Ok, so lets be honest here, my training as an accountant was in industry not in practice. I didn’t do so great in my qualifications. I failed nearly every ACCA paper at least once before finally passing them all. I struggle with contacts in all walks of life but especially in the accountancy practice field where so many links come from family and schools etc. Sometimes, although I admit less often now that it used to be, I wonder if I shouldn’t really be “pretending I can do this” and leave it to those clever, richer, better connected etc.
I always wanted to run my own practice, even before I started my qualifications. The main reason I chose ACCA over CIMA, despite working as a management accountant at the time was so that I could gain a practising certificate. I didn’t really know how to go about it but I did my qualifications and furthered my career in the best way I could at any particular time.
After having my son I decided that full time senior position I had at that time was not the way I wanted to continue. I was struggling with some health issues anyway which were causing me trouble at work so I took voluntary redundancy and decided that I would look for part time work in a practice, just to see how practices worked and what knowledge I was missing in order to pursue it.
Finding a job in practice when my experience was all in industry was not easy but I ended up taking a self employed role helping out a guy in Chester. He was running a reasonably successful practice with the help of just a couple of occasional subcontracors and I joined that team. He was not qualified, having taken his exams with a large practice and failed them but he had the family connections and funding behind him to set up on his own and practice without the qualification.
I learnt a lot working there and was introduced to a “proper” practice through him where I also learned a lot. However, it occurred me what a complete idiot he was, how bad he was at being a good accountant and what poor service his clients were getting. I thought hang on, even I can do this better!
So that’s exactly what I did. I started advertising for my own clients and it grew from there.
The main difference I see is that I ALWAYS try and do the right thing. I don’t cut corners, I don’t cheat, and I always put maximum effort in. I might not always get things right, sometimes I miss things others might not have missed, sometimes I don’t know what I should know…but I always try my best.
I am not complacent, I am willing to learn, to develop and to improve.
I might not be perfect but I do care.