We spoke to Louise Herrington from Performance Accountancy about being named a 2019 Accounting Excellence finalist for Specialist Team of the Year:
What does it mean to you to be one of the Accounting Excellence Top 5 firms in the Specialist Team of the Year category this year?
I find it amazing and brilliant I have been chosen to be one of the top 5 in the Specialist Team category for the Accounting Excellence award. It shows that “single person practices” can compete against the “big boys”. It helps credibility in my niche sector in the Music, Arts & Entertainment industry so people can see that I know what the industry is about. Well, I had to be as I trained in the opera world and still sing for a living at times. You always gets asked – do you sing their numbers to your clients? Err – no, but I often produce videos so they can see the numbers and somebody is talking through them to help understanding. After all, artistry and numbers don’t really go together do they .
What achievement in the last year are you most proud of?
Given the majority of musicians, singers and actors go straight into self-employment, they are stranded after leaving college with no real idea of the business side of ShowBiz. There is only so many colleges that you can go into and teach a 90min seminar to the final year students. Often colleges don’t have this as a session anywhere. So – I wrote it all in a book, from what it means to be self-employed, registering with HMRC, what bookkeeping needs to be done, penalties for getting it wrong and an introduction to the tax return. That was published Sept 2018 and goes down well with people at the music conservatoires and Young Artist Programmes.
What are you going to be focusing on in the next 12 months?
The next 12 months will see a release of training programmes from sections of the tax return that people can follow to know what to do through to setting up accounting systems to make them more efficient and get the business side working without the panic that often hits this sector.
What would be your top tip/tips for firms aspiring to achieve excellence in the profession?
Top tip – get right into your chosen niche and start to understand how those people think – what are their worries and concerns, what keeps them up at night and how you can help. Maybe I had an unfair advantage given my opera training, by I may as well use it to my strengths. My name may not be in lights, but I certainly help my clients light to stay on.