Stuart Hurst, director, Accounts and Legal – what did you want to be when you grew up?

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Fantasy job: Formula 1 driver. Who doesn’t want to travel the world driving fast cars! Real job: graphic designer, as I’m very creative.

Where had that got to during your later studies (or not, as the case may be)?

I was too slow at both driving and drawing! I was an A* art/design student at school but it would take me ages to finish everything and I lost my passion for it. I still do the odd doodle.

When did you move into accountancy; why, and how?

I was always very quick with maths and loved business studies at college, so took an accounting degree. That was so boring – the last thing I wanted to be was an accountant after it! I went into retail management for a few years before heading to the profession after realising retail was much harder work.

How important is accounting in your role – and how has being an accountant helped you develop in your career and as a person?

It’s truly been life-changing. My dad went through some seriously bad financial times years ago that could’ve been avoided with a good accountant. It could’ve saved our house and help us all sleep at night… it’s that big a deal.

The stereotypical accountant is thought of as grey and doesn’t talk to anyone, when nothing could be further from the truth! Accounting is critical in my role, but it’s the way I remove the jargon to give real life accounting advice to those not in finance that’s the key skill. That’s meant improving my listening, communication and general social skills ten-fold since I started.

Catch the full article in the XU Magazine here

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