“We also offer initial consultations for new clients joining us, so I will usually have scheduled calls each morning so I can really get to know each client individually.”
I recently joined our training team and work closely with one of our new trainee accountants. It helps build their accounting knowledge and makes sure that they provide the best possible service to their own client base.
What is a typical working day like for you?
Each day is different from the next, so how I set up my day really depends on whether any deadlines are approaching!
Usually, my morning will start by picking up emails received overnight, followed by 1 or 2 initial consultations. After this, I will look to prepare a set of accounts and tax return, or VAT returns if we are nearing the dreaded 7th. By this point there are usually client emails and queries coming in, along with some time set aside for training.
As accountants we also peer review each other’s work to ensure high standards before sending accounts out for clients to approve, so I usually have a few internal reviews to complete. I aim to finish my day having actioned all emails received, and any deadline work completed.
What particular challenges do you regularly encounter?
We have a 24 hour response time on emails so this can sometimes be challenging, especially nearing the end of the month when accounts deadlines approach. This is when organising your day and following a plan is essential!
What are some of the biggest challenges faced by your clients?
From experience, it can be really easy for clients who are new to running their own business to become overwhelmed with deadlines, dates, and ensuring that they keep the correct records.
“My advice is to always take the first year of business step-by-step.”
I find that the way we work here at TAP helps to ease the burden by offering initial consultations to discuss deadlines, sending out regular reminder emails, and having a dedicated accountant as a point of contact if any issues so arise.
Hopefully this, and using our extensive support pages as guidance, will allow the client to focus on growing their business and they can leave the nitty gritty to us!
How are you able to use your skills to solve problems for them?
Having been able to work with a range of clients during my accountancy career so far, I feel I am able to understand a variety of different businesses, not just from an accounting perspective but also from a practical point of view. This in turn allows me to really engage with clients and offer a more tailored approach in the advice that I provide.
A call to HMRC is always at the bottom of a client’s list and it’s no surprise! It can be daunting, and often clients come off the phone feeling more confused than before.
Having had years of experience liaising with HMRC, and understanding the way in which they communicate, I always try my very best to assist with this as much as possible. If we have agent authority for a particular client, great – I can contact HMRC on their behalf and take that worry away.
What is your favourite part of the job?
There is no better feeling than completing a set of accounts and sending them out to my client for review. I would go as far as saying that it’s quite therapeutic to prepare a set of accounts!
Sometimes, you may have a client who has found the whole experience of working through a limited company, or as a self-employed sole trader, completely confusing and stressful.
It’s a great feeling to be able to guide a client through their taxes, and really help them understand how it all works. Knowing I can make at least a small positive impact makes even the most hectic day worthwhile.
What do you like most about working for The Accountancy Partnership?
TAP has a lovely office atmosphere, with a real team vibe between us. Any support you need is always there, whether its from our manager Harriet or any of the other accountants in the team.
It’s one thing for a company to claim that the ‘client is at the heart of what they do’ but another when you work for a business that sincerely demonstrates this in everything that they do!
What skills do you find most useful to do your job?
Organisation. This is a fast-paced environment, so you really do have to be organised to ensure you keep on top of your work load and meet deadlines.
We have a culture within the accounts team that ‘you are your own accountant’, and therefore we take responsibility for our own client base, workload, and targets.
I also think that there is a stigma in accounting that we are ‘boring’ and more geared towards numbers than people. However, I really enjoy that we have a client facing role and believe that being able to build relationships is a large part of our role.
Limited company accountancy services
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Where’s your favourite place to visit on days off?
The Wirral has some lovely walks so its nice to spend some chilled time with my husband at the weekend. We live within walking distance of a farm, so we love to have a drink or two when they have live music playing. At the moment we are renovating our garage into a pub, so a lot of our weekends are taken up with getting it ready for our Halloween deadline.
Tell us about your proudest achievement.
Swimming in the sea whilst we were on holiday in Croatia as I had only just learnt at the grand age of 30. Believe me, it was one of the most frightening experiences though most people take being able to swim for granted.
How would your colleagues describe you?
‘Hardworking, approachable, friendly, positive, dedicated’ (not my words – who am I to argue?)
What are you reading/binge watching at the moment?
The Vikings, and redoing all of the Marvel Universe which tends to be an annual event in our household.
Who do you admire, and why?
My mum. She’s past retirement age and still working flat out as a ‘community charity champion’ for her local Morrisons store. She will often spend her Thursday evenings helping the homeless in Liverpool, organising events for schools in need, taking goodies to care homes and supporting as many local charities as she can. She’s so selfless and genuinely loves being able to help people in need.
What question would you really like to answer, and what’s the answer?!
If you could know your future, would you want to be told…? Absolutely not! Live each day as it comes, and as if it’s your last.