I’ve been to quite a few networking events recently where I’ve been asked how I came to own my own payroll bureau, so I thought it might be interesting to write this blog post about the journey and the qualifications I’ve gathered along the way.

My original plan was to become a legal secretary and after my time at Helston Community College, I went to Cornwall College and completed the ILEX Legal Secretarial course there. I was all set to go to Plymouth University to complete my legal secretary qualifications when I found out I was pregnant with my first son, so my plans had to change a bit.

Thanks to what was then called ‘New Deal’, I started to learn about payroll – although then it was all about paper P11s and manual tax tables – and found I really enjoyed it and had the knack for it. I also realised that I’d found something that I could work around my son that would also help to build a good life for us. As well as the in-house training, I started doing bookkeeping courses and at one point I held down 3 jobs at once. It was tough but worth it and I always made sure I kept the weekends clear so we could have some good quality family time.

After the bookkeeping course, I began taking the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) diplomas and I now have the Level 2 Foundation Diploma, Level 3 Advanced Diploma and Level 4 Professional Diploma. These diplomas covered all aspects of accounting including bookkeeping, financial administration, costing principles and evaluating financial performance. There was also a focus on ethical practices for accountants. I also have Level 3 & 4 specific payroll qualifications and I’m now a member of AAT and an AAT Licenced Accountant. I wish I could go back now and tell the 17 year old me that I would be able to pass all those exams!

Being an AAT member is very important to me as I think it gives my clients confidence that I consistently adhere to the high standards the association sets. It also means that I am always fully up to date with any new payroll legislation and will be able to help clients with any queries they may have. The AAT is also a great source of information and updates on accounting and finance in general which is really helpful for me and, believe it or not, sometimes even very interesting!

So, what’s next for me and Pixie Payroll Services? I want to go on welcoming new payroll clients to the business but as well, I’m thinking of branching out to more general bookkeeping and accounts preparation. That might mean I have to go back to studying and more exams, but I know that will be worthwhile and fulfilling for me and for us all as a family.