Being a good accountant is not about having an aptitude for numbers or knowledge of tax legislation. It is about getting to know a client and their business so that you can give sound advice that adds value and supports their aims. The team at RfM Morecambe & Lancaster and RfM South Lakes are committed to this approach (which we call + more). Meet them here.
Gillian Telford, Partner
Gillian has been with the RfM group since 1998, moving up through the ranks from Tax Manager to become Partner at RfM Preston in 2010. She was instrumental in the process of rebranding the firm as RfM in 2015 and is a driving force behind the group’s expansion into new locations and services. She is always looking for opportunities to strengthen the firm by offering more value to clients. This led to the development of Legal and Mortgage advice services in 2018 and an ongoing focus on cloud-based accounting technology. Her energy and passion have helped to solidify RfM’s position as a dynamic, forward-thinking accountancy firm.
Following changes to the senior team, Gillian now heads up the Morecambe & Lancaster and South Lakes offices. Working together with her colleagues, she has introduced tight operational processes to keep the office running smoothly and ensure a high level of client service. But offices are not just about systems, they are about the people who work there, and Gillian is committed to developing her team to be the best they can be.
“I love a challenge,” says Gillian, “and my mind is always buzzing with ideas for how we can improve and expand the services we offer. I want to ensure clients know all the ways that RfM can help them with their business so that they see us as the go-to place for business support and advice.
“Kay, Sam and I all work in a similar way and have already become an effective, dynamic team. I’m excited for what we can build together.”
Kay Lee, Client Relationship Manager
Kay’s career has followed an interesting and varied path that has taken her halfway around the world – and back again. Having discovered a passion and aptitude for accountancy in her late thirties, Kay realised she had found her vocation and committed to studying for her professional qualifications. She joined RfM as an accounts assistant in Spring 2016 and has steadily progressed to the role of Client Relationship Manager in 2019.
As well as preparing accounts and tax returns, a key area of focus for Kay is client care. “One essential aspect of client care is to provide clients with a consistent point of contact,” explains Kay. “Clients value being able to speak with someone who knows their business and understands the story behind the numbers. This is especially important for larger companies who might have chosen RfM over a bigger firm because of the personal service and consistency we can provide.
“For me, the most important aspect of my role is meeting clients in person. You only truly get the full picture of a business when you can put a face to a name and make a real-life connection with a client. The better we know our clients, the better the advice we can give them.
“My younger self never imagined that I would eventually become an accountant,” says Kay. “I’ve had lots of jobs and worked all over the world but they were just that: jobs. I’m very grateful to have arrived at the place where I am now. It does feel as if I’ve finally found the right role for me. I’m content.”
Samantha Hargreaves, Client Relationship Manager
Unlike Kay, Samantha discovered her flair for finance and numbers very early on in her career. Since starting out in the finance office of her local market as a teenager, she has held accounting roles in a broad range of sectors including manufacturing, retail and e-commerce.
Samantha joined RfM’s Morecambe & Lancaster practice as an accounts assistant in 2017. Over time, she began working more closely with clients, leading to her becoming Client Relationship Manager in 2019.
“My role at RfM definitely plays to my strengths,” says Samantha. “I’m organised and proactive and a definite people person. I work well with Gillian and Kay – the office runs smoothly and things get done – so it’s a joy to go to work.
“I’ve definitely rediscovered my passion for the job. The best part is meeting clients from all walks of life, learning about their businesses and supporting them to be as successful as they can be.
“Having Gillian on board also makes us feel more a part of the wider RfM group. What this means in a practical sense is that we can tap into the skills, knowledge and resources available from all the offices. So we can also refer clients for help with everything from legal matters, mortgage advice and Payroll Services as well as high-level strategic advice from RfM Business Consulting.
“I’m really excited to be playing a part in the growth of these two RfM offices.”