Up Close and Personal - Helen Christopher

 

I have always had a clear idea of what I wanted to be. At the age of thirteen I declared I was going to  double qualify as a solicitor and accountant – one profession was not enough for me!

Doing well at school secured the grades I needed to attend London University where I embarked on a Law & Politics degree. With my heart set on a career in commerce and finance I studied law modules that supported that goal including tax and commercial law rather than what was perhaps perceived, by my fellow students, to be the more “fun” side of the degree, criminal law. 

Law school was an option after University but I actually took up a training contract with Price Waterhouse in their Manchester office. My legal background proved useful as I tackled the ethical papers of the Chartered Accountancy exams and I spent three years auditing some large well known Plc’s. The professionalism and discipline I learnt during my training contract have stayed with me throughout my career and have continued to be the pillars by which I manage my team and Orange Genie Accountancy.

Auditing large corporations was a brilliant training ground for all that followed but on qualification I knew I wanted more. Interaction with people was the part of the job that made it fulfilling and interesting. Conversations with FD’s and financial controllers that had no emotional investment in the business were not providing me with the “buzz” I was looking for. I wanted to be able to have a greater impact in helping owner managers make a success of their businesses; I wanted closer contact with the people to whom the business was more than just a job.

Moving to a smaller firm of Chartered Accountants was the answer for me. I had the opportunity to really get to know my clients and to understand their ambitions. Working in partnership with the business owner I was able to share in their success (and support them when things weren’t so good). A change in family circumstances saw me move back home to my native Bedfordshire and I began to look for a similar role. I had never really considered specialising in the Contractor market; in fact IR35 was a topic I had managed to successfully avoid! However, I found myself part of a large national firm of accountants specialising in Freelancers and it became evident quite quickly that the contractor clients were completely suited to the sort of support and advice I wanted to provide.

A lot of contractors find opening up their companies daunting to begin with and they need hand holding and support. Whilst ever new business needs an accountant that can churn the numbers, it is even more important that they can build a relationship with a trusted business “friend”. To be a trusted advisor is a privileged position and there is nothing more satisfying than growing a very unsure and nervous client into a flourishing and successful business– that means I have done a good job!

These days I don’t do much “accounting” (as my team are quick to point out!), but I find myself heading a team of passionate and knowledgeable accountants. The Orange Genie Accountancy team are driven to provide a proactive and friendly level of support to all our contractor clients. No one in the team is a “grey” accountant; rather they are true people persons  

So in my ramble through how I got to be heading Orange Genie Accountancy I have not mentioned what happened to the ambition to be legally qualified too? Well no I didn’t qualify as a solicitor… a husband, two daughters and a fulfilling career supporting small businesses and contractors didn’t leave much time to do this, but the interest never went away. I now get to experience the side of the law I didn’t see at University as I regularly sit as a lay Magistrate!

I really hope that you will want to join us at Orange Genie Accountancy and I look forward to getting to know you.

Why Orange Genie Accountancy?

Orange Genie Accountancy offers fixed fee accountancy packages to contractors and freelancers. Each client has unlimited access to their own dedicated approachable and friendly accountant. All Orange Genie Accountancy accountants are specialists in the contracting market, so they can give you bespoke, high quality advice.

We will always keep you informed about anything that could affect you and your company. Our relationships with our clients are extremely important to us so we'll be in touch often, whether it be face to face, over the telephone or email.

Our packages start at £75 + VAT a month for an online service. Our most popular package is £120 + VAT a month which provides you with your very own dedicated accountant as well as:

  • Unlimited accountancy support
  • Face to face meetings so we can get to know you and understand your contracting goals
  • Proactive contact
  • Director and employee payroll
  • Annual Return
  • Self-Assessment Return
  • A fully compliant service so you are safe in the knowledge that you are meeting your legal obligations
  • Access to the Freeagent Software, which is updated in real time so you can always see how your business finances are looking

​And much more, includingaccess to wealth management advice, IR35 reviews and pensions planning. 

If you would like to appoint Orange Genie Accountancy as your accountants please either fill out our enquiry form or give one of our friendly expert accountants a call on 01296 468 185 or email accountancy@orangegenie.com

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