After 45 years Phil Jones retires as our Senior Audit Manager, to pursue his lifelong passions; classic cars, DIY and his wife Diane, but not necessarily in that order.

Phil joined the firm in 1974, as a trainee audit clerk when we were housed in Probate House in St Mary’s Gate. He’s been Bates Weston’s senior Audit Manager since 1991.

When asked about the changes he’s seen Phil comments:

“There has been an increase in the regulations around audit, which have improved audit standards and the impact of technology on working practices is huge”.

Phil has always been on top of the regulations, and can be rightly proud of the firm’s  audit standards but he adds wryly, that “the tighter controls haven’t stopped some of the larger firms becoming embroiled in audit scandals”.

Phil, dapper as ever in his trade mark bow tie, cheerily recalls the first computers he ever encountered. In his hand is a handwritten ledger, kept as a piece of nostalgia, and he’s reminiscing about the changes in the profession.

“Back in 1974, just 2 clients had a computer and each one took up an entire room. Today there are fewer bodies and more computers.”

Phil is a much loved character here at Bates Weston. He says he started his career as a shy fellow, but learned to be confident on the job. His advice to would be auditors?

“Stand up for your point of view, challenge people, hold your ground, be inquisitive and tenacious.”

We echo that sentiment, but Phil’s challenges are always softened with quiet confidence and respect.

That positive attitude, has been hard won. Fighting constant back pain since slipping on ice in 1977, his pain is controlled through a spinal stimulation device and “swimming and gymming” three times a week.

He says he’s looking forward to his retirement, to having new experiences and new challenges.

Kay Brookes, partner at Bates Weston, has worked alongside Phil for over 35 years.

“ He will be so missed. He is the font of all knowledge when it comes to auditing and he seems to get younger with each passing year. He’s a wonderful character, the Benjamin Button of the audit world. He leaves behind a skilled and knowledgeable audit team, well able to continue to provide the highest standards of audit.”

Phil was presented with his Long Service and Retirement Award’s by the partners of Bates Weston. To keep him bang up to date he received a laptop, tablet and wireless mouse along with more tongue in cheek gifts including an Auditor joke book, “I’m Retired” mug and a Workshop manual.

We all wish Phil and Diane a well earned and wonderful retirement