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Category: Expert Opinion, Wellbeing
Topic: Audit

The benefits of ‘downsizing’ the accountancy firm you work for

I have been fortunate to work for one of the top 6 UK accounting firms for most of the past ten years and I am grateful for the opportunities this experience has given me, but having recently joined the team of around sixty staff at Randall & Payne, I have taken time to reflect on the benefits of joining a smaller Chartered Accounting firm, both professionally and personally.

Hands-on auditing:

Since moving to Randall & Payne, far more of my time is back focusing on the technical side of audit, which for me is the most enjoyable part of the role. Researching, understanding and challenging thought processes on complex accounting matters is a key driver of not only audit quality but also personal development as an auditor. In larger firms the audit manager position can move you away from such technical aspects of the role with more time being spent on non-technical project management such as resourcing, timetabling and budgeting. The move has allowed me to get back into hands-on auditing on a wide variety of clients, from corporates to charities, which allows me the chance to continue to learn something new and develop my skills across different streams of audit.

Strategic input:

As a manager at Randall & Payne, I have a hands-on role in the wider strategy of the audit division. Part of my role is working alongside the senior leadership team on areas such as the audit marketing strategy as well as audit processes and quality. I have regular meetings with the heads of division and also the partners of the firm which allow my voice to be heard at the top level on all matters I wish to contribute on.

A focus on my region:

In the last two years, my young family and I have made Cheltenham our home. We immediately felt a connection to the area. Working for Randall & Payne, there is a strong focus and commitment to Gloucestershire. In my short time working for the firm, I have had the opportunity to assist local business’ with their assurance and financial reporting processes, which has allowed me to contribute to, and help develop, the quality of financial reporting within my home town and county.

Work/life balance:

Having a young family, work/life balance improvement has been the main personal benefit I have had since moving. It is through having a clear focus on the size and type of organisations which Randall & Payne wants to engage with, as well as a clear understanding on the capacity of the audit team, both individually and as a whole, that parity between work and outside life can be maintained.

Tom Bayliss | Audit & Assurance Manager | Randall & Payne

Tom Bayliss is Audit Manager – if you are interested in hearing more about careers at Randall & Payne please get in touch by email at or feel free to contact Tom directly at