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Loooking for oldest practicing Accountant on AW

Loooking for oldest practicing Accountant on AW

I do not have any plans to retire, health permitting I intend to carryon for as long as I can.

I have a long way to go before getting to 60. I would be grateful to hear from 65+ years old practicing accountants. The older the better. It would be great to hear from 80 year old in practice. I intend to be one (I hope!).  I may even go to an accountancy franchior open day on my 80th birthday to talk about 10 year growth strategy! Constraining factor - my death!

Are clients okay with extra mature accountants? Don't they think passed it? Will he/she be able to do the work now?

I was surprised and pleased to see a question from a 50+ year old thinking of starting a practice - great!

I think accountancy is of one of those careers where we can carryon as long as health and brain function allows.


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17th Jan 2011 06:53


Needn't be a barrier to practice, but I do have one client who comes to me every couple of years because his 80+ year old accountant:

1.  Doesn't do capital gains tax as he can't keep up with it;

2.  Doesn't have a computer.

He would like to leave him but is worried about upsetting him as he has been his accountant for so long.

I think sometimes it is important to know when to call it a day.

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17th Jan 2011 09:07

It's a bit like driving surely?

You may think you're great; others may not agree!

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17th Jan 2011 09:51

84 years

When my father died four of years ago he was still practicing. He died at the age of 84 years. He had a computer and went with me to many update courses both in computers and Accounts/tax to comply with the CPD requirements of his qualification.

At his funeral one of his clients came up to me and said 'I suppose I'm going to have to find a replacement accountant now.'

It was November so I offered to at least get what clients wanted to stay through the 31 Jan submission date for that particular year. As I say that was four years ago - all his 52 clients are still with me as part of my business.

My mother acts as my secretary/payroll etc... she is 82 years this year. I am 52 years.





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17th Jan 2011 10:33

The sad fact about life is that youth is wasted on the young.

Don't confuse age with senility.  The two are separate.

I have a friend who mentored me many, many years ago. He is now approaching his 94th birthday, and is still one of the finest barristers around. 

Youngsters may think that they know it all with their Blackberries, laptops etc, but, in accountancy as in any other profession, there is no substitute for experience.


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By StevieG
17th Jan 2011 10:41

Oldest practising Accountant

I reckon I must be the oldest practising Accountant on AW.I am 68 years old and quailified in the year when England last won the world cup.(1966).I have a computer listen to "Spotify"and up to date with tax return and payroll software.I go out with the lads on a friday night and take note of this Richard people reckon I am move well on the dance floor!!

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17th Jan 2011 13:10

Potential clients

I'm 58 and presently I feel young but I wonder what people think when they see my age on my website.

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17th Jan 2011 14:19

@ Peter

I'm 58 and presently I feel young but I wonder what people think when they see my age on my website.


Posted by petersaxton on Mon, 17/01/2011 - 13:10


Well that explains some of your comments - you're just a grumpy old git like the rest of us :)

I've come to a conclusion why older people get grumpy - it's frustration because their minds still want to do what they did when they were 18 - and their bodies wont let them.


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17th Jan 2011 15:48

Only a suggestion Peter

Remove your age Peter. It has no relevance on the work you do. On the other hand this could be seen a plus. Experinced, dependable etc.

My view why take the risk. I think the rest of your personal details give good info about you.


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17th Jan 2011 15:59


First Tab

I agree about the pros ... the cons may be that people think I'm planning to retire in a couple of years so why go through the hassle of changing accountant so soon.


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17th Jan 2011 16:00


Thanks StevieG - You are an inspiration to me. I really hate it when people say I am too old to do this! Its all in the mind.

Then they are people like you who just learn new ways.

I think you have got the badge of oldest accountant on AW. I hope to beat you over the coming years.

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17th Jan 2011 16:11

Beware Retirement

Nothing seems to bump people off than retirement.  A multi-doctor GP practice I used to deal with had a senior partner who went on and on.  One of the younger partners retired at 65 to practice his golf-swing and died within 6 months, which determined the old guy to keep going. He was finally persuaded to retire at about 85 (the NHS wouldn't tolerate it now).  And was dead within 6 months.

All of which makes me think you should retire early, while you still have direction in your life or go late and let your profession give you that direction. 

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17th Jan 2011 16:18

OK, so I know this may sound like bragging but...

I have the opposite problem.  People think I am younger than I really am.  This may sound great, but actually it is a concern when potential clients think you are only just out of school.  Funnily enough, this is becoming less of a problem than it used to be (can't think why?).  Tescos don't insist on seeing my driving licence when I want a bottle of wine any more, and it has been a while since a door to door salesman asked if my mother was home when I answered the door (seriously, I was about 28 at the time, young son upstairs asleep).  I should have said "I don't know, shall I ring her up at home to find out?" but I was so surprised.

I guess the stress of too many Januarys is putting the wrinkles on and I don't look as young as I used to....

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17th Jan 2011 16:24


I have the opposite problem.  People think I am younger than I really am. 

Posted by taxhound on Mon, 17/01/2011 - 16:18



I have the same problem ........ I wish :) 

Don't retire - just realise that you cant rush around as you once used to do, and pace yourself.  I simply refuse to let clients hassle me, and whatever they want they get it when I'm ready to do it - not before.



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17th Jan 2011 20:36

Horses for courses

Some older clients prefer to deal with older accountants, some younger clients prefer to deal with younger accountants, and many don't really care so long as they get looked after, get good service, and get their telephone calls returned.

The more mature accountant has much to offer with their experience and older, wiser head - the younger ones sometimes have more get up and go, client empathy and enthusiasm.  Combine the two and you can't go wrong.

My next recruit for my accountancy business will definately go to someone of advancing years, although obviously I can't advertise as such or will get hung, drawn and quartered by the employment mob.

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