A-Z Of Employers: Tenon

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The Independent Online

What does it do?

Tenon is a relatively new kid on the block, but in its six years of existence, it has moved into the top 10 of UK accountants, a feat achieved largely by the acquisition of smaller businesses. A key part of its operation is in business and tax advice, with a specialisation on owner-managed and private businesses. Their client list includes a sprinkling of celebrities in the worlds of film, television and sport. The American tennis player, Andre Agassi, for example, was represented by the head of Tenon's tax department in a dispute with the British taxman. Explaining the name is like a round from Call My Bluff. A tenon is a woodworking term for something sticking out of one piece of wood to help it be joined to another. It's apparently a metaphor for the parent company's relation to its constituent offices.

Vital statistics

Tenon's most recent pre-tax profit was £10.5m; profits have tripled over the past two years. The company's turnover, now exceeding £100m, is generated by 1,500 staff.

The office

There isn't a formal headquarters. The 28 offices are spread far and wide, including London, Nottingham, Southampton and Glasgow.

Is this you?

About 60 graduates are taken every year, most heading for qualification as accountants, or the slightly less demanding role of accountant technician. You'll need a 2.1, along with diligence, flair, creativity and the ability to think laterally.

The recruitment process

Tenon offers some tips to those applying, via its website at www.tenongroup.com/careers. In your written submission, make sure that your individuality comes across, particularly when you describe your selling points, and make sure you double-check the grammar and spelling. If you're invited for an interview, enjoy yourself, come with questions yourself, and mug up on the professional training you'll experience if you get in. Decisions are made as much on what you ask them as on your answers to their questions. All recruits join what's called the Tenon Academy, which mixes internal generic business training with on-the-job experience in a number of departments. Here you'll be giving business advice, demystifying tax issues, and helping to save a struggling company - all this alongside professional accountancy training.

Top dollar

You guess is as good as mine here. All Tenon says on the money front is that recruits are rewarded on ability. If you show it, they'll notice.

Beam me up Scotty?

Graduates generally qualify as accountants after three years, after which the firm says that your progress is "limited only by your ambition" .

Who's the boss?

Andy Raynor, an accountant with one of the firms Tenon took over in 2001, has been chief executive since 2003. He graduated from De Montfort University and trained with KPMG.

Little known fact

The former Busted singer and celebrity jungle captive Matt Willis had his affairs handled by Tenon. In a thank-you letter to the firm one year, he admitted that he'd "have been locked up a long time ago for non payment of bills" without the firm's advice.