Careful attention to staff selection has paid off over the years and our team of 12 partners and staff has an enviable record of continuity.
Over half of this number have been with us for at least ten years and we generally tend not to lose people. We strongly believe that dedicated and motivated staff will be most effective in providing excellent service to our clients. In any service based business the staff are the key to success; their time is the predominant ingredient in our production cycle.
In listening to our clients we attempt, wherever possible, to ensure continuity of staffing so that staff members familiarise themselves with the same clients from year to year and a close working relationship develops. This also reduces time spent on familiarisation and briefing, which would otherwise add to cost.
Charges are calculated by reference to time spent, and effective delegation is important as scale rates are naturally higher for the more qualified and experienced senior staff. Delegation always involves supervision and review, so the mix of different levels of experience is important to maintain. This is always more difficult to achieve where there is a high degree of staff turnaround so our stability also pays off in this respect.
We feel that we operate very much as a team. The various players have individual skills and we play to their strengths continuously. The firm’s compact size allows us get to know our team-mates extremely well and we are able to confer and share knowledge and experience whenever it is advantageous to do so.
After almost forty years living in Dorset, Michael may perhaps be starting to think that he is accepted as a local. But the Isle of Purbeck where he lives is notorious for considering “incomers” to remain under suspicion until they reach the second or third generation. He graduated in Economics from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the 1970s and spent time travelling in Canada long before the “gap year” became popular. He still hankers after the Canadian outdoor lifestyle.
Mike was a schoolmaster for two years before retraining locally as a Chartered Accountant with a national firm. There he managed the small business group before leaving to start up his own practice in 1991. He joined forces with Brian Pittwood in the late 1990s to form Brett Pittwood.
Michael played rugby in his youth and is a keen supporter of Swanage & Wareham RFC and Leicester Tigers as and when he can get back to Welford Road. Fly fishing, as and when he has time, is a way to wind down. He also owns an old sailing boat but is a confessed “fair weather” sailor.
Brian was born and bred in Bournemouth and trained straight from secondary school in good local firms of Chartered Accountants. A two year break to get London and the USA “out of his system” was followed by qualification as a Chartered Certified Accountant and, in 1992, the plunge into the world of self-employment.
Working from home for four and a half years building up his firm led, in 1997 to collaboration with Mike Brett in shared offices and full merger into Brett Pittwood in 2003.
Speaking to clients in plain English and a genuine interest in their businesses are attributes that Brian believes are most appreciated in the firm. Non-accountants assume our work is entirely figure based but communication with people is much more important.
On the sporting front, tennis (moderate), golf (poor) and fly-fishing (improving) are doggedly pursued as means of getting out in the fresh air and developing a thirst.
Mark joined Brett Pittwood in 2002 and worked his way through the ranks to become an Associate Director in 2017. He heads up many of the cases we have handled for the longest time, and clients appreciate his calm and measured approach.
Mark was educated in Ferndown, where he still lives, doing daily battle with the traffic coming from that direction. He contends that the secret is to pick the route carefully each day, there being several to choose from.
He is a keen and competitive club tennis player and enjoys motor sports (as a spectator) as well as being a bit of a film buff on the quiet. He spends most of his leisure time with his family and likes to visit interesting and out-of-the-way places in Dorset, Hampshire, Devon and Somerset.
As a Poole resident all his life, Phil has a strong sense of local community and in particular a deep affinity to the Branksome area. His call to accountancy came early, studying the subject at “A” level and then going on to train with Brett Pittwood where he quickly qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant. Between college and joining Brett Pittwood his outgoing personality benefited from a brief spell in the brash end of the insurance industry.
A few years after qualifying, in order to gain further experience, Phil spent two years working in the local office of a “top 10” international firm of accountants where he came across larger clients and broadened his skills generally. On returning to Brett Pittwood in 2017 to take up the position of Associate Director, he has been able to widen the range of services we can offer.
When not at work Phil enjoys family life with his wife, and their two young children. A dog and too many chickens to refer to here by name, make up the rest of the Polden family. To relax Phil takes himself off to the golf course and strives toward the goal of getting his handicap down to single figures, which always seems just out of reach! As a child he was very fond of football but no longer plays after an ankle injury several years ago. If there is any time left in the week Phil can be seen out on his road bike, working on keeping fit.