Sharon Ottley is a 49-year old mother of two grown-up sons, and launched Sharon Ottley Accountancy Services in Hertford, north of London, in the summer of 2018. She explains how she built on her dream of her own business:“I knew the qualification I wanted to study for was offered by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, the ICB, so I looked at its website to find which tuition business it recommended.”
Sharon was no beginner in the world of accountancy, having worked in an accountancy firm where she studied successfully, 20 years ago, to become a member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT). “That was all a long time ago though”, said Sharon, “and I felt that if I was to fulfil my dream of working for myself I would have to undertake a refresher course”. This she did with Ideal Schools, where she has gone on to achieve ICB Level Four Advanced Bookkeeping and Accounts together with Self Employed Taxation, known as SAT, and Payroll.
Sharon secured her license to practise in July 2018 and, while still working part-time, has been steadily reducing her hours to look after her clients from her home office. She is hopeful that more clients will come her way as a result of recommendations and networking. “I’ve been offered sub-contracting jobs from a local firm of accountants which is a sign that they know I do a first-class job for clients, but I’d really rather own the relationship with my clients rather than someone else’s.
“It’s a challenge to find the time to focus on getting your name out there but I’m optimistic that we will grow the business over the next couple of years and I will be able to give up working for someone else”.