Meet the Staff
Michael J. Dodden – J.P. F.C.A
Mike founded the firm in January 1980, just 3 years after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. Starting with less than a dozen clients, the business rapidly grew and Mike is proud today to see the practice advising businesses now under the control of the next generation and in some cases the third generation is already in the wings.
Although accepting that specialisation has a place in professional practice Mike is a firm believer in providing an all round service, encouraging his clients to use him, his partners and staff for advice on a wide range of business services. His motto is that even if he cannot help he always knows someone who can and is very happy to work with other professionals to help his clients through all kinds of business situations. He believes that to give the right advice to clients, the adviser must know their clients well and clients often say he knows their business and financial affairs better than they do themselves.
He passionately believes in a first class personal service and expects his partners and staff to operate in the same way. Much of his time is now spent dealing with private tax clients and in his spare time he supports Somerset cricket and is Collection officer of Bridgwater Carnival.
Mike has a particular interest in inheritance tax and will planning, probate work and estate administration. When Chartered Accountants became able to apply for authorisation to conduct probate work from 2014, Mike ensured that the practice was one of the first in the area to become licensed to undertake the reserved legal service of non contentious probate.
Guy A.L. Hall – F.F.A F.I.P.A
Whilst working/training with a Bridgwater firm of Chartered Accountant Guy met Mike in 1975 and then joined him as a partner in February 1983. Guy is a member of the Institute of Financial Accountants, and the Institute of Public Accountants. With many years experience dealing with all types of family businesses it is still rewarding to help, and see client prosper and succeed in today’s sometimes difficult financial environment.
Guy has a passion for classic cars and in his spare time is kept busy supporting Manchester United Football club. He has been a member at Enmore Golf Club since 1989 and is a keen Canal boat enthusiast.
Ben Cleaveley – F.C.C.A. F.M.A.A.T.
Ben started out in accountancy after taking a liking to it when completing his A levels. Ben worked for a small firm of accountants in Taunton while completing the AAT qualification and starting ACCA. In July 2010 Ben joined Michael J Dodden & Co as an accounts assistant. He continued to study and qualified in March 2014, shortly after this time Ben was invited to join the partnership. After completing the necessary post qualification paperwork he applied for his practising certificate which was accepted in July 2016 and on the 1st October 2016 he joined the partnership.
Ben has a broad knowledge of accounting by having worked through the ranks he has vast experience in bookkeeping, payroll, CIS and VAT/accounting preparation as well as the more complicated areas of corporate and personal tax. He also has extremely good skills using the Microsoft office package and Sage products. He is also a certified Xero Advisor.
In September 2018 Ben completed the Probate and Estate Administration course, followed by the passing of the exam for him to achieve the qualification. This allows Ben to deal with all aspects of probate and estate work.
One of Ben’s main focuses is modernising the firm to keep it up to date with changes in technology and social media. This has seen Ben introduce a new computer system, telephone system and server at the start of the 2017 followed by a revamp of the website and the introduction of Facebook and Twitter.
In his spare time Ben is a full member and secretary of Lime Kiln Carnival Club, head coach of Bridgwater Junior Table Tennis Club, skittles in the Bridgwater Men’s Thursday league and enjoys following all sports especially football supporting Leeds United and cricket with Somerset as well as travelling to different places in the world.
Amy Cleaveley – F.C.C.A. A.T.T.
Amy joined the firm in 2015 after completing her training at a regional firm based in Taunton. Following in her brother’s footsteps, Amy is a qualified Certified Chartered Accountant (ACCA) and Accounts Technician (AAT) and in 2018 completed her Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) exams.
Amy specialises in advising smaller owner-managed businesses in all aspects of accounting and tax, and focuses on providing proactive advice through the delivery of bespoke management accounts packages, as well as gaining a thorough understanding of a business’ bookkeeping function. She is frequently delivering training and advice to clients on software packages such as Microsoft Excel, Sage products, QuickBooks, Xero and other accountancy software which may be more suited to individual businesses.
Amy’s personable approach to client service means that she is well-placed to assist clients when trading growth requires a transition to more sophisticated accounting systems and internal processes, and she aims to make the change process as smooth and as stress-free as possible by assisting our clients every step of the way. She also enjoys ‘adding value’ to the core services the firm offers to clients wherever possible, which sits comfortably with the firm’s ethos of providing an all-round service.
Outside of work Amy enjoys socialising with family and friends and foreign travel. She is also an active full member and treasurer of Lime Kiln Carnival Club.
Amy became a partner of the firm on 1st April 2019 following the retirement of Richard Gliddon.
Sophie Butt – A.C.C.A. M.A.A.T.
Sophie joined Michael J Dodden & Co as an accounts assistant in January 2015 after completing 1st Year A Levels in Accountancy, Law and business. She then decided to continue her accountancy development and started to study AAT level 3 when she finished college. She continued to study this alongside working and qualified as an Accounts Technician (AAT) in July 2016.
Sophie is qualified with the ACCA (Association of Certified Charted Accountants) in March 2020.
Sophie covers areas of accountancy such as general accounts preparation, VAT, income tax and has recently started to gain knowledge in corporation tax. Sophie leads the firm’s payroll function and has a vast knowledge of Sage payroll which has meant she is able to provide in-house or onsite training to clients. Sophie oversees the weekly, four weekly, monthly and annual payrolls which are processed by the firm. She is knowledgeable in the ever changing world of employer’s obligations with regards to payroll which includes statutory rights and deductions. More recently this has seen Sophie assist our clients in meeting their duties with regards to auto-enrolment pensions, which will shortly be compulsory for all employers.
Outside of work, Sophie enjoys spending time with family and socialising with friends.