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Thursday, 02 October 2014

Passing exams opened so many doors, says Cumbria director

KEITH Proudfoot, 60, is the regional director (northern region and Scotland) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

What was your first job?

At Yan Tan Tethera, the café/ restaurant in Keswick (counter service and evening waiter).

How did you get your current job?

I was aware the (new) position was becoming available so I applied and beat the other candidate.

Describe the company you work for in one sentence.

It’s a member organisation – I help more than 500 chartered accountants in Cumberland (and 4,000 others in North East England and in Scotland) meet their professional aspirations.

How many hours do you work a week?

Rather too many – I blame emails, breakfast events and the need to travel throughout my “patch”.

How many people are you responsible for?

Four – all working from home which might present problems if they weren’t all so committed to doing a great job.

What’s your greatest achievement?

Passing my exams to become a chartered accountant – it opened so many doors for me.

What gives you the biggest work buzz?

Giving a presentation – for example, on our Business Confidence Monitor survey – when I can encourage audience participation; and at the end know that attendees have enjoyed the event on many different levels.

What’s your motto at work?

Just one more email…

What’s the best thing about being a boss?

Being able to do what I think is the right thing for my members.

What’s the worst thing about being a boss?

The feeling sometimes that things are never completely done for the day.

What’s your favourite website?

Google – because that always tells me where I can find what I need to know. How did I ever manage to get by before the internet?

Your first car?

A 1967 Morris Mini MkI.

How do you relax?

I like listening to music – mostly 60s and 70s rock, but I also have some more recent stuff on my iPhone: Lady Gaga, Adele and even Rebecca Ferguson.

What’s the best thing about doing business in Cumbria?

The views and the quality of the air is just outstanding.

If we arrived at your office today, what item might we be surprised to find on your desk?

A toy helicopter. I really don’t know what it’s doing there either, nor where it came from. It sits alongside a Matchbox Morris Mini that is there because I am a big fan of Minis.

Something your employees would be surprised to find out about you...

I was born in Essex and my accent was only developed from the age of three when my parents returned to the north of England.

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