Name: Thomas Holt
Joined Kingston Smith: September 2005
I studied Geography BA at Royal Holloway, University of London, followed by a Cultural Geography (Research) Masters. A career in accountancy may not seem the most obvious choice on the back of these degrees but actually, they gave me a very analytical mind-set and I have always really enjoyed all things numerical, having studied Mathematics at A-Level. I then began to research what is involved in being an accountant and it was something that really appealed to me.
I sent my CV to a couple of accountancy firms, from the small to the Big 4, but it soon became apparent to me that I much preferred the medium size firms; big enough to mean you get a wide variety of experience and can get involved with some household names too, but small enough to mean you are not seen as simply another cog in a wheel and potentially get stuck on the same job for weeks on end. Kingston Smith fitted this perfectly. From all the firms I saw, Kingston Smith stood out for me and I was quick to accept their offer when it came.
I have now been at Kingston Smith for over 10 years and I have never regretted my decision! Throughout the last year of my training contract, I became much more interested in charity and other Not-for-Profit clients and, on qualification in late 2008, I decided to specialise and have a 100% Not-for-Profit portfolio of clients. Kingston Smith were very supportive when I asked to specialise and there are many different options available within Kingston Smith when you qualify both in and outside of practice, another advantage of working for the firm.
With a wide range of clients, life in the Not-for-Profit world can be extremely busy, from those who are highly organised to those that need much more of a hand-holding approach; I really enjoy this variety and have always found people within the sector to be very friendly and open to advice and assistance. I thoroughly enjoy helping out charities where I can as there is a philanthropic nature to it. Rather rather than increasing the profits of a commercial entity, the right piece of advice might make a noticeable difference to the number of people or level of assistance the charity can provide.
The culture here at Kingston Smith is one of its strongest points. I get on very well with all my colleagues (even the partners!) and we all support each other where needed. Indeed, I have always found Kingston Smith to be a very social firm; there are Friday night drinks held in each office every week and I have also been involved in a number of social events over the years, from digging channels for water pipes in a children’s playground on our annual charitable Action Day, to ten pin bowling competitions, We also have an annual Summer Ball and recently treasure hunts around London have become very popular.. You are never far away from a social event!
Outside of work, I am an avid Chelsea supporter having been going to the Bridge since 1990. I’m also a big cricket fan and enjoy running and playing squash too. Still a geographer at heart, I also have a real passion for travelling and have been lucky enough to visit a number of countries around the world. At home, I have a three year old daughter who keeps me extremely busy and spending time with my family and friends is very important to me.