The Accountant jumps to the other side of the fence

Posted On March 16, 2015 By mhauk

David Missen - Accountant turns Farmer


After spending 35 years advising farmers on how to manage their finances and tax liabilities efficiently, David Missen, Head of the Agriculture sector at MHA, the national association of independent accountants, is now getting a taste of life on the other side of the fence. He has just retired as agricultural partner from Larking Gowen chartered accountants in Norfolk to run his own commercial farming operation at his home in Foulsham, Norfolk.

David joined Larking Gowen in 1983 after training as a Chartered Accountant in Suffolk. He was appointed partner in 1991 and, over the years he has managed to carve out a technical career on a national level, being a founder member and past chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants farming group, acting as editor of their newsletter and joint author of the defining work on farm accounting and taxation.

In January 2015, David retired from Larking Gowen at the age of 57 and saw the opportunity to begin a new career, commenting: “I had always planned to retire before I reached 60 and this was an opportunity to reinvent myself and fulfil my aspirations to build a new career as a farmer”.

For many years, David has farmed a few acres of land around his home, but he has now quadrupled the size of his holding to 40 acres, an acre of which has been devoted to ground mounted solar panels, which were installed and connected to the National Grid in February.  David will also manage 14 acres of grass land to produce a commercial crop of quality hay and will farm 25 acres of arable land in conjunction with a neighbouring farm.

David adds: “The energy from the solar panels will provide a large proportion of our income and the bad weather during their installation has been the biggest challenge so far. You never give a thought to how disruptive the weather can be when you’re sitting in a nice warm office at a computer”.

David now has the opportunity to put into practice some of the advice he has been giving to his clients over the years and has just been through the process of registering online for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), which he has to admit was more of a challenge than he had thought.

David will continue as a technical advisor for Larking Gowen and head up the agriculture sector for MHA, as well as act as a board member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants’ farming and rural business group. In addition to farming, stamp dealing and a little light technical work will now occupy David’s time, supported by his wife and daughter. It all sounds like a very busy retirement!