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Ryan Horwood

Audit Manager

Ryan honed his academic skills through various degrees in Economics, Finance and Psychology before diving into the world of audit. As a Chartered Accountant with experience of both external and internal audit, he understands key industry perspectives and enjoys applying his knowledge to help clients achieve their goals. Prior to joining Financial Progression, Ryan worked for KLA in their internal audit team. Outside of work, he enjoys cooking, learning new skills, playing video games and spending time with his family.

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Interview: Background and Approach

Who I am and what makes me tick.

What prompted you to start a career in marketing contract compliance?

Like most auditors, we get wrapped up in financial statement or controls compliance audits — but I always felt that I was never adding value. Then I met Financial Progression and was thrown into this world of other audit possibilities. Adrian’s expertise and passion for his craft sparked my interest and Erika’s experience and drive only impressed me more. I really felt that being mentored by them would do more for me as an auditor and give me more experience than ticking boxes ever would. I am very excited to have this new chapter of my career and I am looking forward to taking my past experiences and delivering value for our clients.

How has your previous experience helped you at Financial Progression?

My experience isn’t traditional. My time within the regulated optics industry helped me to understand and handle difficult situations. Experiencing external audit at EY gave me insight into a variety of industries including beverage, optical, manufacturing, energy, and retail. Then while working for in internal audit, I was able to experience being on the inside of a global business and the variety of cultures intertwined, as well as what it was like to be audited. This has all lead to me developing a mindset of how to promote collaboration rather than confrontation.

Which part of your work gives you the greatest sense of achievement?

When people hear the word “audit” they tend to have one of two reactions: fight or flight. It is instinctive of human nature to protect ourselves from something we perceive as a threat, and therein lies the problem. Audit should be seen as something that adds value to business, not something to be afraid of: it can either verify strength or identify weakness, and a good auditor should be able to communicate relevant, constructive improvements when those weaknesses occur. I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I find an issue for a client, provide them with a solution and it adds value to their business.

How would people describe you?

Honest, direct, adaptable, extremely detailed orientated, caring, funny and knowledge-hungry (as well as generally hungry!).

What motivates you to do what you do?

If you asked me when I was young, what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have answered: doctor, vet, or teacher. Then I got older and went to university with the idealistic goal of being a psychologist — I wanted to either help people through traumas, or profile and hunt criminals. In reality, I had a business mindset like my parents, so I went back to university again to develop that and then I took the path of an auditor. Audit is a natural fit for me – it allows me to help people and businesses in an environment where I can use my natural analytical skills as an asset.

What can you be found doing when you’re not at work?

When I have free time, you will find me playing video games to my heart’s content, or in the kitchen cooking Mexican or Indian food. I have developed a serious love of spice over recent years that has me being more adventurous in my cooking and eating. Hopefully, when COVID becomes a lot easier to navigate, I will get to travel more and try even more cuisines across Europe and beyond.

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