“There’s a definite buzz in the office.”
Find out how the move to Foxley Kingham has been for Chris Beard, Tax Manager at Keens Shay Keens for 17 years.
In June of this year, Foxley Kingham announced its acquisition of the Luton and Letchworth offices of the long-established and highly reputable firm of financial experts, Keens Shay Keens.
Eight members of the Keens Shay Keens team moved to the Foxley Kingham office to continue to look after their portfolio of clients, one of them being Chris Beard, tax manager of 17 years and seasoned marathon runner.
ProActivity spoke to Chris about what it has been like moving to the Foxley Kingham office and what it’s like to work here.
“I guess it can be strange moving somewhere new after 17 years, but coming as a team and continuing to look after the clients who we know so well, has been a really energising experience. Plus, we share the same values and have always benefitted from a good relationship with Foxley Kingham. Staff members have been so welcoming and the office definitely has a buzz and an energy, which I enjoy very much.”
But Chris has no shortage of energy himself. A marathon runner in his spare time, Chris has recently run the Berlin and London marathons, the latter in aid of raising funds for the Medical Detection Dogs charity in Milton Keynes.
“In work and my running, I like to set myself challenges. In this case, I saw the amazing work the Medical Detection Dogs charity does to improve the early diagnosis of diseases such as cancer, and more recently, COVID-19, and I wanted to help. But running also helps me personally; maintaining my life balance and taking care of my wellbeing.”
Chris certainly works in a challenging area. Tax rules and legislation are forever changing and his work often presents issues to be worked through.
“It’s a privilege to work with long-standing clients managing their tax and financial affairs. And it’s work I love to do. But there’s rarely a day that goes by where I don’t have to look up a new rule or change in the legislation. The work is as interesting as it is challenging, and I use my running time as an opportunity to work out issues. Running helps to clear the mind and really focus. By the time I’m finished on a run, I’ve usually come up with the right solution.”
Chris is personally enjoying his move to Foxley Kingham, but we asked him how he sees the future and the benefits for clients, as well as staff.
“It’s our joint experience and how we can bring that to clients that has so much potential. There’s a lot of benefit to clients, but also for us too, as staff. We all have such diverse experience and skills; it’s great to access those skills and expand our roles.”
We asked Chris what particular skills he feels he has available to him now in the office, which has a particularly well-equipped back-office function, and how he’d like to develop his own skills further down the line.
“The IT skills of the team is incredibly helpful. I no longer have to feel that technology is passing me by; there’s always someone to ask about a techie issue or subject I’d like to know about, which is great. I would also, personally, at some point in the future, like to specialise in certain tax areas. That’s a work challenge I’d like to set myself, and one I think I can achieve here.”
And are there any further running challenges on the horizon for Chris?
“I am actually trying to scale down the running before my knees give up completely, but I plan to travel to the U.S. to take part in the Chicago marathon next year, just for fun.”