Steve Archer, senior partner at Geens Chartered Accountancy is retiring in March 2021 after a distinguished 38-year career.
After embarking on an accountancy career as a trainee in Nottingham in 1983, Steve came to Geens in 1986, qualified in 1987 rising to partner in 1992, senior partner in 2008 and a seat on the Board of the Stoke-based company following incorporation in 2013.
Steve, of Eccleshall, says that at the age of 58, the time is right to enjoy retirement safe in the knowledge that he’s helped to bring through a strong team of younger senior staff at one of the area’s oldest accountancy firms.
“Geens was founded in 1884 and has a wealth of tradition, but we’ve built a modern, go-ahead practice and have developed our own team who will continue to take Geens forwards,” said Steve. “The Geens Board is a dynamic group of accountants and advisers and we’ve brought through younger members, such as Dean Clacher and Chris Beeston in recent times. Together with fellow directors, Karen Staley
Lowe and Carl France, all of the Board began their careers at Geens and have qualified here. I am confident the future of the firm is in very safe hands.
“The fact that most of our Board and senior team have come through the business is one of the things that gives me great satisfaction, together with the friendly philosophy at Geens. The team works hard, but knows how to have fun, with the company promoting excellence while maintaining a flexible, people centred work environment which means our staff retention levels have always been high.”
The Geens ethos can be seen in the success of the Geens charity challenge team which has raised more than £50,000 for good causes by walking the “3-Peaks”, running a half marathon, canoeing, climbing, cycling, abseiling and cliff diving in a series of stamina sapping challenges.
Steve has completed all four challenges and was due to bow out with the so-called Longest and Highest Challenge (canoeing Windermere and climbing Scarfell Pike) this summer, but this was cancelled due to Covid-19.
“The challenges, which hopefully will continue, have helped forge an amazing spirit in the office and I will miss them,” said Steve, a keen sportsman, who helped to found Eccleshall Rugby Club and served as a wicketkeeper batsman for the town’s cricket club for many years.
Steve came to Eccleshall as an 11-year-old and has lived in the town ever since. “It is a great place to live, with plenty of amenities for a small town, and it is where I plan to enjoy retirement.
“Accountancy has given me a great career and has changed a lot over the years, particularly due to technology. When I joined Geens, we had one newly arrived office computer that we all shared, but technology now means we can do so much more to assist our clients. Back then, all the tax returns were written manually, now clients can have all the figures they want on their smart phones and tablets. This means we can present information to clients in an easy to understand way and have far more ability to act as business and tax advisers, adding value to our client services.
“I will be sad to retire after almost 35 years at Geens but I leave a dedicated and extremely talented team, locally born and bred, who understand the uniqueness of Stoke on Trent and who will continue to provide the professional and personal service that our clients expect and for which Geens is renowned.
“Throughout my time here I have come into contact with many of our clients and in many cases they have become firm friends and I wish them all the very best for the future”.