James Geary & Gina Gardner | Corporate Tax | Randall & Payne
Category: R&P News

From Tax Trainee to the Fast Track at 24

Randall & Payne, Cheltenham Accountants, are proud to be a training firm, recognised and approved by the ICAEW, ACCA, and AAT, and each year we commit to recruiting a number of trainees who join us straight from A’ levels or after university.

Most will train for technical roles like accountants and auditors, but we also have a trainee in our admin team. We feel that this ongoing commitment to bringing in new trainees allows us to play our part in the wider community, as well as ensuring we continue to build our already talented workforce, sustaining and growing our business.

We offer an excellent training programme and many of our past trainees have gone on to achieve great things. Some are now partners and managers, whereas others are well on their way to developing successful careers here, making a real and valuable contribution to the business and adding value for our clients.

Gina Gardner is a fantastic example of what can be achieved by a trainee with hard work and ambition, having achieved a huge amount in a short space of time. She started as an apprentice at 18, and quickly went on to become MAAT qualified in 16 months which usually takes around three years, and also gained an AAT Level 4 Diploma in Business Skills. Her commitment to training is indisputable, as she has just become the first in the firm to achieve the ACA CTA Joint Programme.

Gina joined the Corporate Tax team a couple of years into her traineeship and became an extremely valued team member, taking on a considerable amount of responsibility for her trainee status, developing her own client portfolio. Gina has embraced the challenge of winning and guiding clients through the Research & Development (R&D) claim process.

During her relatively short accountancy career to date she has been shortlisted and won numerous industry awards. In 2017, as Trainee Corporate Tax Accountant, Gina was awarded ‘AAT Rising Star’ and the following year she was shortlisted in the ‘AAT Professional Member of the Year – MAAT’ category. Later in 2018, Gina was crowned ‘Rising Star of the Year’ at the British Accountancy Awards and was the only trainee on the shortlist.

At the time, Gina summarised the basis of her nomination by saying, “In my current role I’ve demonstrated outstanding achievements having been given the opportunity to take on greater responsibilities than is ordinarily expected of a trainee. This has included holding independent client meetings, winning new business, going above and beyond in order to provide a high standard of customer service, all whilst committed to continuing in my studies.”

Since then, she has continued to progress quickly within the firm and in December 2019, Gina was promoted to Corporate Tax Accountant having qualified as a Chartered Accountant. She continued to expand the client portfolio she manages, whilst undertaking her CTA studies, which she has now passed meaning she is a Chartered Tax Adviser. Finally we are now also proud to announce her recent promotion to Senior Corporate Tax Accountant.

Gina has also been responsible for setting up an internal Trainee Group which has encouraged our trainees to interact between teams and to provide support to each other when studying for similar or the same qualifications. Although she will be taking a well-deserved break from the books herself, she will continue to support our existing and new trainees with their chosen routes.

James Geary, head of corporate tax and Gina’s line manager said: “Her ability to network effectively is wonderfully natural, and she regularly comes away with leads to follow up as well as receiving numerous positive testimonials from clients who specifically comment on her competency, professional manner, and how nothing is ever too much trouble.”

Rob Case, partner and overall head of tax commented: “We are incredibly proud of Gina’s development and performance at Randall & Payne. It goes to show what you can achieve when you put your mind to it and we are delighted that the culture and environment here has helped Gina achieve her potential.”

Our differentiator to other training firms is our encouragement of early client contact, developing skills and confidence for the trainee. We also support all our staff by providing wider opportunities for regular personal development and non-technical learning. As well as a great training package, our trainees have the opportunity to undertake meaningful work in a friendly environment, where they are valued and supported. We believe in fun, a healthy work-life balance and wellbeing as much as hard work and delivering excellence to our clients.

Visit our Apprentices and Graduates page, email or call 01242 776000 if you would like to find out more about trainee opportunities at Randall & Payne.