My Big Break: Graham Gordon

Graham Gordon is the managing partner of MHA Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants and business advisers. He is responsible for leading the partnership, and the overall management of the firm. In addition, Graham is head of the Financial Planning and Wealth Management team, delivering all aspects of financial advice for both individual and corporate clients.

Graham lives with his family on a property on the edge of the Trough of Bowland in Lancashire. When at work, he splits his time between the head office in Preston and seeing clients, as well as visiting the firm’s offices across the north west including Kendal.

“I didn’t start out as an accountant. I actually studied organisational psychology at Manchester University. I then worked in several accountancy firms, predominantly in marketing and client care.

“My childhood dream was to be a wildlife ranger and I grew up knowing quite lot about animals. But when it came down to it, I had too much commercial acumen to want to spend the entire day with animals. Ironically, I am now surrounded instead by a team of 317 people.

“I have always thought bigger and wider around my ideas concerning business and I wanted to be part of a forward-thinking practice looking to grow, so joining MHA Moore and Smalley was the right career move for me. I have now been with the firm for over 22 years.

“I enjoy my job and I have a real passion for client services. I recognise that by delivering client service professionally in a compliant manner, profit will inevitably follow. Leading the firm in this manner gave the other partners at MHA Moore and Smalley the confidence to appoint me as the managing partner.

“There have been two inspirational people in my life behind where I am now – one person that I trusted implicitly – the other I didn’t. So, between the two I learnt varying concepts about business and people. They helped me define and redefine what managing and working with people is all about.

“We have offices across the north west, including Kendal. I see having a regional presence as part of meeting our clients’ needs. We must to be able to engage with clients at their level, to understand their sector, their local needs, their geography. Local knowledge helps us to connect with them.

“I travel quite a lot in my job. It’s a peoples’ job after all, so putting people first is just in my nature. I prefer to go out and visit my clients. I’m often in the Cumbrian office for team meetings or when I’m seeing clients in the Lake District. It’s nice to support our teams in the regional offices but to also let them work independently without me interfering.

“What I really enjoy most about my role is seeing people grow in confidence – whether it’s a new trainee settling into their role, a start-up client whose business is growing; or a long-standing employee taking on new responsibilities.

“I am very proud of our team and the fact that we have been listed in the 2018 Accountancy Age 50+50 list. With a growth in turnover to £16.6m in 2017-2018 the firm is placed at number 41 in the list.

“To wind down and get away from work, I enjoy watching my children play sport or just strolling around our garden on a summer’s evening without being interrupted by my mobile phone. The ideal way for me to totally switch off is mowing the grass on my property. Nothing beats going up and down on my tractor mower cutting grass.”