North East Times - Supporting Role

Ryan Harrison joined Leathers in 2007 as part of the accountancy firm’s graduate recruitment scheme. With the support of managing partner Michael Leather, Ryan has risen the ranks to partner. He also led the firm’s expansion into Yorkshire last year with the opening of its Harrogate office

Michael Leather

Ryan was one of a number of people we interviewed as part of our graduate recruitment strategy. I remember his degree was in business and French and he’d just finished a gap year in France. I was very impressed by his positive approach to his time away and how engaged he was in that.

Ryan has always been willing to learn and accept advice, which has been a big factor in his development. Our relationship is very informal but it’s developed since he became a partner. We now discuss the running of the business as well as client matters. We talk most working days and Ryan will always pick up the phone if he needs something.

I think I’ve encouraged him into being more direct. I’ve challenged him to look at things differently, to see different aspects of a situation. Last year I challenged him with spearheading our expansion into Yorkshire through the opening of our Harrogate office, and he has done a superb job.

Although I have encouraged Ryan to be more direct, equally he has shown me that some-times you don’t have to push things. Ryan is very relaxed and doesn’t get flustered, no matter how ridiculously busy he is a lot of the time, and that kind of calm approach (we joke about ‘Ryan time’!) is very valuable to the wider team and me.

I think Ryan has the ability and determination to achieve whatever he wants to.

Ryan Harrison

I joined Leathers in 2007. It was my first job and I wanted to join a firm which was more a family type of practice where I would get to use my personal skills and get involved in a variety of work.

Michael has been fantastic. He’s very supportive and gives continual encouragement. He appreciates the importance of young people gaining their professional qualifications but he will let you find your own way in your career.

Michael has helped me enormously and I am delighted to have now progressed to be a partner in the business. We have a lot of informal chats and Michael is always very clear and concise with his advice, which is helpful. We communicate regularly and I know he is always there if I need anything. Michael has instilled the value of personal client service into us all, and about the importance of picking up the phone and writing a letter rather than just sending an email, and our clients hugely appreciate those kinds of ‘old fashioned values’.

I have progressed from graduate to partner at Leathers, which was my initial aspiration, and it has been a very exciting time for us recently, especially having just achieved our second consecutive win at the North East Accountancy Awards. I want to help this business continue to grow and flourish and I’d particularly like to help continue Leathers’ commitment to developing young people, which I believe is unrivalled in the marketplace for a firm of our size.


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