Claire wanted to work for herself, on her own terms and doing the hours she wanted. After successfully passing her ICB exams in 2016 she started Paper Trail Bookkeeping.
“I started looking into becoming a bookkeeper in 1997 when my husband started his first business, he is an electrician and as such I had to learn not only basic bookkeeping but also things like CIS and how to manage the various tasks involved, so I started training through Training Link, I am embarrassed to say that life at the time took over and I never got very far!
But the decision to train was always in the background and finally a couple of years ago I decided to re-enrol onto the complete package through Training Link, and I’m so glad I did.
I have always worked in finance, previously looking after huge budgets (of c£14 million) for a well-known investment group; analysing expenses and ensuring the company stayed on plan for the year. I have also supervised teams and project managed, again all within the financial sector.”
“I managed to squeeze in a few hours a week to study”
“Studying, working full time and being a mum to a small child was hard but I managed to squeeze in a few hours a week to study, I was in no particular rush to complete the course as I had a full-time job, but for every exam I passed it gave me the courage and determination to carry on.
After 27 years of working for the same company my job was put at risk of redundancy in 2015, this put a few things into perspective for me and gave me that final push I needed to finish the course and start working for myself, on my own terms and doing the hours I wanted.
I finished my exams in March 2016 and after taking some time out I took the plunge and set up my own business in June 2016 (Paper Trail Bookkeeping), since then I don’t think I’ve stopped, from working for my husband, then supporting my brother with his growing business things have gone from strength to strength, all through word of mouth, I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t needed to advertise but I did get myself onto the QuickBooks accreditation scheme which has helped.”
“I’m bringing home more money than I was working in my full-time job”
“I now have 12 clients on the books with services ranging from basic data entry through to payroll and self-assessment, most work I can complete in the comfort of my own home which is great, but it’s also nice to be able to work with clients at their offices as well. I try to only work during school hours but find that I’m bringing home more money than I was working in my full-time job. I base my costs around each client, so depending on their personal circumstances and how far/if I need to travel my costs will vary which I find works for me and my clients.”
“All this was possible thanks to the brilliant training I was given”
“I find the studying never really stops as you always need to make sure you’re complying with all the rules and regulations but I am really enjoying the work I do and it fits in so well with my family life. All this was possible thanks to the brilliant training I was given and all the fantastic support both Training Link and my family gave me.”
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