Joe Black

Audit & Accounts

How did you come to join the Leathers team? 
I was the first generation to face the extortionate university fees which really put me off going. I had a variety of apprenticeships lined up such as electrician, gas engineer but when Leathers approached my school, the opportunity to enter finance at this level was quite rare at the time so I went for it and haven’t looked back.

What has been your biggest achievement at Leathers? 
I think progressing this far from straight out of my A-levels with no finance experience is my biggest achievement; my colleagues often joke that I was brought up in the gutter on Wallsend High Street, so changing their perceptions gives me great pleasure!

What was it like winning the ICAEW Northern Society Awards? 
I was quite surprised when I got nominated but to go on and win is one of my best achievements. To receive some recognition for all those long weekends spent burying my head in books was a great sense of accomplishment. However, the windowsills in Wallsend don’t have enough width for my trophy…

Aside from “number crunching”, what do you see as key to accountancy?
A key part of being an accountant is being able to talk to clients in a language that they understand. I’m a local lad, and a proud Geordie, so venturing south of the river can be a challenge in a language sense! But I’ve helped clients all over the UK and overseas, so I’m not ready to ditch the Geordie accent just yet.

What is your favourite or most hated misconception about accountants and tax advisors? 
A lot of people consider accountants to just number crunch 24/7, for me that’s just not the case otherwise I wouldn’t be here. People don’t realise how much client interaction is involved.

If you hadn’t worked in finance, what might you have done?
What I would like to have done is travel, then travel some more then maybe come home for a few days. I probably should have got that out of my system while I had no commitments, but I’m sure Michael won’t mind giving me six months off……

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