Profile: Daniel Lyons
Position and name of company: Indirect tax partner, Deloitte
Sector: Professional services
Size of company: 300 employees in Bristol and over 100,000 worldwide
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Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
Born: Morecambe, Lancashire
Educated: Queen Elizabeth School, Kirkby Lonsdale; University of York; College of Law London; Chartered Institute of Tax
First job: Publishing
Influences and inspirations: Having originally trained as a lawyer it would probably have to be a fictional character like Rumpole of the Bailey. In the real world it would be Tony McClenaghan who recruited me into Deloitte and taught me what I know about working for clients in a professional services firm, the essence of this being that clients come first.
Irritations: Misuse of the English language, people who don't say please and thank you and England losing at rugby to Wales.
Hobbies: Military history, fly-fishing on Blagdon, although my son catches more fish than I do, and road cycling – I took part in a leg of this year's Deloitte Ride Across Britain, a 969 mile ride from Land's End to John O'Groats, in support of the British Paralympic Association. I am also a governor of three schools, if you can call that a hobby.
What first inspired you to become involved in business?
My father ran a number of businesses in the 1970s and 1980s but (in the arrogance of youth) I preferred the idea of wearing a posh suit and quoting Latin so I became a lawyer. Later on, whilst working as a VAT lawyer at Customs and Excise, I realised that all of the best work was being done by the accountancy firms, so I turned my back on the law and left.
Looking back is there anything you would've done differently in the course of your career?
I did go through a stripey shirts and braces stage but, apart from that, I don't think that I would change anything as (I hope) that we all learn from our mistakes.
What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
Working closely with clients to help solve their most complex business problems. That's why I do the job.
What is the key challenge facing business in the UK today?
From my perspective in the world of tax, the biggest challenge is having to cope with poorly thought out tax legislation. Every year the compliance and reporting burden gets bigger.
What can Government do to help businesses thrive?
Less, but better quality, tax legislation. More generally I would like to see greater infrastructure investment in the UK.
What one piece of advice would you give to anyone considering setting up their own company?
I have never set up my own company but from my observations of many clients and friends who have I would say that you must have a real passion for what you are doing and not simply focus on the financial rewards which it may bring.