60-second interview with Helen Price

Tuesday, 06 April 2021
After being seconded to our trust team, undertaking a formal technical qualification was enormously rewarding, says Helen Price TEP.

What does your firm or employer do?

Mercer & Hole is a top 40 firm of chartered accountants with offices in London and the home counties.

What has STEP done for you, individually, or as an organisation?

As part of my private client tax training here, I was seconded to our trust team and learnt a lot about trusts and estates. To build on that experience and undertake a formal technical qualification was enormously rewarding for me. Being named in the STEP Excellence Awards as the Accountants and Tax Practitioners student of the year 2012 was the cherry on top!

What is the most important thing STEP does, in your opinion?

Its technical representations here in the UK are incredibly important.

What made you decide to volunteer at STEP?

A colleague had served on the Beds, Bucks & Herts branch committee since its inception in 1994, and she encouraged me to come along and get involved.

What would you say to other members considering volunteering?

Go for it! Get in touch with your local branch chair, and go along to a committee meeting to see what goes on and take it from there.

Your branch has run some online events recently. How did they go, and do you have any recommendations to share?

Thankfully our events officer had set us up on Eventbrite for bookings a while ago, so that put us in good shape to host our events online. It was a case of ensuring that our booked speaker was happy to continue, and to do so as a webinar. Our region spans a wide area and to be able to cut across that and host it online has been a super solution.

My top tip is to allow a 15-minute window at the beginning for technology gremlins! We had a 2-2.15pm logging in slot. In the end, most logged in with no problems and so we had that window for a bit of chat on how people were doing, which is something I think is important to keep going forward.

What do you most like about your job, and what do you feel is most worthwhile?

I really enjoy getting to know clients and understanding what motivates them. Technical excellence is often taken as a given, and communication really sits at the heart of it. I place a lot of importance on presenting information which is easy to grasp, and love being able to reach out to people and to take them with me. I feel that personal interactions and longer-term relationships are most worthwhile.

What would you say to a young person thinking of a career in this industry?

Choose an area which you think you will most enjoy and try to get some practical work experience if you can. Do lots of research as finding the right firm for you, in terms of size and shape, and one that fits with your values, is essential.

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Helen Price
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Helen Price

Helen Price TEP is a Private Client Partner at Mercer & Hole in St Albans. She is Chair of the Beds, Bucks & Herts Branch and qualified as a Full Member in 2012 upon completion of the Diploma for Accountants and Tax Practitioners.