I joined PwC in Manchester on its AAT programme straight from my A-levels in 2001 and then did my ACCA Qualification, completing it in 2007. At PwC I worked in audit and assurance before going on to work for FTSE-listed property companies Savills and DTZ. I then worked in the Caribbean from 2010-16, first for a retail operation before doing interim FC and FD roles for a portfolio of clients.
Since moving back to the UK I have had back-to-back interim roles with a variety of companies. My last job ended in April 2020 and, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, I was finding it tough securing another contract. So I decided to start up a new company offering virtual FD (VFD) services.
There are many SMEs and business owners out there that need some additional support right now, as they review their business plans and cashflow scenarios for the next six to 12 months. We offer all the traditional portfolio FD services, as well as a finance team mentoring programme. Our work is carried out remotely using remote desktop technology.
Owning and running your own business can feel very lonely at times. At the start, it’s up to you to do all the marketing, and designing and building the website, as well as explaining to potential clients your worth to their business.
Getting the word out about your business can be challenging at first as you don’t have the benefit of client testimonials at that early stage, so the client has to really trust you can do what they require. You also have to be very disciplined and commit to a working routine.
Remote online working has become a big part of our lives over the last few months and I can only see that continuing. As more businesses embrace technology and the ability to work remotely, I can see online finance teams becoming the norm. A part-time VFD allows businesses to have access to an experienced finance professional at a fraction of the cost of a full-time FD.
You definitely have to be a self-starter and be able to work independently. You also need to be comfortable using remote meeting and communications software. Face-to-face time with your clients will be limited, so it’s important you have other ways of working.
Spending time with my partner and son plays a big part in my life outside of work. I am a keen cricket and football fan. Most of my weekends are spent watching my football team, Burnley. Music is also a big passion of mine and I love travelling.