Say hello to...
This quarter we’re pleased to shine a light on Tax Director, Fiona Ferrol, who joined the Acumen family in March 2020.
- Can you tell us about your background?
I returned to university as a mature student after having two kids and obtained a BSc in Accounting and Finance in May 2010. I started as a trainee accountant with a firm in Montrose the following month and obtained my ACCA qualification in 2013. I then decided to go down the tax route and qualified as a CTA in January 2017.
- What do you hope to achieve as Tax Director at Acumen?
I have two key goals. My first is to focus on client care, relationships and communication. I believe in speaking to the clients, and not just when we need them to sign their accounts or tax returns! Many businesses are facing financial strains from various issues whether it be from Brexit, re-building after covid or the ongoing cost of living crisis, and they need to know we are here for them. The second is to focus on developing the whole at Acumen. We have a fantastic team, and we need to keep developing staff at all levels, building on their strengths and expanding their knowledge and skillsets. Employees are a firm’s most important asset after all - without them there is no business.
- What challenges does Acumen face?
There have been many changes at Acumen recently and this can sometimes cause unrest and uncertainty within the workplace. We’re overcoming this by communicating regularly with the whole team and encouraging anyone to voice their concerns so they can be addressed before it becomes an issue. The continuing cost of living crisis will be a challenge for many businesses, and many will look to their accountants and tax advisors for extra help and support, showing ways to cut costs or increase revenues are becoming harder. It’s no secret that dealing with HMRC is becoming increasingly difficult and they seem to lack sympathy for struggling businesses - an added challenge when trying to support businesses and individuals.
- What do you most enjoy about your job?
I love that I’m always learning - whether from clients, colleagues or the latest government guidelines, there’s always some new information to take on board!
- What are you most commonly asked by clients, and what’s your response?
The most common question I'm asked is 'How can I save on tax?' and my response is usually 'Let's figure out your end game, then we can tailor tax advice to the specific circumstances.' Tax savings are available in various forms, but it often depends on the desired outcome clients are seeking.