How Christine Aplin Became A Self-Employed Bookkeeper

Christine wanted to leave the Corporate Banking world behind and start her own bookkeeping practice. After 12 exam distinctions and an award for ICB Student of the Year, she did exactly that.

“My background is in Corporate Banking, having spent 19 years working across a variety of roles for two major UK Banks. Over a number of years I have had some ill health, but I continued to work throughout various treatments and operations. Last year the opportunity came up for me to take voluntary redundancy; having planned a career break to take some time out and enjoy life, I opted to take it.

My husband has run his own business for a number of years, and at the start of my career break I enjoyed helping him expand this, as well as being able to enjoy quality time with family and friends. After a few months I realised that I really enjoyed having time and freedom which I always found hard to achieve alongside the long working hours that came with corporate life, and started to explore other options. Bookkeeping seemed like quite a natural choice for me – I have always enjoyed numbers, and my most recent role in Banking was as a credit manager which involved financial analysis, although the double entry concept was completely new to me.

I chose to study via distance learning because I wanted the freedom to be able to study when I wanted, so I could fit it in around helping my husband with his businesses and take time off for short breaks / holidays when we wanted. After some research on course providers I found that Training Link offered exactly what I wanted, so I signed up on the full professional package with them, and I’m so pleased I did.

I set myself the target of completing levels two, three and four by the end of August, and am delighted to have exceeded this, in addition to achieving distinctions in every exam.

I am in the process of setting up my own business, Caplin Bookkeeping, with the aim of working two to three days a week as a bookkeeper. This will then enable me to continue helping with the other businesses as well. Having just completed the ICB level four qualification, I am about to apply for my full licence with the ICB.

I am currently setting up my website, aiming to launch my business, Caplin Bookkeeping, within the next three to four weeks. I can then start marketing my business and look for clients. I want to be able to cover as many bookkeeping areas as I can so that I can offer a wide range of services to my clients. With this in mind, and with having such a positive experience with Training Link thus far, I have decided to continue with my bookkeeping studies with them. I am currently progressing through the Self-Assessment Tax qualification, and am then planning to complete the Payroll qualification as well.

Throughout my studies I have found the end of chapter assessments and activities particularly helpful to check ongoing understanding. The tutors are also second to none; they have been so supportive, approachable and encouraging, and are always on hand to answer any questions throughout each module.

My life has changed drastically over the last year and whilst I know there will be many challenges ahead as I put my hard work into practice and start trading, I am very much looking forward to the future and being my own boss.”

This is Christine’s updated blog, one year on: –

“A year ago today I took the first step in my new career, and enrolled to start my bookkeeping qualifications. Twelve months on and I’ve completed over 400 hours of study, achieved Distinctions in 12 exams with results ranging from 95% to 100%, and I won the ICB Student of the Year LUCA Award. I’ve set up my own business with five clients now on my books and more prospective clients in the pipeline, and I’ve met lots of lovely people and made new friends along the way. It’s been quite a rollercoaster of a ride with lots of highs and lows (as I’m sure anyone who has started their own business can relate to!), but I am proud of all I’ve achieved, and am excited for what the next twelve months has in store…”

With nearly 20 years experience in the financial services industry, you can rest assured that your accounts are in safe hands. I’ll offer the time and expertise you need to safely guide you through the financial complexities, leaving you free to give your business your full attention.

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