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Pioneer of the Week: Psyche from Death and Taxes

Community Manager ‎11-09-2017 02:32 PM
‎11-09-2017 02:32 PM

Keeping clients in the black comes naturally to Goth accountant, Psyche, @DeathandTaxes who has injected her boutique accountancy firm with her own personality – right down to the grim reaper logo.

 

© image Catherine Currie© image Catherine CurrieWe caught up with Psyche, pronounced PsychE, founder of the aptly named Death and Taxes, to find out why accountancy doesn’t have to be dead boring.

 

How did you start your business?

I was working as a finance officer for a housing association and studying for my Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification. I realised what I really wanted was to work with small businesses and self-employed people, the sort of clients large firms might not find too valuable, and offer them a quality service at a good price. I had a lot of contacts within the alternative scene – promoters, performers, and freelancers – many of whom were happy to give me their business and recommend me to friends.

 

What made you start your business?

As an alternative type, I liked the idea of offering people like me the opportunity to get their accounts done outside of the corporate accounting system.

 

What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?

My inner teenage rebel would be proud of the fact I’ve been able to build a successful business in a traditional field like accountancy while keeping my goth look and purple hair. I also love setting my own schedule and not having a commute.

 

Tell us two interesting facts about yourself.

  • I’m a classically trained pianist and play keyboard in the mash-up band The Memepunks.
  • I also have not one, not two, but three citizenships, namely British, US and Canadian.

 

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

Working independently is great but sometimes there are problems, for instance, arcane and complex VAT schemes, where two heads really are better than one. Fortunately, through the AAT and other contacts, I’ve met specialist professionals who’ve been able to help.

 

Share an experience that really helped take your business forward.

I really have to thank my last employer, Habinteg Housing Association, for giving me the flexibility to reduce my hours at work while building up my client base. They were aware that I was starting my own business and supported me in that decision. It may have helped that I was the one running the payroll!

 

Where do you work from?

My home, near Old Street in London. This has proven to be a really convenient location for many of my tech clients, who are based in the Silicon Roundabout area.

 

What do you wish you knew when you first started in business?

My AAT training covered all the basics of accounting and tax, but didn’t include hands-on training in things like using HMRC software or VAT schemes. There was a steeper learning curve from qualification to being a member in practice, but fortunately, as my earliest clients were personal friends they were patient while I figured things out.

 

What are your three top tips for success in the sector?

  • Firstly, don’t spend too much money on advertising. Most clients come from word of mouth. Your practice will grow organically and your clients will trust you, as you’ve come to them via personal recommendation.
  • Secondly, having the right software is important. You get what you pay for; cheap or free software can actually make your job more stressful.
  • Thirdly, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Clients don’t want a faceless suit; a personal connection means loyalty.

 

Any exciting news?

mug_front_cropped.jpgWe have Death and Taxes t-shirts and mugs for sale. One of my clients just took a t-shirt on a tour of Israel. I’m envious.

 

Finally, what would you like to ask the VOOM Pioneers community?

Do you need a new accountant? Just kidding – I have a full roster for now!

Comments
Chris_Reed

Great branding! 

PlanningHouse

Love how unique your branding is!

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