Monthly Archives: April 2014

How can I balance work and children?

There are two small people in my life, and while I love spending time with them I also love the work I do (and earning money is always good!).

When I first started exploring the possibilities of working part time in North Devon I realised that a) there wasn’t much any part time accountancy work that I was interested in and b) I would have to drive at least 40 miles to find it, making the exercise pointless.

cakeSo my only other option was to start my own business, but could I really have my cake and eat it – work only during school hours and only during term time?

I was very lucky to get some fabulous advice from another Management Accountant/ working Mum who has built her business on that principle; she said that it is possible IF YOU ARE HONEST ABOUT IT.

So, when I meet people in a business context I am completely upfront about the hours I work and why. I do work during the holidays, but more from home and usually after bedtime. My clients can try to contact me any time if they have a problem, and I will try to help them as best I can (although the mobile phone service round here sometimes makes that difficult).

And it’s true! I think my clients, all of whom are parents themselves, actually quite like it. They know that I am really committed to their businesses, they like the results and they like the honesty.

It’s not all plain sailing; I definitely focus more effort on my clients than I do on cleaning or gardening. But most importantly, I don’t think my children have even noticed! They have so much fun at school and I’m still available to go to school activities when required… or maybe it just means that they are used to living with me! That and the fact that my husband is a hero with a hoover.

In the beginning…

Pound Lane imageI’ve been practising as an independent accountant since 2011, and I’m getting quite good at it now!

No, seriously, I worked as an accountant working for different businesses for ten years, but in a quest to find employment that fitted around my family here in beautiful North Devon I set up my own business doing what I love.

I didn’t know it at the time, but setting out on my own was a stroke of genius. I am a bit of a geek when it comes to businesses – I love to learn what they do, how they do it and what it is that makes them special. Every small business is special, for me that’s mostly because there is almost no space between the people who make things happen and the outside world.

So what I do is to work with small businesses to understand their ambitions and their problems, and give them the information they need to steer their course in the direction they choose. I leave the statutory accounting and tax things to various colleagues and focus on the numbers that help businesses understand how their finances work.

This blog is all about my adventures along the way.