Member Profile Interview – Val Wishart of Beyond the Numbers
What was your first job after leaving school/further education?
Auditor with Price Waterhouse in Glasgow.
When did you start your business & what prompted you to do it?
April 2010 ? I wanted to do things differently from other accountancy services providers and I wanted to be my own boss.
What did you find most challenging at the beginning?
Deciding when to take on staff and who.
Who did you ask for advice & why did you choose them?
ICAS first and foremost as I had no idea what other accountancy firms actually looked like having worked outside the accounting profession for many years.
How did you fund your business?
Own capital and positive cash flow from day 1.
What would you do differently now looking back?
I would hire staff more quickly and I would stop working for difficult clients more quickly!
What or who has helped you to grow your business the most?
Joining the Academy for Growth, an organization which specifically helps forward thinking accountancy firms.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
Learning the legislation and dealing with HMRC on a daily basis. Cash flow was difficult until we introduced monthly fixed fees paid by direct debit.
What are the future plans for your business?
Growing steadily for the next 5 years and then exit.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to set up their own business?
Find a good accountant! Also, do a business plan ? I know that this sounds boring but the statistics show that businesses that write down a plan are much more likely to succeed.
I would also say that it?s important to know why you want to set up your own business as opposed to working for somebody else, as it?s really not as easy as it may seem from the outside!
Tell us something about you that isn’t commonly known.
I used to sing in a band called Primitive Grapefruit!
And finally, why did you join WeDO?
To meet other like-minded business owners for networking, support and knowledge. I also like to make referrals to my clients when they are looking for a particular product/service and it?s good to know a group of businesses that I feel happy referring on to clients.