Why I became a bookkeeper
Posted on 2nd July 2019 at 12:00
People might wonder whether bookkeepers are born or made. Well, in my case, the answer is ‘both’.
I have always loved maths, but was advised not to do A level maths at school. I trained as a teacher at the University of Hertfordshire specialising in Geography but soon discovered I loved teaching maths.
I was a teacher for over fourteen years but for seven of those years I enjoyed teaching maths to years 9 to 11 year old as well as computing and a variety of foundation subjects at Westfield Middle School.
The school believes in high quality education, teaching excellence, providing great opportunities and variety. Most importantly the staff and children needed to have fun
As a class teacher I looked after the many and wide-ranging needs in a young person’s life and mastered the art of multi-tasking.
All of these experiences taught me a lot about the importance of setting and achieving high standards, managing my time and being sensitive to what people need – oh, and having fun at the same time. This has been at the heart of setting up and running LEO Bookkeeping Services.
When we started our family, I got involved in Lavendon PreSchool. Giving children a great start with really good learning and social experiences is so important when it’s time to make the transition to school. To help out I looked after the finances and discovered that I really enjoyed bookkeeping.
At the same time, being with my children as they grew up was becoming more and more important to me. I knew that I didn’t want to miss all those wonderful experiences – you can’t put a price on that. In the end, this was how the decision to set up my own business was made.
Learning new skills
So, I had some experience of bookkeeping, but I hadn’t yet completed any training. That was the first thing to do. I took the Accounting Foundation course with the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT). That was a great way to get started and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is considering a career in bookkeeping.
Getting LEO Bookkeeping Services underway
Once I had these building blocks in place, I was ready to get underway. I started the business whilst still teaching 3 days a week. After 7 months it was time to leave my teaching role and focus solely on my business. This was a first for me and it was pretty big step. There are a lot of things to think about and it can feel quite lonely at first.
One of the things that really built my confidence was networking with other local businesses. People are always willing to give advice and support and can introduce you to all sorts of useful contacts. Within a year I had regular clients and the business was heading in the right direction. It wasn’t too long before I needed an office and some people to work with me to keep everything running smoothly.
I have continued with my AAT training and have completed the Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting; in which I was very pleased to achieve a distinction; and Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting where I achieved a merit. I am now waiting on my accreditation as a member of the AAT (MAAT), which is internationally recognised..
In the two and a half years since I started the business it has expanded and evolved, I now have a team of people helping me: two freelance bookkeepers, a trainee bookkeeper and admin support. I have recently started working with a business coach so who knows where we will be in another two and a half years!
I have certainly been keeping busy, but we found out that there was a risk that the PreSchool would have to close of someone didn’t take over responsibility for running it. So, although I already had plenty to do, I agreed to become a Director at the PreSchool too. We’ve got a great team in place and were really proud to receive a ‘Good’ inspection report from Ofsted January.
I am sure there will be plenty of new challenges as the business grows and I am really looking forward to them.
Tagged as: bookkeeping
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