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Article by listed accountant: SANDY STEWART

Accountants are really “strange” creatures ….. 

“What?” I can hear you say! “We know that but you’re an Accountant and you’re not supposed to know or say that!” (gasp, horror, stunned silence)

Well since I am an Accountant I think I can say that, about myself anyway.

I am finding more and more that the skill set I have built up over the years of working in real life commercial situations bear me in very good stead for so many parts of starting up my own business. Things like the price companies pay by taking short cuts, not paying attention to the little things and how it’s better to buy a quality product than to penny pinch because it will cost more in the longer run.

I started just after Christmas by clearing out my office and having it ready for the first addition - a desk large enough to have 2 computers on it at a time if need be as well as at least a printer in the corner. I am not the type who packs things away at the end of every day. I tend to work on a project until it’s done, getting up and stopping when my brain can’t function anymore and tiredness demands a break. I only organise and file as a last resort to create order from chaos.

With a whole big empty room now my “canvas” I began by searching on line  …… and searched and searched ……. until I found it - the left L-desk I had to have ….. 2.1 metres by 2.4 metres … and able to be taken apart so it could be moved. Perfect!

I had no idea of all the things I had been mulling over in my sub conscience about setting my own home office up though until I began. I did my homework on notebooks and printers, researched the best value for money and why, established what functionalities were non-negotiable and then waiting patiently (not a strength of mine those who know me will know all about). Whilst I love Mac, and use it exclusively for photography, it must be a Windows machine too. That’s ok, I work as easily with either now. I  took the plunge the last week of 2015 and arrived home with much lighter pockets but with the perfect notebook and printer! Everything was set up and connected within an hour - sorry my old IT department - no offence meant, I promise.

There are so many things to also consider …. the things that Accountants see others doing in a corporate and are aware need to be done, but don’t do themselves. The usual things are to comply with company registration and tax - tick.

The other elements are thinking about pricing and marketing. How to price correctly, earn enough but not be too expensive? There isn’t a single right answer to that for sure! Yes, I learnt years ago about “supply and demand” …. I understand instinctively about “grudge purchases” and customers only paying for something what they think it is worth. But how does one price the services on offer? What is the business model I want to develop and where do I find potential clients? Website, tick, social media, tick, getting the word out there …. part of a tick …… now to the rest of it!!

I am at the beginning of this exciting, amazing journey and I am enjoying myself so much! I keep worrying that it feels so right and so good … can that be possible even? But it also feels so right! If it feels so right it can’t be wrong can it?


Here’s to an amazing 2016!