• Stuart Cuzner, Partner, Wagstaffs Accountants Stuart Cuzner, Partner, Wagstaffs Accountants

How to become a Partner in an Accountancy Firm

Nearly 25 years ago, when I was about 13 years old, I remember my dad coming home from work, unusually he was wearing a suit. This was strange as my dad was a mechanic and ran his own garage and this was certainly not his normal attire. He explained by saying he had been to see his accountant today, I was intrigued.

I remember asking my dad all about it.

My dad was clearly pleased I was showing an interest, and shortly afterwards he came home with some basic accounting books. I remember looking at them, I am not sure any of it made any sense, but I loved the numbers. At that moment, not knowing anything about accountancy I made a bold claim – “I want to be an accountant”.

5 years later, in May 1999, I had my first interview for a trainee accountant role at a Practice in Hitchin. I interviewed for the job whilst studying towards my GNVQ Business qualification. Luckily I did well at the interview and I was offered the job. With my GNVQ course running until mid-July I was given a start date of 2nd August 1999; a date that forever sticks in my mind.
In August 1999, I started my career as a trainee accountant and joined a team where I made some life-long friends. I was given great support from my supervisors, managers and partners and learnt the basics of double-entry and how to put together a set of accounts; skills that I still use today!

Fortunately, I was enrolled onto the modern apprenticeship AAT course from September 1999 and I never looked back. Within 6 years I had studied for and sat nearly 20 exams and by 2005 I had completed my AAT and ACCA qualifications.

In November 2006 I joined Wagstaffs Chartered Accountants as an Assistant Manager. Quickly I realised what a great practice Wagstaffs was and how much I wanted to be part of their long term future.

In 2008 I was promoted to Manager of the Business Services Group. I was responsible for dealing with all of the compliance matters, tax matters and also special projects directly for the Partners. I was extremely fortunate to have such great mentors in the Partners of the Practice, who at that stage were helping me prepare me for a future Partner role in the firm.

As Wagstaffs continued to grow we recruited James Fox as Audit Manager. He had previously held roles as manager, senior manager and Partner. He was a great addition to the Wagstaffs team, and from a personal perspective, he has been a huge support to me since his arrival.

One of my proudest moments came in April 2018 when James and I were promoted to Partners of the firm. This is just the first step of the next phase of my career.

Wagstaffs is very proud to be a training firm that invests in its people. Wagstaffs believe that by investing in our people, we can nurture them from the start of their career, through AAT, ACCA, ACA, CTA and beyond. At Wagstaffs there is no ceiling to an individual’s progression.

I specialise in working with small and medium business owners and enjoy nothing more than meeting with clients and advising them on strategic and long term objectives. I really enjoying working with clients and helping them maximise tax efficiencies and cash extraction from their businesses. I spearhead the firms Digital accounting team and work with client to use innovative tools, embracing technology that can streamline the business allow their businesses to grow.

Stuart Cuzner


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