How Celia Swapped A Nursing Career To Become A Self-Employed Bookkeeper

After thirty years into a nursing career, Celia took a break and started doing the books for her husband’s procurement business. She studied our ICB courses.

“Looking back, I have always liked to be organised and have my ducks in a row. As a child I developed a love of the pattern in rhyming poetry and even indexed my books. As an adult, my training as a Registered Nurse taught me to follow the nursing process- assess, plan, implement and evaluate; bookkeeping principles could easily be categorised that way.

celia-ann-merrill

Some thirty years into my nursing career, and also running my own Complementary Medicine practice, I took a break due to the pressures in the NHS and began to support my husband administratively in his Procurement Consultancy business. My role was to do the bookkeeping, invoicing, file the VAT returns and deal with Companies House. I used a basic bookkeeping package, but was otherwise entirely self-taught, like so many partners who support a family business. The business paid for me to do an Introduction to Bookkeeping with Training Link, the cost of which could be offset against further training courses; but family life being what it is, I hadn’t got around to it before my husband took early retirement and closed the business.

We relocated to North Devon and by 2014 I had established my own small business, Inkwells Office Solutions, offering secretarial, administrative and PA support to a few clients. Being of the generation who now have several years extra years of working life ahead of them, by 2018 I decided to pursue the self-employed bookkeeping route to add to my portfolio.

I decided to pursue the self-employed bookkeeping route

Training Link honoured my original introductory course and I was so pleased with the outcome that I enrolled as a (very) mature student with Training Link. With their help, I chose the ICB route for self-employed bookkeepers and paid for a distance-learning package that would take me to Level III Bookkeeping and Accounts, plus the Self-Assessment Tax Return module. The course material is very logical; indeed, having since undertaken some additional training with a software provider, I appreciate just how thorough the Training Link course material is.

The tutors were there for support

I achieved 100% for many of my assessments, and where I stumbled the tutors were there for support; their communication had the right balance of friendliness and professionalism. I took a few breaks along the way to deal with family matters, and an extension was granted when I needed it, but the impetus to finish was the change of syllabus in 2019. I achieved 97% Distinctions for both Level II and Level III. The Level III exam was my first at an external exam centre for about 25 years, but I felt well-prepared. I obtained my MICB in November 2019 followed by my Practice Licence in the December.

I know only too well that working life can become overwhelming due to lack of organisational care and support and that many sole traders and micro-business owners rightly focus on their products, marketing and customer care, yet neglect the background filing, record-keeping, office organisation, official deadlines, bookkeeping and most importantly self-care. Whether bookkeeper or client, we all need support, are not always good at asking for it, and should be mindful that our first duty of care is to ourselves. I aim to provide a comprehensive support package to my clients- from a good basic filing system to professional bookkeeping services.

Next step… study the self-assessment tax return course

As a certified bookkeeper, continuing professional development is essential. Now that I have all my processes set up for client contact, and have become certified in other bookkeeping systems, my next step with Training Link is to undertake the Self-Assessment Tax Return course, enabling me to offer a more comprehensive service to my clients. I know that along with the support of the students and bookkeepers who access the social media forums, the Training Link tutors will be with me every step of the way.”

Inkwells Office Solutions… because people count. Comprehensive professional support helping individuals and small businesses tackle the backlog of paperwork, bookkeeping and organisational challenges.

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