What industries come to mind when thinking about those least likely to be attacked by cyber criminals and organisations? Agriculture is probably near the top of…
Our rural team brings together experts from across the firm to ensure we are providing the best possible support and advice to clients. We sat down with Georgina Stephens, Assistant Manager in our Truro office to find out more about her.
Why did you choose accountancy?
I must admit that accountancy and its alphabetical placing in the A level list is how 14 years later I find myself writing this answer. You could say it chose me! As my first year of college did not go according to plan, I had to make a quick decision for year two.
With accountancy at the top of list and a family business at home it seemed like the obvious option. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I feel very privileged to say that many years on, I love my job!
When and why did you join PKF Francis Clark?
One might say, I came to my senses in September 2015 when I was invited to interview for what seemed like my dream job. I was initially very concerned about coming from a very small practise but have never looked back. I was made to feel welcome and have forged some great friendships with current and ex-employees. The rural department has grown over the past eight years and I am very proud to be member of a great team! I enjoy working with a firm that I think is forward thinking and well placed to assist an industry that I am very passionate about and close to. Being from an agricultural background, along with many of my colleagues, we can understand and empathise with clients day to day lives, situations and concerns.
Tell us a bit about your role at PKF Francis Clark.
Working alongside Brian Harvey and the team in Truro, I assist with day to day compliance matters, annual accounts, VAT returns, bookkeeping and tax returns for a range of rural clients across Cornwall. I offer assistance, implementation and development of accounting software and procedures in all types of businesses, ensuring clients bookkeeping and accounting systems are as efficient and effective as possible.
Training clients and staff members on the cloud-based technology has added a string to my bow in the ever-changing technical environment that surrounds us. Technology is becoming an influencing factor in what has always been quite a traditional industry. I am keen to ensure we can use this to everyone’s advantage, hopefully saving time and money!
Where does your interest in the rural sector come from?
Growing up on the family sheep farm outside of Truro, my love for the woolly creatures and the outdoors started very young. It was inevitable I would have an interest in the future of British Agriculture. Despite moving away from the farm in 2014, I have always helped whenever possible.
I joined my local young farmers club in 2008 building strong friendships with farming and non-farming members. This expanded my knowledge and exposure to different farms and farming practises. I went on to become Chairman of Cornwall Young Farmers in 2015 at the same time I joined PKF Francis Clark. I cannot thank the team enough here for being so supportive of my 12 months at the helm.
My husband and his family farm on the banks of the Fowey Estuary. Running a 40 head suckler herd, boat yard, campsite and holiday cottage there is always something to do! Additional opportunities available for diversification to farmers is a keen interest of mine, whether they be great or small. Especially combining diversification and education of food. I believe there is a real need for individuals to understand the time, effort and risk that goes into something that is taken for granted. We unfortunately live in a time where farming and food production looks very shiny and glamourous when the reality is that it isn’t.
What do you do in your spare time?
Many people who know me, would question whether I have any spare time, I like to keep myself busy! Combining a childhood of competitive swimming and living on the South East coast of Cornwall, I enjoy spending time in and on the water. Sea swimming, paddle boarding and kayaking when the weather allows are my favourite ways to unwind from a busy day in the office! I am also a very enthusiastic (and quite good) cook, so love any excuse to have a dinner party with friends and family! My sister is a successful pedigree sheep breeder of Charollais, Dutch Spotted and Texels. I am a keen passenger and helper on sale days at markets all over the country. You cannot beat a trip away to a pedigree sheep sale, meeting and socialising with enthusiastic likeminded individuals.