As somebody who has started their own practice, my advice to others is not under-price yourself or your services. As tempting as it might be to initially get some clients in the door, if you do this, the types of client you start with won’t necessarily value your services. Those who are very price-sensitive won’t want to pay more later. And if you aren’t pricing yourself profitably, it will be difficult to be able to afford to build a team and grow your practice.

I’d also advocate embracing cloud technology early on in your career, as I did. Choose one piece of software for each service (for example, only one of Xero, Sage, Quickbooks, Clearbooks, etc) so that you can focus and effectively master one. This should make your processes smoother – if a client won’t switch or refuses to use one, then you should be comfortable turning down the engagement.

I struggled to find an accountant specialising in ecommerce, which is how I got the idea for my firm

I graduated from university with a degree in psychology and no plans for a career in finance. However, I also no longer wanted to stay within the field of psychology. A friend of the family ran a small accounting firm in London with an entry-level position and they offered to sponsor me through ACCA, which I gladly accepted and haven’t looked back.

During this time, I also started a separate business on the side with some friends, where we created a brand of pet toys. That business continued to grow after I’d fully qualified, so I quit my job to focus on ecommerce full-time. But I struggled to find an accountant who specialised in ecommerce, which is where I got the idea for my firm. I’ve now gone full circle and no longer run an ecommerce business, but operate Ecommerce Accountants, which has been going for seven years with a team of around 25 people.

These days things feel much more hectic than when I started my career

I would describe the culture in our practice as informal, yet professional. For example, we do not have a dress code, we listen to music in the office and enjoy going to team events. We also have flexible working hours and don’t keep timesheets. However, despite being relaxed, we have a big focus on deliverables and not only getting the job done, but getting it done properly.

In my view, the single most pressing issue for practitioners today is not getting distracted and focusing on doing a great job for your clients. These days things feel much more hectic than when I started my career. It feels like we are constantly bombarded by service providers trying to sell us a product that we can and should be using to sell to our clients.

When my team pass an exam or fully qualify, I’m incredibly proud of being part of their journey

I used to enjoy the thrill of speaking with prospective clients, but as my career has progressed, I’ve found that what makes me happiest is seeing members of my team grow and develop. I was incredibly proud of getting my ACCA qualification, as it was one of the most difficult things I’ve done. So when my team pass an exam or fully qualify, I’m also proud to be part of their journey.

Communication is and always will be the most important skill for an accountant. As technology makes preparing accounts and calculating tax returns easier, providing emotional support and being able to explain how taxes work, or what needs to be done and why, is going to be one of the lasting functions of being an accountant.

Outside of work I try and switch off and do what I can to not look at my in-box. I very much enjoy playing video games, watching a good TV series and doting on my two cats.