Are you interested in becoming a Partner of an Accountancy firm?

After years of performing at a high level, your success as a manager has you considering the next step in your career.

And it’s a big one.

The partnership position is the iconic career move many aspire to attain, but only a few make it.

A recent study by the ACCA revealed that 70% of accountants believed that luck played a significant factor in becoming a partner.

Whilst a splash of good fortune never hurt anyone, we asked our experienced partners to tell us a bit about their journey and what skills and planning they feel are crucial to working at the elite level in accountancy.

See full information on our Partner Program, or email us at liz@greenandco.com.

Find out more about Ed and Scott on our about page.

Tell us about your path to becoming a partner.

Ed Gooderham
“I wanted to become an accountant since I was nine years old. I lived on a farm, and it was always an important occasion when our accountant visited. It was something that caught my attention and aspiration.

I was also good with numbers, and when I was 15, I did some work experience in an accountancy firm and liked it; from then on, I knew I wanted to be an accountant.

My inspiration was always helping people make decisions to improve their businesses. There’s nothing like it.”

Scott Harris
“My path was quite different. I originally wanted to be an architect and fell into accountancy. My parents were self-employed, so I had some notion of what an accountant was, but I wasn’t sure for a long time.

I got onto the accountancy path by accident. I did an AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) course in college and didn’t know I could or would become an accountant even then.

I worked in industry for three years and got a lot of experience, but ultimately, it was very insular and inward-looking. As I became aware of the possibilities within accountancy, I realised I wanted to work in practice and help people in business like my parents.”

How did you finally make the step to becoming a Partner?

Ed Gooderham
“I had always aspired to make partner and set a target to do it by the time I was thirty.

The accountancy firm I worked in previously was a good company that taught me a lot. I liked it there, but the view at the firm was that they couldn’t have too many partners, and I wanted to go to the next level.

A chance encounter on a course in Mid Wales led me to discover that Green & Co was looking for a new partner.

I went to the agency and got an interview, which went well, and I got the job. So luck can help, but if you want to become a partner and have the right skills and attitude, then luck will find you.

We believe we can develop and promote people to reach their highest potential. However, lots of firms want to keep a traditional hierarchical structure. Our approach allows us to have a more extensive upper level. We’ll consistently pull in the clients to give everyone a chance to make a difference, develop and earn.”

Scott Harris
“I qualified with AAT before I joined Green & Co and went on to do my chartered accountancy training with Green & Co, qualifying in 2017.

Looking back, I think it was always in me that I wanted to be a partner.

It was a realisation over time that I could help people with my skills.

I felt that every day was the same in industry. I wanted to help ordinary people like my mother and father. I am inquisitive and want to be part of the decision-making process.

I’d worked closely with Ed for several years, and he suggested I consider becoming a partner.”

What makes a successful Partner?

Ed Gooderham
“From our perspective, the biggest issue is that most accountants don’t give much tax advice. It sounds crazy, but many accountants only do the tax return.

There are many avenues to tax, and only some firms give their clients the scope of options across their business and lifestyle needs.

An aspiring partner needs to take a holistic approach to the role, especially how they view the client. We work with our clients across many vital areas, such as family, business planning, exit strategies and life goals.

It’s gratifying to provide the client with the possibilities of how they can achieve their short and long-term goals.

If you are only interested in doing the tax return, then I’d say being a Partner isn’t for you.”

Scott Harris
“To be successful as a partner, I think you have to have a proactive approach; you have to want to be part of the overall outcome.

In many accountancy firms, there has been a tendency to approach the role passively, essentially executing a prescribed service.

Of course, we have to take care of the staples of the job, like the tax return, but as a partner, you have to want to go further. You’ll want to be a lynchpin in your client’s success. You’ll want to be able to affect their outcomes and improve their lives positively.

Recently, I started working with a client who is in the Construction Industry. After the first meeting, they couldn’t believe the amount of information they had. They had asked their old accountant for personal financial advice, and they had been referred to an IFA! It was great to hear that they thought it was a breath of fresh air.”

What were your first six months like as a Partner?

Ed Gooderham
“I’d worked at Green & Co for a year before officially becoming a partner.

Working closely with Nick & Hugh during that time was very beneficial, allowing me to understand the Green & Co way and employ a different approach with clients.

The culture was quite different to my previous firm. I asked Nick if I should give the clients advice and Nick said, “yes, of course, that’s what they pay us for”.

That was the aspect I really liked, making decisions.

Working with an experienced team was also beneficial as it meant I didn’t have to do the routine work, freeing me to help clients make the right decisions for their businesses and lifestyles.

The intensity did ramp up when I became a partner. At the time, we had to grow the business, so there was a lot of work and pressure to win new business whilst keeping the existing client base happy.

Fortunately, that would be different for someone joining our Partnership Program, as we have plenty of work, and they will have the time to learn the position and shape a portfolio that suits them.”

How much can a partner earn?

Ed Gooderham
“We offer a very competitive basic salary. On top of that, they can earn much more based on the percentage of their portfolio turnover.

A six-figure salary is not unrealistic within five years.”

How do you ensure that you maintain a healthy life-work balance as a Partner?

Scott Harris
“Maintaining a healthy life-work balance is one of our core values at Green & Co throughout the firm. We want to create the best practice for everyone.

We offer 33 annual leave days per year, flexible working, and gym membership.”

Find out more about Ed and Scott on our about page.

How do I find out more about the Partner Program?

We are recruiting for our Partner Program now.
See the full information on our Partner Program.