Lisa-Marie Simmons | Assistant Manager - Accounts and Advisory
Not your usual accountant...
Menzies has allowed me to be myself and is a great place to work. I believe it harnesses my unique skills and personality to be ‘not your usual boring accountant’ – with the necessary flexibility to focus also on being a wife and a mother!
What’s your Menzies story?
Menzies is all I have known, and they have become my family.
I have worked at Menzies since I just turned 18 years old, straight from school, now almost 25 years. I know some say” you would get a lesser sentence for murder!”.
My first role was as a trainee secretary. This wasn’t a job that was really on my agenda, but a friend who had already joined Menzies suggested I take a look. To be honest, at that stage, I was not even sure what an accountancy firm really did!
In time, I became curious about what I was typing about and so decided to complete an AAT night course on my own initiative, to get a feel for things. My manager was incredibly supportive and let me leave early for my course and allowed me, in downtimes, to review my study books. Then one of the partners noticed I was studying and asked me what I was doing and was so pleased he called me into his office the next day and said there was an opening at our Leatherhead office for a trainee accountant and would I like to go and interview. I was obviously apprehensive, but he said, “you won’t know unless you try”! I didn’t think anything would come of it but, with his pep talk in my head, I went for the interview and to my surprise got the job. Long story short, I have been at the Leatherhead office ever since, with Menzies from that point supporting my training and career in accountancy.
They may say I am a little quirky! I love shoes, anything Disney (especially Minnie Mouse – who would not want to be her? She has wonderful clothes and shoes, a great boyfriend and lives in the most fun place on earth), colourful clothes, being bright and bubbly (telling stupid jokes) and Menzies allows me to be this and harness my outgoing personality. It means that I have had clients who say it is a breath of fresh air to have an accountant act for them who is a little different from the norm!
Why is your Menzies story different?
I feel my story is different to some as it seems that, these days, people move around jobs really frequently because they don’t feel supported or just don’t have the feeling of belonging where they work.
Menzies is different, as my story shows. They are so keen to push and develop staff in ways that are not always in line with how they entered the business and, with them, celebrate their successes.
Why do you like working at Menzies?
I would say that Menzies is like family, and I think that makes it special. It has seen me through happy times such as engagement, marriage, pregnancy, birth and the raising of my son and getting my first dog – as well as supporting me when things are not always good (e.g. the loss of my parents).
Menzies not only gave me a chance by opening doors and opportunities but supported me in my career and on a personal level.
I love working at Menzies for the wonderful depth of people and so many friends/lasting relationships that I have made over the years with some truly colourful characters.