Home  →  Team   →   SIMON ATKINS

What do you do?

I work with my not-for-profit clients to help them maximise their impact and to ensure they meet all of their regulatory requirements.

As Not for Profit partner, I spend my time advising charities, academies, independent schools and colleges, and membership organisations on all things financial and governance related.

I lead the audit process which is designed to provide independent assurance on the facts and figures but also adds value by the spreading of best practice and the identification of system improvements and efficiencies.

Governance and culture are hot topics at the moment and by working with such a cross section of the sector, I am able to provide valuable insight and training to my clients to ensure they are leading the way in these areas.

Why do you do it?

I love working in the wider charity sector. As auditors and advisers, we have our own part to play in ensuring charities provide maximum impact – it’s part of how we “give back”.

No two charities, no two academies are the same. Each is unique in its culture, its delivery style, its ethos and each has its own challenges with finance, funding and reporting. The people who work in the sector often do it “for the love” – I have never met such a committed and inspirational bunch of people than across my client base.

The culture and values we have here at Cooper Parry resonate perfectly with charities; We’re In it Together, Keep Learning and Be Brave are all things the sector constantly has to grapple with.

Outside of my professional work, I am lucky to Chair the Board of a 16 school multi-academy Trust. This gives me valuable insight in to what it is like to sit “on the other side of the table” and has provided me with a rich experience that I’m able to bring to my own clients.

What kind of projects have you been involved in?

The majority of our work is statutory audit; Cooper Parry audits are designed around our clients to fit in with you.

We see our role as working in partnership with our clients. Recently, we have worked with a charity to overhaul their annual accounts and Trustees’ Report. The end result was an engaging and clear document that really shouted about the work of the charity and appealed to funders, charity beneficiaries and the local community in which they operated.

We have also provided bespoke training sessions at Trustee away days to really bring home what it means to be a charity trustee. The role, responsibilities and opportunities to make a difference as a Trustee operating at the highest level are hugely rewarding.

What’s on top of your bucket list?

I love to travel!

I got the bug with a trip to Eastern Canada after University and since then have been to the Canadian Rockies, Vietnam, Australia and my favourite European destination of Italy.

Next on the bucket list of destinations is San Francisco and the Pacific Coast Highway drive down to Los Angeles and then taking in a couple of National Parks. Summer holiday 2019!

simona@cooperparry.com

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