Tax has always been at the heart of Nicholas Smith’s 30 year career in accountancy. Continuing his role as Head of Tax at Duncan & Toplis, Nicholas will implement new procedures to enable the professional judgment, personalities and creativity of the tax team to thrive and flourish, providing a high standard of service for clients.
Nicholas qualified as an accountant in 1990 and he quickly recognised the important and interesting role that tax played in his client’s businesses. He went on to qualify as a Chartered tax adviser so he could better support and empower business owners who wanted to stay on top of their tax planning as well as ever-changing legislation.
“Tax is a real point of interest for clients; it’s something they cannot control, and yet has a big impact on their finances. Businesses are at the mercy of legislative frameworks and court decisions that are ever-changing so it’s important that as a tax adviser, I give my clients the tools and knowledge they need to adapt with the times.”
Having trained in Peterborough, Nicholas moved to HLB Kidsons in Spalding to progress his career. In 2002, the company merged with Baker Tilly and Nicholas became a partner of the practice. With his fellow partner, David Gratton, they went on to buy the company out in 2006 and at the same time they merged with Duncan & Toplis, adding their expertise and experience to the group.
Nicholas had been leading the tax team at Duncan & Toplis for five years before being reappointed as Head of Tax. Over the years, Nicholas has worked closely with the tax teams and has advised a wide portfolio of clients, from agriculture businesses to private client cases.
His experience puts Nicholas in good stead to step into the renewed role of Head of Tax as Duncan & Toplis moves towards a service-lead structure. The result will be a unified, flexible process across the office locations to enable the team to work more consistently and collaboratively, delivering great work to clients across the sectors.
The role of Head of Tax has evolved in line with plans to create a service lead structure across Duncan & Toplis over the next 12 months and beyond. Nicholas will build on his past work of sharing knowledge and implementing procedures to now assessing the current processes that are in place for tax advisory and compliance across the teams and creating one, uniformed approach based on the best parts of these methods.
“As Head of Tax, I will encourage the team to take ownership of their work and share their knowledge in order to work more efficiently and to better leverage our skills. Tax is a complex area of an accountancy practice and it’s important that we don’t just have one expert – everyone in the company should be an expert in their own right.”