Published: 15/04/2018
ISBN: 9781788032865
Format: Paperback

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A Career in Accountancy
by Garth Pedler

Garth Pedler realised he had a penchant for figures when, having been given a Bradshaw Railway Timetable in 1957, he found he enjoyed recasting railway branch line timetables to make them more efficient. He realised he would be driven frustrated if he trained in railway management at a time of the 'Beeching cuts' so, at age 18 in 1964, he joined two-partner firm in the City of London, where his mother's cousin had been secretary to the two chartered accountants who ran it. This book describes how little their office had changed by 1964 and how the firm's founder, born in 1880, still returned one afternoon a week to collect his cash pension and shuffle some papers.

One client was a firm of vintners, whose Head Office was in the West End of London. This book depicts this firm of vintners, where all the equipment is Victorian, the two directors are Pickwickian and the peeling wallpaper is all yellow with age.

After two ears of work for the City firm, which mostly consisted of scheduling the weekly business of a range of London pubs and not being allowed to use the firm's one mechanical calculator until, like all staff, he had been there for a year to learn to cast analysis columns of 52 weekly figures in his head. Garth moved to a larger firm and then to Touch Ross & Co. where, in 1971, electronic calculators began to be introduced and proved to save much time. Having qualified in 1969, Garth describes his starting his own firm of chartered accountants, being selective in his acceptance of new clients and specialising in self-employed musicians, singers and a few other professional people and small partnerships. By restricting his scope to work which he relished and did best, the left the City of London in 1980, firmly intent on working from home with no office rents and no partners until he retired from a stress-free career in 2013 aged 67.

The peak had been reached in 1984, when 104 new clients came on recommendations of existing clients and had to be the point at which he began to guide new clients to a former colleague. The entire career, even the disposal of ongoing clients at the end, ran stress-free with several amusing moments with tax inspectors who, as time progressed, came to respect his statements and knowledge of tax law. Taken as a whole, the book is an interesting survey for youngsters as to how a career can develop.

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