My career as an accountant was very much like everyone else’s in the early 90’s. A Commerce degree. 3 years of full-time University taking all of the required subjects to qualify for the Institute of Chartered Accountant PY program as in these days the CPA program was more tailored to industry and not chartered. For many of us, the path was laid out for us, we had very little options of subject selection, our career progression was very much based on years of service as opposed to performance promotion. So we found ourselves basically following the leader and most of these leaders were conditioned to working long hours, pandering to clients, following outdated procedures and seemed ok with the fact that there career was their life and they would be rewarded for all this hard work and time away from their families down the track.
But things have changed. Most of us don’t want to wait to reap the rewards when we are 60 or 70, when our health may be compromised.
We want to have our cake and eat it to and rightly so. Who knows what is around the corner?
If we are making good money, surely we want to enjoy the spoils of it now.
Is this sounding good but you are thinking, it sounds too good to be true!
I started my accounting practice from scratch nearly 18 years ago at the age of 28.
I had worked at a top tier firm and a mid tier firm. I was career minded. I had my sights set on being perhaps one of the first female partners in that mid-tier firm. I did all the right things – I was one of the first in the office in the morning, one of the last to leave, took work home at night and on the weekends. I had no children at the time and my husband and I were cool with this.
At the time that I wanted to start a family, I had to make some choices. There was no maternity leave policy at the time, however, I was assured that an arrangement could be made. I thought to myself, mmmm, I could probably negotiate to work 3 days a week but knowing my work ethic and the expectations of the firm, they would be the ones that would win. I would probably get 5 days of work done in the 3 and the 2 days I had off probably would be open slather for phone calls and emails.
I made the call, I backed myself and set up practice at my home, 9 months before my son was born.
14 months later my second son was born.
Sure it was busy, but I gradually built up my client base and things were great.
Starting my business from home gave me an advantage in that I was a little selective of the clients I chose to work with and this still is a driving factor in the success of my firm today. I do not accept every client that walks in my door and in fact some clients I don’t even afford that opportunity. That is not snobbish or conceited, it’s just that I only have so many hours in the day and I only want to work with clients that match my firms’ culture and values. The same goes for my business partner and staff alike. I don’t expect them to work with clients that I wouldn’t enjoy working with
Check me out
I am an advocate SME’s and their advisors and always have been.
I blog for MYOB – https://www.myob.com/au/blog/author/amandagascoigne/
I have appeared on MYOB’s The Savvy Accountant Podcast – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP_QePtdnaA
I am a big believer in getting the foundations of your business right from day one – http://www.hbrmag.com.au/article/read/the-way-you-start-will-be-the-way-you-finish-1196
My contributions have been recognised by my peers – http://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/amanda-gascoigne-wins-regional-award/
Since December 2016 I have been on ATO’s Single Touch Payroll – Readiness Working Group.