After graduation in 1973 Chris joined the Birmingham office of Arthur Young, now part of Ernst Young, and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1976. He spent the next 8 years working both in the UK and on overseas secondments gaining a wide variety of experience, mostly dealing with the larger corporate clients. In 1984 he left Arthur Young and with two colleagues set up Meager Wood Locke & Company, a general practice that specialised in dealing with owner managed businesses. The previous experience proved invaluable with the breadth of knowledge that it had provided, but true job satisfaction came from handling the problems that the smaller businesses had to deal with. In December 2009 the Meager Wood Locke practice was split and this new partnership has taken over the majority of the former business and continues with the same aims and philosophy that had been applied previously.
‘I derive a great deal of satisfaction from my work which remains focused on dealing with the financial and commercial problems of the clients. I handle the various compliance issues that clients have to deal with and this firm retains its audit registration for that reason, as it represents a viable and cost effective alternative to the services provided by the larger firms. However the main part of the work is providing timely and relevant financial information to clients in order that they can plan and make decisions. It is this aspect of this firm’s service to clients that has, I believe, meant that they have largely survived the current economic crisis by allowing them to make critical decisions based on up to date information. The support for clients is fundamental as the relationship with them is for long term as is apparent from the length of time that many of them have been with us.
In addition to the ‘regular’ work over the years I have had broad and varied experience of handling business acquisitions, disposals and re-organisations. These are always individual and unique projects which provide contact with the other professionals working in the local business community. This firm has a high level of expertise in its general practice and within its chosen specialisms, but where additional expertise is needed the firm has a wide variety of consultants and contacts on whom it can call. This arrangement has the advantage of providing full coverage for all client requirements, but without the fixed cost of having specialist experts within the structure of the firm.
This firm has a good dedicated team of experts who share the same approach to the business as I do. Whilst we all enjoy our work together it is only part of our lives! For my part I continue to play squash and racketball and head off to the ski slopes for a break as soon as the 'tax return season' ends! I also intend to continue my travels to some of the more exotic parts of the world, a pastime that leads to conversations with clients to compare experiences and plans.
The firm has only recently moved to the St Paul’s area so we have yet to explore our new surroundings, but we already know that our clients appreciate the central location, the choice of local lunch venues and the decent coffee that we have always provided'.