We’re ‘fascinated by figures’

Meet Your Digital Accountant Ltd, Accountants in Sunderland, Tyne & Wear

Your Digital Accountant Ltd are a highly approachable, enthusiastic, professional (it goes with the territory) and, above all, effective firm of accountants based in Sunderland, just by the Wear.

So if you are looking for a great firm of North East accountants to help you make, save and protect your money, then Your Digital Accountant Ltd can help.

Fiona Thoburn
Head of Taxation Services

Ralph Thoburn

Tom Storey
Personal Tax Consultant

Ian Turnbull
Head of Accounts


Meet ‘The Incredible Team’

Above is a brief outline of our key team members – often described by our clients as The Incredible Team! There is only so much you can glean from a web page, that’s why we would love to meet you for coffee and chat with you face to face. Our first, one-hour consultation is completely free and without obligation. You can register for your free 1:1 here.

Just to prove we are human, here are photos and brief biographies of The Incredible Team at Your Digital Accountant Ltd, simply click on an image to read the full bios.

Ralph Thoburn | Director


Ralph was a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales for over 30 years, a graduate of the Accountants Boot Camp and an AVN Mastery Graduate.

What can you expect from Ralph?

“For an accountant, he’s a really nice chap!” so said one of his clients in a back-handed complimentary sort of way. And he is. He’s also a pioneer – he likes leading from the front and in his own words, “sticking my head above the parapet!” And that’s not easy when you are following in your father’s footsteps.

Examples of his leadership show in his early membership of the AVN network and becoming an AVN Mastery graduate; of joining INPACT, the international network of accountants years before most other firms of accountants in the North East, and of introducing profit-related pay to his clients though a scheme generally acknowledged to be the best in the UK at the time. His firm was also also the first firm of Accountants in the UK to be awarded BS5750 (later ISO9000) the quality assurance standard.

And there’s more…

Ralph is innovative. He has introduced a ‘Happiness Score’ by which his clients measure the quality of the service they are given at Your Digital Accountant Ltd, based on scores out of 10 for accessibility of the principal, timeliness of work completed, etc. It’s brought a sense of fun and more than a touch of achievement to the firm as they nudge closer and closer to that perfect 10.

He’s ambitious. It’s not by chance that his firm was shortlisted as finalists, 4 years in a row, in the British Accountancy Award for Excellence – Small Firm category, nor that they won the North East ‘Firm of the Year’ Award in 2010. Great achievements indeed for a firm of accountants in South Shields as the office was at that time.

Away from the office:

Outside his practice, Ralph is a past Chairman of Bedes World, the Museum and visitor centre in Jarrow which was once the location of Bedes monastery where he has overseen the funding and creation of a £7 million visitor centre that was opened by HM The Queen in 2000.

He was the first Chair of the Oak learning Trust in 2016, a multi academy trust based in Washington with two primary schools under it’s wing with excellent results.
Recently he has developed his skills as a gardener, growing fruit and vegetables on an allotment. Competitive? Ralph was judged to be ‘Best Newcomer’ in his first year at his allotment – always striving for perfection!

He is also a mean bridge player and enjoys playing a number of sports with golf being the current obsession. The body may be a little weaker these days, but the spirit is still strong! He is married to Fiona and has three children.

Tom Storey | Personal Tax Consultant

Tom has 16 years’ experience in dealing with personal tax compliance and planning of high net worth and high-earning clients. He has been a member of the Your Digital Accountant Ltd team since 2005 and covers the areas of income tax, national insurance, capital gains tax and inheritance tax working with individuals as well as Trusts and Estates.
He is ambitious to build the tax client base and create a team of tax experts within the practice that can provide the best tax expertise in the North East.

His biggest achievement to date is stepping into the shoes of his predecessor who had been with the firm for over 50 years and was known and loved by all the clients. “Initially I don’t think they believed this young whipper-snapper could provide the same level of service and expertise. But I’ve won them over and now feel I have their trust and approval.”

Away from the office:

Tom is married to Joanne and they have two young children. As well as being an active family man, he enjoys a nice bottle of wine and a good concert. He admits to being inspired by the Olympics and recently took his son to his first concert – Bruce Springsteen. Not a bad starting point for the young man! In an office of split loyalties, he is firmly in the black and white camp.

Fiona Thoburn | Head of Taxation Services


Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.

Fiona did her training with city accountants Dixon Wilson before joining BDO Binder Hamlyn in 1989 and working in their corporate tax department. She moved to the family firm in 1994 and is primarily involved in company taxation ensuring corporate clients pay the correct amount of tax and not a penny more.

Fiona is a hugely organised person – she has to be to keep husband Ralph in sync with his appointments and commitments! But don’t think of her as some super P.A. – far from it! She is meticulous in making sure that nothing is overlooked; whether it’s checking tax loopholes for clients or coming up with suggestions for practice growth, you can rely on Fiona to come up with the best ‘what if…’ questions to make sure all the options are addressed.

She is also responsible for the firm’s excellent relationship with HMRC and the principal reason why we have such a low enquiry level into tax return submissions – approximately 25% of the national average. Fiona also looks after the administration of compliance work within the practice and has experience of estate and Trust matters and personal taxation.

Away from the office:

In her ‘spare’ time, Fiona is a mother of three and is a pretty mean bridge player. She is a committed golfer socially and on the course. She is now the primary driver of excellence on the allotment helping Ralph to numerous first, seconds and thirds as well as keeping the family in fruit and veg!

She is the Treasurer of the Newcastle & Northumberland Society, a charity dedicated to educating people of the history and landscape of the area as well as acting as a pressure group to keep local Council’s honest about planning issues.

She is also the Ladies Treasurer of the Gosforth Bridlepath Golf Club, arguably the most successful ladies club in the north east at the present time. The section excels in getting new ladies into the game of golf.

Ian Turnbull | Head of Accounts


Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.

Ask most Your Digital Accountant Ltd clients where they get most information and inevitably they’ll say “Ian Turnbull”. Ian is ‘Mr Go-Between’ who channels all customer questions to the right place and makes sure they are dealt with quickly. With a team of 7 to manage, Ian’s day is never dull! They say variety is the spice of life – and with clients as diverse as opticians and packaging agents, fabric wholesalers and environmental engineers, Ian’s day is definitely more of a Madras than a Masala!

He just loves solving problems and creating great relationships with clients. No doubt one begats the other!

Statutory accounts are now Ian’s speciality, providing companies of all sizes across the North East with timely and beneficial reports. He always takes the opportunity to change clients’ perceptions of the annual accounts preparation from that of an unnecessary expense to an incredibly beneficial process by providing them with solutions to problems or ways to improve their business.

Away from the office:

Ian enjoys socializing with friends on a good night out, playing football (well, maybe just thinking about playing football!) and leading the Anchor Boys section in a local Boys Brigade.