How I become an accountant

Love maths?… you should be an Accountant…

Not necessarily so….. let me explain….

I have heard so many times that exact saying…. And yet just because you are good at a subject, it does not mean you enjoy it or that is where your passion lies.

Growing up I was surrounded by friends who could pass exams without studying and could have easily become Accountants as they could pass exams and found it all a breeze.

Me on the other hand found exams daunting and did not come naturally. Yet I loved working with numbers, I loved problem solving and decided I was not going to let that stop me and hold me back.

My experience has shown that the accountant that makes a difference is someone who has passion for the subject and all it entails and yes that could still be someone who is great at exams and also has a passion for numbers – this story is really aimed at those that think they cannot follow their dream career because of that small detail – don’t let anyone tell you different….

Where it all began…..

So, at 16 and after doing dad’s bookkeeping for the past two years, I dropped off his books to his Accountant and it’s there I got my first break.

‘So…. Carla, all exams done. So, what do you want to do now?’

Without hesitation I replied ‘ I want to be an Accountant… I want to do what you are doing.’

‘OK, you want a job? Start Monday!”

Wow…. I really didn’t want to go all the way to Tottenham and drop of my dad’s books but by doing so, I landed my first job and that was the start in my Accountancy Career.

The job was short-lived as he was a one-man band and didn’t have time to teach and re do all my work and therefore, we parted ways and I was interviewed for a job in Highgate at an accountants’ practice as a Trainee Accountant.

Although I was the youngest at just 17, only had CSE’s and minimum experience, they saw something different in me. I was told that other applicants had O and A levels, were older and had more experience than me but…. they did not have passion for numbers. They could just pass exams.

I was told that id find exams harder and it will be a long road but ill be the better Accountant as I loved what I do.

It was at this point I really began to believe I really could do this and not listen to those that said I would never amount to anything.

My younger sister was asked at school ‘What’s Carla up to?” She replied, “She’s working for a firm of Accountants”. Surprised, they asked’ as a secretary?’. ‘No, as a

Trainee Accountant ‘she said.

‘Are we talking about the same Carla?!” …..

And there you have it …. Never judge a book by its cover or let anyone tell you that you are not good enough to do something…. I nearly did.

When I grow up, I want to be……

Well it wasn’t an Accountant!

Growing up with just my dad and younger sister on a tough North London council estate in the 1980’s was unusual in itself, but the experience set me up to be the person I am today.

I always wanted to join the police force but at 5ft 1, I was not tall enough – in the 1980’s and beyond, you had to be a minimum height and I was no where near it!… standing on my tip toes was not going to cut it!

My father was a self-employed Plumbing and Heating Engineer and I watched him work all hours, even going out on Christmas Day to fix someone’s heating! We never had much…. Its only in my adulthood that I realised that there was not as many power cuts as we had…. Or so I thought. It turned out that Dad had not had the money to pay the electricity bill. Although they were tough times, there was always food in the cupboards and on the table, without fail.

So how did I become interested in Accountancy?

From an early age, I started looking after the household finances, making sure the bills were paid and each week, I worked out which bill would be paid next in order of ‘red letters’ received or that dreaded phone call.

It was at 14 that I started to call my dad’s clients who owed him money and then started to keep his books in a better order than he was previously doing.

We had a large spike on a piece of wood on the office desk and all the receipts would be punched onto this spike. Those receipts were not going anywhere. I started to write out dad’s estimates and invoices and then write up his income and expenditure into the red cash book. Everything was manual then – in fact it wasn’t till the late 1990’s that I ventured out of manual bookkeeping to the other side!

You need to love maths to be an Accountant…..

Not necessarily true…. Well definitely not in my case.

I loved school right up to the second year of Secondary School. It all went downhill after then, once we started to study subjects that I felt I would not use in my adult life. I couldn’t see the point.

I mean…. When did you last use Pythagoras Theorem!

I left school with 9 CSE’s (CSE’s or O Levels back then and I didn’t attend school often enough to be in the higher classes).

All I wanted to do was leave school and go to work. I had decided at 14 that I wanted to work within the Accountancy field and just loved organising paperwork and finding solutions. But I had no intentions of going to college and needed O and A levels anyway …. I just thought I’d enjoy the summer with my friends and worry about all that till the autumn.

Well that was the plan…..

My dad constantly asked me to drop the books off at the Accountants office – but I was having too much fun with my friends. Eventually, I agreed and grudgingly jumped on the bus to Bruce Grove and went to see Gerry, dad’s Accountant.

And that is where the journey began……New Paragraph

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *