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A Rich Career in Audit – Accounting Leaders Special with Paul Winrow (Uncut)

On today’s bonus UNCUT episode, Accounting Influencers interviews Paul Winrow of MHA MacIntyre Hudson in this leaders special on his career in audit and the technical side of accounting.

Paul Winrow is the Technical Partner and Ethics Partner at top 15 UK firm MHA MacIntyre Hudson. He was previously Global Director of Professional Standards at Baker Tilly International where he was responsible for the network’s global audit methodology, the global quality improvement program, technical support, technical training and representing the network in the accounting profession.

Paul has over 25 years audit experience, spending the first ten years of his career in Big 4 firms and has spent the last ten years in technical roles. He was a core member of a global team responsible for developing a new global audit methodology and contributing to a suite of audit learning and software for a top six network, where he was Head of Audit Technical in the UK Firm, and more recently developed and implemented the Baker Tilly International Global Audit Methodology.

Key takeaways from the full uncut interview include:

➯ How a lifelong learning ethic translates into the corporate and accounting environment

➯ The source of negativity and bad PR around audit quality in the accounting profession

➯ The distinctions between facts (principles) and opinion (interpretation) with technical standards in accounting

➯ How Covid has driven technical changes in accountancy and how the profession has adapted

➯ Doing accounting audits without seeing clients, and stock-takes without visiting premises

➯ Examples of innovation in accountancy driven by technology and necessity

➯ Why mentoring and coaching of young talent in the technical aspects of accounting is important

➯ The difference between a modern and a Victorian scientist and how it related to a professional accountancy role

➯ The importance of variety in an accounting job to maintain hunger and passion for the work

➯ Examples of risks taken in an accounting career, like moving from the public to the private sector

➯ How a strong team changes an accounting leaders role from implementing to guiding and mentoring

➯ Speaking frankly about mistakes made in an accounting career and how to handle them

➯ How and why an accountant should say ‘no’ to avoid errors in their role

➯ How pretending you’re doing well is dangerous for leaders in accounting, and why a little vulnerability helps

➯ How there are (or should be) no indispensable people in any accounting practice

➯ Lessons for leaders in taking responsibility when things go wrong but not taking all the credit when things go well

➯ Reflecting on the kind of things accounting leaders might be proud of on their watch

➯ Why the best years might be ahead for accounting leaders

➯ The responsibility for accountancy leaders to give back and contribute to a better profession

➯ Explaining and narrowing the expectation gap with accounting and audit quality

➯ Defining the three aspects of the accounting expectation gap, namely knowledge, performance and evolution

➯ What is driving the audit reform agenda in accountancy

➯ Why audit control and quality should be everyone’s responsibility in the accounting profession

➯ Tough questions that need answering to drive audit reform in accountancy

➯ Three pieces of sagely advice from a career in accounting and audit to pass onto younger professionals

In his spare time, Paul is an avid sports fan, particularly his life-long love affair with Liverpool FC and follows the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team. He is also a keen scientist and completed a part-time PhD in Palaeontology.

Connect with Paul: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-winrow-6ba9b235

NOTE TO LISTENERS:

This is a full-length interview (usually 20-30 mins long) from which the highlights show earlier in the week was taken. You can listen to this on a previous episode.

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