Keeping in touch with our former colleagues is important to us, and hearing about the next steps in their journey.

When did you join us and what were the reasons you chose Crowe?

I studied Accounting and Finance at Exeter university and wanted to work with numbers, but had no real plan about how to get into the profession. I didn’t want to be just another body in the Big 4 (or Big 5 as it was then). I applied to Crowe through a job advertisement in the local newspaper, Mark Anderson recruited me even after I got lost and I was late for my interview. 

What do you remember most about your time at Crowe? Is there anything you miss?
From the first weeks as a trainee, I always found managers and partners very approachable and willing to offer help and advice. Whenever I visited clients, there was never any hesitation in sending me in to speak with directors and senior employees. I miss the lunchtime socialising but post-COVID that may be a thing of the past altogether!
Tell us about your career journey since you left Crowe and what you are doing at the moment / what your focus is at the moment?

By 2015, I wanted to move into industry and openly discussed this with Crowe. A new client, ID&C, needed to build out a finance function to support their growth plans, so it was mutually agreed that I join them. ID&C supply wristbands and accreditation products to festivals and live events. We opened an office in Florida in 2016, I joined the Board as FD in 2017 and at the end of 2019 we sold the business to a large North American corporate for an all-cash deal in excess of $30 million.

Post-completion, I was promoted into a group role with ID&C’s buyer. Life in a large corporate with its emphasis on people politics and interminable reporting deadlines is very different to the dynamism and flexibility more common to owner-managed businesses! The travel was excessive, especially as I have a young family, so it was an easy decision to step away and take some time to choose my next role.

Recently I joined Compass Business Finance. Like ID&C, they are a locally based, family-owned business that is experiencing rapid growth. Unlike ID&C, there are some nuances in accounting for Asset Finance so it’s good to get back to working with numbers and learning something new at this stage in my career.

How have you stayed connected with Crowe?
ID&C were a Crowe client. I continue to attend Crowe networking events and seminars. It is realistic to assume Compass and Crowe will be able to refer opportunities and / or work together in future.
What would you say are the benefits of keeping the connection with Crowe?

I respect and trust Crowe people and believe they can add value to any business by providing advice that is practical and based in the real-world. There are always interesting businesses and individuals to meet through Crowe’s networking events, as well as the possibility of a free drink!

When did you join us and what were the reasons you chose Crowe?
I joined Crowe in August 2016 as a Manager in the NFP team (Grants Assurance). I chose to join Crowe because I have a passion for the NFP sector. Having previously worked for a local NGO in Uganda, I wanted to continue working for an organisation that would give me more exposure to the INGO sector and where I would gain the best experience.
What do you remember most about your time at Crowe? 

What I remember most about my time at Crowe is the support that I received from the partners that I worked with. Having a young family, and at the time relocating from Uganda to the UK was quite stressful. But I received so much support from the partners on the NFP team and from fellow team members. It was also really nice being part of team where many of the partners and senior managers are women and mothers. I felt very supported and understood.

Tell us about your career journey since you left Crowe?
I left Crowe in April 2021 and since then I have been working at Plan International UK, as a Grants Finance Specialist. My role mainly involves working with country offices to prepare budgets for submission to potential funders as part of the proposal process. Once we have secured the funds and during implementation, I work with the country offices to ensure compliance with donor requirements and ensure that donor reports are prepared and submitted on time. I have been working very closely with the Plan International offices in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Kenya, Egypt, Colombia and Brazil. I have also had the chance to visit the Indonesia and Kenya country offices on a project monitoring visit, which was a wonderful experience.
How have you stayed connected with Crowe?
I have stayed in touch with former colleagues via Whatsapp and Linkedin.
What would you say are the benefits of keeping the connection with Crowe?

Because of the connections that I kept with former colleagues at Crowe, I have made the decision to come back to Crowe. I will be rejoining the Social Purpose and Non Profit team in July 2023, and I look forward to it.

When did you join us and what were the reasons you chose Crowe?
I joined Clark Whitehill (as it was at the time) in December 1997 having previously worked at a small accountancy firm. I made the move as the training contract offered allowed me to complete my accountancy qualification, something I was struggling to do with a smaller firm.
What do you remember most about your time at Crowe? Is there anything you miss?
I was at Crowe for over 16 years so I saw a lot of changes over that time. These included the expansion of the Kidderminster office and its subsequent joining with the Walsall office to form the Midlands Office. I also saw the change from Clark Whitehill to Horwath Clark Whitehill to Crowe Clark Whitehill. What I remember through all of this though, was the collaborative, supportive environment that I worked in. This was not just true for the Midlands offices, but all of the offices that I spent time working with through my involvement with CaseWare and Audit Automation. I worked with a lot of different people over those 16 years, and it's the people that I remember and miss most about my time with Crowe. I don't miss having to do timesheets though!
Tell us about your career journey since you left Crowe and what your focus is at the moment? 
I left Crowe in 2014 to join the education sector and I became the Finance Director for a small Multi Academy Trust (MAT). Since that time, I have helped the Trust grow to be a medium sized MAT. With the development of the Trust, my role has also changed and I am now the Chief Finance and Operations Officer. My key focus is to ensure that all of the non-educational aspects of the Trust are taken care of allowing the education staff to focus on delivering a high standard of learning to every pupil within the Trust.
How have you stayed connected with Crowe?
Crowe are the current auditors of the Trust and I also regularly attend the Academies Discussion Group run by Crowe in the Midlands. I was delighted to support the Group when I talked about trust growth for them at one of their events in 2022. The Group discusses the latest updates from the Department for Education and the Education & Skills Funding Agency and how these impact academies. It's also a great forum to share ideas and best practice with other academies.
What would you say are the benefits of keeping the connection with Crowe? 
Crowe is a leading firm in the education sector so I totally value the professional support and advice that I get from them.
What does the future hold for you?
I would imagine, there will be more growth for the Trust, as school academisation continues to be pushed. It is challenging work but I find it very rewarding.
When did you join us and what were the reasons you chose Crowe? 

I joined Crowe in January 2012. I had recently qualified at a smaller firm in the West End called Simmons Gainsford and I was looking for my next challenge. I had applied to a handful of top 20 firms and despite having offers from some larger audit firms, I really got a good feeling after the Crowe interviews. I had been interviewed by two partners and two senior managers, before being taken to The Old Bell Tavern for some informal drinks with some of the team.

I liked the fact that Crowe seemed eager to hire me and that everyone I had met had been approachable, personable and welcoming. I was also told there would be opportunities to progress quickly in the team and this was also appealing.

What do you remember most about your time at Crowe? Is there anything you miss?

I was at Crowe for seven years, from 2012 to 2019. I really enjoyed my time there and if an opportunity too good to turn down hadn’t come along, I am certain I would still be at Crowe.

What I miss most are my colleagues and the wonderful opportunities that I got to travel with work. My work took me all over the world including Geneva, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Idaho, Athens and even Pointe-Noire in the Republic of Congo. The work was fulfilling and the connections I built with colleagues and clients real and meaningful. I worked closely with some very intelligent and talented people, and I believe that I learnt a huge deal during my time at Crowe. Thankfully, I keep in touch with many of my former colleagues and long may that continue.

Tell us about your career journey since you left Crowe and what your focus is at the moment.

I left Crowe to become a Partner in a smaller accounting practice called ALG based in North London. We are a two-partner practice with nine members of staff, and despite everything being on a smaller scale the work is not dissimilar. I managed to coincide becoming a Partner with the beginning of the COVID pandemic, which meant it was a true baptism of fire.

Throw in getting married, getting a dog and having a baby girl since leaving Crowe, it has truly been a tumultuous yet enjoyable period of my life. Despite the challenges we have faced, we managed to grow the practice and I continue to have ambitious plans for more growth and further digitalisation of our processes. The principles I learnt at Crowe I try to apply at ALG and seeing the growth Crowe is experiencing is inspiring me to try and achieve the same here.

How have you stayed connected with Crowe?

As well as being in regular contact with many of my former colleagues at Crowe, I am also signed up to many Crowe email groups and also follow Crowe across all social media platforms. I am very grateful to have had some work referred to me from Crowe, and I am also always looking to see where I can refer work back. Of course, with the various lockdowns over the last couple of years I have not been down to see people face to face as much as I would have liked, and I still need to have a tour of the new offices.

What would you say are the benefits of keeping the connection with Crowe?
  • Referring work to each other where possible.
  • Collaborating together.
  • Crowe has great events, be it training or networking events.
  • Just because we no longer work together, there is no reason we can’t support each other where possible.

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