Today we have a chat with one of our newly certified partners Jane Swain of Lymm Tax Services. Let’s take a look at how she runs her successful practice using Clear Books.
So what do you and your practice do?
Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser. Director of my own company providing general accountancy and specialist tax services.
How long have you been using Clear Books and how did you come across the software?
I know I came across it via a Twitter post which was probably in 2013
Why did you decide to become an accountant?
I was too lazy to look past the A’s in the careers book at school!
What makes you different from other accountants?
I like dealing with people. The fun bit of my job is meeting with/speaking to my clients and helping them with their businesses. I like to say that the 3 C’s in “accountancy” stand for coffee, conversation and care.
What kind of clients do you cater for?
Small businesses who want their hands held. People who need tax returns completing or who need help with their tax affairs or who have got in a mess with HMRC. Usually based in Cheshire or London.
What added value do you bring to your clients?
Caring about them. Most of my clients are lovely and I want to do my best for them. A lot of small businesses can’t cope with all the red tape that is thrown at them: if its finance related I can take some of the burden away or otherwise I can just be a sounding board.
What’s the one top tip you’d give to someone thinking about starting up a business?
Go for it! I was too cautious about setting up on my own but since taking the plunge I have never looked back.
What’s the one top tip you’d give to someone who’s moving from start up phase to growth phase?
Bite the bullet and pay people to do the things that you are not an expert in. It will be money well spent. In the long term you will make more money if you spent money on these services and devote your time to earning your business’ income.
What’s the best thing about what you do?
I love being my own boss. I love the flexibility – I work hard but if I want to work at 11pm instead of 11am I can.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I want to see if I can grow my practice to have office space and a few employees. I have just taken on my first employee, who is also a qualified accountant. At the moment we are still working from my home and she is only with me 3 days a week. So the first challenge is to grow sufficiently to take her on 5 days a week. Then to get the office and an administrator.
What’s the next client you want to on-board?
There is a local website developer that I am hoping to win from another firm of accountants, there is a lady who had just bought a craft company who I gave some advice to who I liked very much and am hoping to get on board. It would be great to have a business that made things – so few businesses do that now.
What are your interests outside of the accounting world?
Ballroom dancing, walking and travelling
What will you be doing as soon as you’ve finished answering these questions?
My daily visit to my mum who is round the corner in a care home.