From Audit to Unicycling – we’re the team who do it

By Russ Byrd

Russ Byrd
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From Audit to Unicycling – we’re the team who do it

Technology is driving change in how we live, work and interact and the audit profession continues to keep up with this pace and the same is true within our audit team.

An auditor’s visit is often viewed as an inconvenience – taking managers and staff away from their day-to-day jobs and is generally expected to be “uncomfortable”. Ensuring we can offer a professional, competent, helpful and friendly service is the ethos we apply to every visit.

My team are often greeted with an air of pleasant surprise and a comment along the lines of “you are not what we were expecting!” I am not entirely sure what is expected, but thought we would share with you some of the internal achievements of the team and give some interesting and fun facts about each of them.

Meet Chris, the Audit & Assurance Manager, who keeps the team running:

Chris Baldwin


Work fact: Chris has worked at Randall & Payne for 13 years, starting as an AAT trainee before being promoted to Audit & Assurance Manager in 2015. Chris is either smiling or looking concerned (no in-between), and always looking to push the team out of their comfort zones into areas that he knows they will thrive.
Fun fact: A father of two Chris still finds time to enjoy building and racing remote control cars – he epitomises the saying “boys and their toys!” However, everything is put on hold when the Formula 1 is on television.

Meet Ben and Nathan, following on from successfully completing their training, both were deservedly promoted to Senior Audit and Assurance Accountants:

Ben Burch

Work fact: Ben started as an AAT trainee in 2012 and completed his ACA qualification in 2017. Coming from a background in the kitchen, Ben is used to having several pots on the go at once and flourishes under pressure. His commercial awareness continues to educate the team on new and upcoming affairs that may impact our clients.
Fun fact: Ben loves public speaking, if by public speaking you mean karaoke!

Nathan Smith

Work fact: Nath also started as a trainee studying for AAT in 2012, and became ACA qualified in 2017. Through his joint role as Club Secretary and former Captain of Shurdington Rovers Football Club, Nath is strong at supporting the team and being the last minute substitution if required.
Fun fact: As an avid Liverpool fan, it is always Nath’s year. He is often found in the karaoke bar as Ben’s backing singer.

Our latest team member to become qualified is Alice, who became a Certified Chartered Accountant in February:

Alice Hopper


Work fact: After studying accounting and finance at the University of Birmingham, Alice joined Randall & Payne in August 2015 as a graduate trainee. Having rotated around the departments, Alice “officially” joined the Audit team in February 2018 as an Audit and Assurance Accountant. Alice’s calm and methodical manner ensures the team remains on track and constantly provides support where required.
Fun fact: A keen animal lover, Alice has two Newfoundlands, Dora and Dylan, who have a combined weight of 118kg – that’s 18 and a half stone!

Our established trainees in the team are Hannah and Ffion – both with a deep Welsh heritage, which makes for fun times in the office during the Six Nations:

Hannah Churches

Work fact: Hannah is an ACCA Trainee Audit & Assurance Accountant who joined us from industry in 2017. She has a degree in Accounting & Finance and spent seven years with an events company where she was a Cash Controller responsible for revenue compliance and control. Hannah was lucky enough to be in attendance at eight British Grand Prix fixtures, NFL’s Wembley, RWX 2015 Twickenham, PGA Championships, Ryder Cup and The Ashes.
Fun fact: Hannah can unicycle and is mostly like to trip over an invisible line, but not at the same time!

Ffion Williams

Work fact: Ffion joined us in August 2017 as a Trainee Audit and Assurance Accountant, studying for the AAT qualification and has been regularly hitting 90+% in her exams to date.
Fun fact: Ffion’s family is heavily involved in rugby, and is often found in South Wales supporting at least one member of the family on the pitch. When not pitch side, Ffion is a professional harpist at weddings, dinners and other celebrations.

Our newest team members, are Will and Charlie-Anne:

Will Thomas

Work fact: Will joined us in January as a Trainee Audit and Assurance Accountant studying for his ACA qualification, coming from Aldi as Deputy Manager. His transferrable skills of organisation, customer relations and working through process driven tasks were what we were looking for in a new team member.
Fun fact: Will is partly colour blind but his fashion sense is that bad that it doesn’t really make a difference anyway.

Charlie-Anne Yardley

Work fact: Charlie came to us following her role as Supervisor at Frankie & Benny’s, into the position as Trainee Audit and Assurance Accountant and is studying for her AAT qualification. Charlie’s customer experience and working under pressure has allowed her to fit well into the team.
Fun fact: Charlie is a former World and National Champion in Traditional Karate, and used to be part of National All Star team of 120 people in the whole of the UK that compete against different Martial Arts styles.

I am lucky to have such a youthful, yet experienced team, who will help make your audit experience a friendly one and not as bureaucratic as you may think.

Contact Russ Byrd for more information by emailing russel.byrd@randall-payne.co.uk or call 01242 776000.

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