ATT welcome, August 2016
A new team at ATT
So the dust has settled on this year’s AGM and it is ‘all change’ at ATT Towers. Michael has marched off into the past president’s mess; although he is still around to offer his wise counsel; and Ralph is busy taking up the reins at the start of his presidential term. That, of course, means that for the next twelve months it will be my role as deputy president to bring you news of all things ATT and most likely taking a slightly sideways look at the world of taxation through this page.
The AGM also saw Tracy Easman take over as vice president and David Bradshaw as treasurer. Although Tracy will be introducing herself elsewhere in this edition of Tax Adviser I feel I should say something about David. As well as being member of the ATT and a CTA he is a chartered accountant (always a useful qualification for a treasurer) and runs his own business providing in-house tax services and acting as a part time tax director for a number of businesses in the North East. David is a former chairman of the North East branch but most importantly for our treasurer, he is originally from Yorkshire, thereby keeping up a long standing tradition at the ATT: David is, in fact, the fifth Yorkshireman in a row to be the ATT’s treasurer. It also means that the other Council members can keep on using the same old jokes about the treasurer having short arms and very deep pockets!
Given that the theme of this month’s welcome page seems to be introductions I would be remiss not to mention the senior staff at Artillery House without whom we really could not run the ATT. The ATT team is led by Jane Ashton who took over as executive director from Andy Pickering at the end of March. Andy was executive director for some 25 years and was widely regarded as ‘Mr ATT’ so he is a hard act to follow, but Jane is already making the role her own and having a big impact helping Council develop our strategy for the years ahead. Jane is ably assisted by Sue Fraser, our executive officer. The finance team is headed up by Paul Davis who joined us as director of finance and resources in January, just after the year end so it is good that he hit the ground running as it was straight into the year-end accounts and audit. The students among you will know how smoothly our examination system runs which is down to Rosalind Baxter, the director of education, while Charlotte Ali is our head of professional standards and helps keep us all on the straight and narrow. Last, but not least in the senior staff team are our two technical officers, Alison Ward and Will Silsby. Alison and Will are responsible for the dozens of the technical releases and responses to consultative documents the ATT produces as well as attending a multitude of meetings with HMRC on our behalf. A big thank you to all of them.
I will be letting you know more about the people and work at Artillery House in future welcome pages.
Finally, I should say a few words about myself. Tax is really a second career since I started my working life as a fisheries biologist tagging salmon on a Whitby fishing coble. However, the one thing my career in tax has not been is boring. Starting off working on owner managed businesses, I then progressed to large corporates, a secondment as technical manager that turned into five years running technical training and support before being poached to return to mainstream practice and relocating to Birmingham. I now specialise in the taxation of charities and other not-for-profit bodies at RSM and although I am officially based in Birmingham, I work with clients from Cornwall in the south to Shetland in the north and all points in between. Over the years I have been involved with three different branches starting with the Sheffield branch and then going on to be chairman of both the Leeds and Birmingham branches as my career took me round the country. At the ATT I have been honorary treasurer, chairman of the Finance Steering Group, a member of the Technical Steering Group and I also represent CIOT on the Charity Tax Forum.
Anyway, that’s enough introductions. Before I go, please remember that you are an important part of ATT and we want to hear from you about what we are doing well (or not so well), the problems you experience in practice and even, I hope, from some of you who want to get more involved. You can get in touch with me at the email address below.
See you next month.