Janet Collins

I work in West Wales, which is mainly rural. Many of our clients have an agricultural background – probably 60% of the client base. However, my real passion is working with business start-ups across a range of industries – guiding, promoting and supporting them.

I love meeting clients and helping them thrive. My first language is Welsh, so working with them in Welsh is a real advantage.

In our location, accounts are prepared on an ‘incomplete records basis’, where we are provided with records typically in a carrier bag. So getting clients ready for Making Tax Digital was a big challenge. We started our digital transformation five years ago, holding seminars to support clients in implementing software, providing training and now offering ongoing support.

"You will have clients who don’t even own computers and require your business to do the work for them"

You will have clients who don’t even own computers and require your business to do the work for them

It’s important to know your clients and their capabilities. Many clients start using software easily. They love the fact it gives them information on their business at their fingertips. But you will have clients who don’t even own computers and require your business to do the work for them. Employing good bookkeepers and data processors is key.

Working with up-to-date information rather than historical data enables me to provide extra advisory solutions. This is one of the key skills for future accountants – being able to advise on digitalisation and giving added-value advice. Digital accounting also enables ease of working with finance providers.

The role of the accountant is vital. In my locale, businesses will contact me and discuss their plans prior to making major business changes. We’re key to assisting business growth financially and an important part of planning to move a business forward. We can point clients in the right direction for funding. Our role also involves advising on sustainable growth and impact on the environment and society.

My greatest career achievements include studying while working, with two small children, and passing my ACCA exams. This is followed closely by becoming a director and business owner.

To relax, I enjoy motorsport – Formula One. I also love watching films.