One of our longest standing Partners, David Wiltshire, celebrates his retirement this week after an amazing 40 year career.
David began working for David Owen in November 1978, starting out as an Articled Clerk to the then Senior Partner, David Brearley. He went on to successfully pass his Chartered Accountancy exams in December 1984 and became a Partner himself in January 1990.
Many of his clients have now been with him for over 35 years and he appreciates their loyalty as much as David Owen appreciates his. Michael Buckland, Senior Partner commented:
“David has been a huge asset to the firm over the years and will be greatly missed by all the staff. We wish him a long, happy and healthy retirement.”
David will be leaving his clients in the capable hands of Associate, Hannah Wait, ACCA. Hannah joined the company in 2014 and has been working directly alongside David for more than 2 years. Having had the benefit of a long handover period, Hannah has got to know the clients and is well-placed to continue the same high level of customer service that David has provided.
Reflecting on how the company and the industry have both evolved over the years, David explains that when he joined in the late 70s, accountancy was a mostly male-dominated profession, but this is no longer the case, “We now employ at least as many talented female staff as we do male”.
In terms of services, the main focus was on preparing accounts and audits. Technology was no more sophisticated than an adding machine, a few calculators and a basic phone system… and everything was of course paper-based.
But in the last 10-15 years, as technology has developed and online documentation has increased, the changes to the business have been substantial. David explains,
“The biggest change has been in IT – the intricacies of technology and the requirement for clients to file returns and documents online. We have therefore expanded our services to meet these evolving client needs. This has driven the growth of our business services team, which no doubt will continue to grow further with the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) on 1st April”.
Another big change that has directly affected the business is compliance.
“The regulatory framework around accountancy is huge compared to when I started. Our compliance department was created around 12 years ago and since then has grown astronomically – 50% of my time is now spent on compliance measures ensuring that the services we provide clients meets the high standards set by our governing body (the ICAEW).”
One thing that hasn’t changed over the years, he says, is the people, and he puts his loyalty to the firm down to the staff.
“As Michael said when I first joined ‘We only employ nice people’. He is totally right and that is the main reason I’ve stayed so long. I’ve been very lucky to work with such wonderful people, we all get on like a house on fire and I’ll miss them hugely.”
David greets his retirement with mixed feelings. He admits that he’ll miss the daily routine of walking into work and the people he greets on the way, as he has been doing for the last 40 years. But he’s looking forward to spending more time with his family and when asked what exciting plans he has in store for his retirement, he says with a smile, “Wait and see!”