Emma Simpson is an accountant and also a business woman. She founded the Cheaper Accountant, a company offering great value, low-cost accounting services to small businesses across the UK.
The Cheaper Accountant has grown to be a leader within the affordable accountancy service sector and offers an affordable alternative to those who want to pay less for their accounting work.
Emma, what prompted you to go into accounting? Is it not a male dominated field? I was always very comfortable with numbers and accounting came to me quite naturally.
During my younger days I discovered that I had a knack for balancing the books and for analysing numbers which gave me the confidence to pursue accounting as a career. This is what I’m best at and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
I guess the accountancy profession does have a male stereotype but there are actually plenty of women working in the industry and the gender balance has certainly improved in more recent years. I’ve worked with and been inspired by both my male and female colleagues and continue to see both groups well represented in the profession.
You have your own company. What was it like to found it? Things are going well now for the company and we work with a large number of small business clients across the UK but things haven’t always been this way.
It’s not easy starting out as a new business and it takes up a lot of your time and effort and you need to be 100% committed to make the business work. You’re very likely to face hurdles and set-backs but it’s how you respond to these that counts.
We’re still not always liked by others within the profession as we offer expert accounting services at vastly reduced fees. Our aim isn’t to drive down the profitability of accountants we are simply here to provide a better deal to small businesses who are not always in a position to pay large fees.
What has been your biggest achievement so far? I’m very proud of what has been achieved with Cheaper Accountant and the way in which the company continues to grow year-after-year.
Due to the fact that we provide an online accounting service I needed to turn my hand to online marketing and all of the different facets that influence a successful website. This didn’t come so naturally to me, as I am an accountant after all, but I have managed to gain a sufficient knowledge of these areas to really push the website and to drive growth in client numbers.
Today we are recognised as the leader in the low-cost accounting industry and we continue to strengthen our presence each and every month. It is all of this that I see as my biggest achievement.
What advice can you give someone who would like to become an accountant?
Be prepared to work hard and study hard. The professional accounting exams are not easy and it takes a lot of hard work and determination to get through them all, especially when working full time.
I would also advise those who are entering the profession to seek a mentor or someone similar who they can learn from. This will present the person with far greater benefits later in their career and especially if you have aspirations to move into management or higher.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years business wise? My current focus is growing Cheaper Accountant.
The brand has been around for a number of years now and we would like to ensure in the next 5 years that Cheaper Accountant is the number one choice for all small businesses across the UK. I see myself moving more into online marketing and working less on the numbers, even though the number is what I enjoy, to ensure that the company continues to grow.
My core principles are excellent and responsive customer service matched by instant online discoverability and it is this that I will be working on over the next five years.
Thank you for a great interview!