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Lisa Spearman: A Day in the Life

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Lisa spearman private client partner

How do you get ready to start your day?

Pretty fixed routine: alarm goes off at 6am – downstairs, coffee, read paper and overnight social media, do the mind game puzzles, go get dressed and computer on by 8am. The structure and routine get me in the right frame of mind to work and helps distinguish between workdays and weekends.

What is the most enjoyable part of your working day?

Probably a very cheesy reply but I genuinely love all of it. There can be frustrations and challenges, but it just feels so good when a client appreciates what you have done, or you’ve ticked off your to do list or helped someone. Tax professionals are not up there with nurses or doctors but what we do is valuable and takes a lot of stress and strain from our clients.

What is the most satisfying part of what you do?

Communicating. Building relationships with new clients, nurturing existing relationships and trying to share my experience with other members of the firm to help them find what success means to them.

Why did you decide to choose this career?

Long story short. Aged 13, I got a summer job working at local accountant. Senior partner was my friend’s father. They lived in the best road in my town. I was shown the file of Peter Powell who was then a Radio 1 DJ and uber cool. (this was a long time ago) so to be rich and cool you worked in tax, right? Well maybe not entirely but I set all my studies towards a career in tax, joined Deloitte in 1987 and haven’t looked back… I’m not rich by reference to our clients and will leave you to judge re cool but I am paid to do a job I love so how lucky am I?

What advice would you give your younger self/someone just starting out?

Be organised, be focussed, don’t sweat the small stuff – understand what is important. Treat a client as you want to be treated. Understand the “why” of everything you do.

Which social media platform do you visit every day?

Twitter – football /tax/ news/random stuff – useful high-speed way of seeing what’s going on to establish if there is anything I need to focus on a bit more closely. I try to use Linked In each day as it is important for the firm’s marketing, but I really don’t like the interface very much, so this is more of a chore. Facebook – drives me mad as there are some prize idiots on there but it is the main way I can stay in touch with my friends and family, especially in the last year.

Tell me about how you manage your ‘to do’ list.

I use an urgent and important grid. Sometimes mental and sometimes written. My long list of tasks extends to several pages and that is too much to digest. The first thing I do each morning is use the urgent and important grid to take from my long list, the, say, 5 things I need to tick off that day. Its satisfying when you get them all done and rewarding if you can get ahead of the target. The aim is not to forget about the long list but to stop it being a noisy distraction and allow me to make sure that I feel accomplished rather than frustrated at the end of each day. It’s all about managing personal stress levels as well as getting everything done on time.

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