Clare Buchanan

What I do

In 2011, I joined Smith Partnership as a Practice Accountant. I’m obsessed with qualifications and continual learning and have gained my ACCA, PGDip in Legal Studies and an MBA. I am now focused on improving my softer management skills.

During my accountancy career, I have worked with a vast array of businesses, from farmers to SMEs, charity organisations and housing associations to larger firms such as JCB.

I have a wealth of knowledge in the accountancy and taxation field, along with a strong commercial knowledge developed from my roles both in practice as an accountant and business adviser and financial controller in industry.

I head up the Finance department and I am also the firm’s Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration (COFA). I am responsible for a team of seven cashiers and accounts staff who tirelessly safeguard the funds and assets of our many clients and stakeholders.

I do not consider myself a bean counter, more of a business partner who serves the staff around me to help them do the best job they can do. I have worked alongside every business discipline to improve the business model, efficiency and results of the organisation.

If you met me I am sure you would not stereotype me as a ‘boring accountant’. Although my role puts me under daily pressure along with the constant deadlines that have to be met, I try to bring fun to my team, knowing the correlation of enjoying your job and improved productivity. I am a huge team player, someone that my team thoroughly trusts. I bring a non-stop, can-do attitude to the firm, and always have a willingness to find a solution to someone’s problem and improve areas of work that need it. I hold an enormously privileged position within the firm, where I have the ability to see the finances and everything that runs alongside these. I provide continual management information and advice to senior owners and management enabling them to make decisions at the highest level.

As with most full-time working mums, I juggle my work-life balance like a magician. Somehow, I always seem to be in the right place at the right time to drop and pick up my son from football practice, matches and all the other things that go along with a young man in secondary school.

I love to travel (favourite place so far being Goa), and enjoy soaking up the different cultures and behaviours of the people I meet. People watching with my hubby is also a favourite pastime!