Neil joined Grant Thornton's National Pensions Team in 2011, prior to which he spent 17 years working in the pensions team of another Top 10 practice.
Neil has worked as an auditor since 1990 and in the pensions sector since 1994. He has also served as a pension scheme trustee so he understands to demands placed upon the scheme trustees. Neil also sits on many of the leading working parties and committees in the sector helping to shape upcoming guidance and regulation.
Neil has worked on schemes with a wide range of benefit structures, and he has particular expertise in the audit of, and accounting for, scheme mergers, complex investments, and assisting scheme management in the effective and efficient review of key internal controls, both in-house and those operated by outsourced providers. He also regularly assists trustees in reviewing their governance structure and maintaining the scheme’s risk register, in particular in relation to fraud risk.
Neil's expertise covers:
- Statutory audit of pension scheme financial statements
- Extending the scope of the pensions scheme audit to cover specific areas of concern for the trustees, for example Defined Contribution member internal controls over investment choice and allocation of funds
- Utilising data interrogation and other IT tools to provide additional assurance for trustees for no, or little, extra cost
- Benchmarking schemes against their peer group on best practice processes and procedures
- Internal control reviews of outsourced providers
- Assisting trustees and management in reviewing Governance procedures, risk registers and specifically the mitigation of fraud risk.
- Pension scheme accounting, especially in relation to complex investments
- The delivery of trustee training
- Assisting scheme management in the challenging existing processes and procedures as part of a continuous improvement process