Meet the Team: John Aitken and Jack Stevenson

15th November 2019

This month we’re getting to know not one but two members of our team! You may recognise our apprentices John Aitken and Jack Stevenson from their Sunderland Echo story last month. Get to know them better here.

What are your qualifications?

John: I studied A Levels in business studies, economics and accountancy at sixth form before completing my AAT at a couple of different accountancy firms and studied at Northumbria University to convert it to a full degree. I’m now doing an apprenticeship at TTR Barnes, studying for an ACA qualification – a three-year programme which will see me become a fully chartered accountant.

Jack: I completed a degree in maths at the University of Sheffield before starting the ACA apprenticeship.

Why did you choose accountancy and what do you love about it the most?

John: I enjoyed studying accountancy at sixth form and as it was my best subject I decided to pursue it for a career. I find the challenge of getting a messy pile of receipts and turning them into a finished set of accounts really satisfying! I’m interested in developing into a taxation role when I qualify as I find this the most challenging and enjoyable.

Jack: I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after I graduated from university. I spoke to a few people who had gone into accountancy and thought it sounded like something I would be good at, so I tried out a work experience placement to see what it was like. After spending two weeks on work experience at TTR Barnes and really enjoying it I decided to go for it.

I like the problem-solving aspect of the job – working out where issues are and how to fix them. I find the auditing side of things the most interesting as it’s very hands on and I’ll have opportunities to get out to the clients a bit more and see how they work.

What do clients worry about the most?

John: Making Tax Digital is definitely a big topic for clients at the moment. It can be a challenge to help people who have a limited knowledge of accountancy and computers to understand how to use bookkeeping software so we’re offering lots of support to clients in that area.

Jack: I agree – Making Tax Digital!

What do you do when you’re not at work?

John: I’m into my sport, I play on the TTR Barnes 5-aside team and, of course, I’m a Sunderland season ticket holder.

Jack: I’m a Middlesbrough fan and have a season ticket. When I’m not at the match I enjoy playing video games and going to the cinema.

What do you enjoy most about working at TTR Barnes?

John: At TTR Barnes we’re exposed to a range of different clients. I really like getting the chance to try out different things and jobs – it gives you experience you don’t often get at larger practices.

Jack: It’s a small and friendly company. Everyone knows each other and there is always someone on hand to offer help if I need it.

Chartered Accountants in Sunderland, offering expertise on everything from Tax and Business Planning,
to Accounts and VAT.