Taking Stock: BDO audit partner bets the fruit farm

SENIOR audit partner, James Roberts, who is well known for his contribution to the audit reform debate, will retire from BDO next month after 40 years in practice.

Roberts is retiring to run Oast Farm in East Sussex with his family. The 27 acre fruit farm has a fishing lake, farm shop and café. He will keep his hand in the audit world and will continue to chair the ICAEW’s audit faculty for some months. He will also undertake some consulting work for BDO’s international network, which spans 154 countries.

He joined Binder Hamlyn in 1976, and became a partner in 1986 before it became a part of Andersen in 1994. He later negotiated the sale of the Andersen Croydon office to BDO in 2001. His clients followed him and many are still clients of BDO today.

Roberts has become a well-established spokesman on audit and governance, and particularly regulation, market competition and choice through the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) inquiry and the subsequent gestation of European legislation.

Simon Michaels, managing partner at BDO, said: “James has played a significant role in our firm over the years. Not only has he been a highly effective client partner, with relationships spanning decades, he has mentored many people in the firm.

“The work he did during the competition debate for BDO has had an enduring impact. We and his clients are grateful for the care and passion he’s shown in his work day in, day out. He will be missed personally and professionally, and we wish him a long and happy retirement.”

James Roberts added: “Being a partner at BDO has been a great experience for me. As well as the high competency and camaraderie the firm engenders in its people, the freedom afforded to develop my career, both with clients and in other fields, has been priceless.”

Related reading