“The flexibility that we enjoy is important. PKF gives everyone a lot of freedom to shape how they work. That’s based on trust and that trust is respected here, which is heartening to see.”
Cheryl Court | Partner, Valuations
Tell us about yourself briefly
My name’s Cheryl, and I’m a Partner at PKF and head of the Valuations team. There are two aspects to my role. I work with clients who need to know the value of their financial assets or even their businesses for financial reporting, shareholder disputes or as part of a sale or acquisition. I also support my colleagues by sharing my valuations expertise for the audits that they undertake. On top of that, I’m one of PKF’s ‘staff Partners’, which means that I take on additional responsibility for looking after the welfare of my colleagues, and am a Mental Health First Aider.
Outside of work, I spend a lot of my free time with my two children. We’re an active family, so you’ll often find us outside, walking, cycling and exploring!
What makes it more than just a job to you?
I enjoy the challenge of working with such a variety of different clients. Every project is different, so there’s rarely any repetition. I particularly look forward to working with some of our most complex clients; that can be both challenging and rewarding. There’s a good balance with the work: the projects are interesting and you feel like you’re being stretched, but you also have the support to help you succeed.
You make use of the firm’s flexible working opportunities. What’s your working pattern like?
I’ve been working reduced hours for a number of years so that I can spend more time with my children. I finish early on a couple of afternoons a week and also take extended leave during the school holidays.
What are the main advantages and benefits of flexible working?
It means I can enjoy those precious times with my family as my children are growing up, without sacrificing my career. These are moments that I’ll never experience again, so I don’t want to miss them. In professional services, there’s a perception that you can’t be a Partner who works reduced hours. That’s wrong – there’s no logical reason why senior people need to work all the time – and I’m pleased that PKF is helping to challenge it. There’s a recognition at all levels of the firm that family is important, and that feeds through to how we operate.
We invested heavily in remote access technology – like laptops, Teams, Zoom and VPN – before the pandemic, so our IT systems were designed with agile working in mind. We operate a hybrid working model, so we’re all used to working together whether we’re in one of our offices, at a client site, or at home.
What separates PKF from other firms?
For me, PKF strikes the right balance – the people here are friendly and approachable, and yet you also get the opportunity to work on interesting projects with high profile clients. The flexibility that we enjoy is also important. PKF gives everyone a lot of freedom to shape how they work. That’s based on trust and that trust is respected here, which is heartening to see.
30 seconds with Cheryl Court
Q. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? A. Spending time outdoors with my children having new adventures!
Q. What one thing would you miss most if you were shipwrecked on a desert island? A. My paddleboard! It would have been perfect to keep me amused!
Q. Do you prefer reading a book or watching TV? A. Both, equally.