset regulations. I trained with a mid tier firm prior to joining a Big Four practice in Bermuda, spending some time in industry and have been in Financial Services since 2009. Personally I have two young children, love music, djing and reading.
What is your current role?
My current role is Audit and Assurance Financial Services Manager with Johnston Carmichael (JC) and I am based in Edinburgh. I look after our Financial Services client base and oversee our FS team, responsible for a wide range of FS clients, providing a wide range of services. I am also involved in business development and training, helping to grow our presence in the market place, which I am pleased to say, continues to go from strength to strength.
What does a “typical” day look like for you?
There is no such thing as a typical day (a common statement in practice), every day is different. Some days it will be office-based reviewing audit files/reports/presentations, managing my team or pulling together a tender for prospective clients. Other days could involve being at client board meetings, reviewing my billing at the airport or discussing regulatory/commercial issues with clients, helping build solutions that work for them. A typical day will always involve four things however: travel, meeting people, the occasional scratch of the head and having fun.
What was the appeal of professional practice?
After spending over 18 months in industry, the three keys things I missed were flexibility, working with like minded professionals striving for the same goals and variation in my day to day working pattern, both in terms of location, and what I am actually doing.
What do you enjoy most?
I enjoy most the people side of things, whether that is discussing an issue clients are facing or spending time with the JC team. That is what I missed when in Industry, you spend more time on Excel and staring at your desktop when I want to be out talking to people and understanding their issues, and helping to drive their success story.
What are your biggest challenges?
The biggest challenges are always managing expectations both at home and professionally. When you are looking after a wide range of clients, there can be many things which you have to balance, not to mention making time for a personal life too.
What do you do to relax away from work?
I have two young daughters who I love spending time with. This can be anything from swimming or chasing them about in a soft play to going out for dinner. I also, in a past life used to be a professional DJ so when time permits can be known to hit the decks at home to unwind.
About the author
Mairianne Kpedekpo CA, Senior Consultant at Wilkinson & Associates, is an experienced recruiter of qualified accountants and senior financial personnel, and has worked extensively across the financial services sector and within industry and commerce. Mairianne now specialises in recruiting within accountancy practice from newly qualified accountants up to board level.
Mairianne is a qualified CA with a background in tax, audit and transaction services across Scotland and Australia. Having also worked in industry and commerce, she has first-hand knowledge and experience that enables her to understand the requirements of both clients and candidates.
This blog is one of a series of articles from our commercial partners.
The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of ICAS.