Peter Howard-Jones, Director of Audit and Corporate Finance – Q&A

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Peter Howard-Jones MA (Oxon) FCA CF Dip PFS has brought his chartered accountancy clients to the firm to provide them with the extra tax expertise within websters. Peter has joined websters as Director of Audit and Corporate Finance in order to be able to offer an independent audit function to clients whose accountancy and tax needs are catered for within websters.

1. What made you decide to join websters?
I have known Andrew for many years having originally worked together as managers of a start up office of a major chartered accountancy practice 30 years ago! I have specialized in the accounting and audit requirements of larger companies, mostly those that were advised by me from the beginning when they were only in the formation stage. Tax has been an important part of the advisory process but my skills in that area are limited and I was impressed by the calibre of professional staff within websters. Since half of my family is based in Sydney, Australia I hope to make good use of the office, when I’m there.

2. Where did you work before joining us?
I have run my own practice for over 20 years and decided it was time to focus on the areas where I can make the greatest impact. I started my career in London as a trainee chartered accountant following a degree in physics from Oriel College Oxford. I have been in Cambridge for 30 years and initially worked as financial controller for a couple of small companies which were considered high tech at the time before returning to general practice where I specialized in corporate finance.

3. What special skills do you think you bring to the team?
Audit has become highly specialized in the period of my career and I have developed a keen interest in the area of education and multi academy trusts. This has enabled me to use my substantial business experience to good effect in a new environment. Because of my science background I’m no stranger to technology and adore deploying it whenever and wherever I can. Cambridge has been the most brilliant place for me to indulge my passion. I’m a founder member of the ICAEW corporate finance faculty which as time has passed means I’m more often advising clients in the sale of their businesses rather than the raising of finance for new ventures which was my main source of new work in the past.

4. What do you hope to achieve in the next 3-5 years?
I have two boys aged 6 and 8 and I hope to continue to enjoy the fantastic opportunity of witnessing their development. From a work point of view I’d like to build on the reputation I’ve achieved so far in audit and expand the service to a number of further multi academy trusts and colleges of further education.

5. What do you like to do outside work?
I enjoy music and play piano but having a young family keeps me happily busy. My wife was born and grew up in Sydney Australia and we as a family spend Christmas and New Year there whenever we can. I am treasurer of Westcott House Cambridge which provides me with hands on experience from a trustee perspective. I am also a director and shareholder of Granite Coast a firm of financial advisers which I cofounded and where I sit on the investment committee.

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