Tim English

Tim's LinkedIn profile

I have a unique accountancy journey and to be completely honest, I sort of fell into it. I studied my accounting and finance degree at the University of South Wales as I wasn’t sure what else to do at the time. Just before completing my final exams, I was offered sponsorship to become a professional snooker player. I had been playing competitively since around the age of 13 and done pretty well, being Welsh junior champion on several occasions. I had no ties at the time, so spent three years playing professionally, and got to see some amazing places in the world.

Snooker wasn’t in a great place with the loss of alcohol and tobacco sponsorship, and a lot of money was going out of the game. This along with losing a couple of big matches, I decided the time was right to get a proper job.

I became a trainee accountant working in practice in Cardiff, during which time I also studied and completed my ACCA exams. I then decided to move to industry for 3 years as a company accountant. When I finished playing Snooker, I always had in mind starting my own accountancy practice and this is what I did in 2010. I grew the practice organically, before selling in 2021. Part of my new business now involves working with accountants and helping them get the practice they want. The reason I am so passionate, is because I have been one of those stressed accountants, often with my head in my hands. Running a practice can be a lonely place and it is not easy.

I founded The Accountants’ Table in 2022 as I wish something like this was around when I started. It is a growth, support, and mentoring group. I would have loved to have someone to talk to who I felt had ‘been there and done it’, to mentor me, bounce my ideas off, support me and help me get the practice that I was striving to achieve.

Seeing the results the members of The Accountants’ Table get when they start implementing what we discuss, is without doubt the favourite part of my job. It’s not what you know, but what you do, and I always think ‘good on you’ when I see members having the courage to do something different and get great results.

I also enjoy helping practice owners strive towards becoming the best versions of themselves. Often, the battles going on between the owner’s ears is the bottleneck to the growth of their business.

For those looking to start a practice my one tip would be to ‘back yourself and be yourself’. 

Back yourself - You have got to have confidence in yourself. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, how can you expect your clients or even your staff to have confidence in you. 

Be yourself - this is something that no one can copy. By being yourself, you will attract the people you want to work with.

Having confidence in yourself is one of the hardest things I’ve had to learn. When I started my practice, I lacked the self-assurance needed to approach potential client’s and tell them what I did (not great when you own your own business). Fast forward to a few months ago, I delivered a live webinar with Intuit Quickbooks at their head offices and absolutely loved it. If you had told me when I started my practice in 2010, I would be doing what I’m doing now, I would have never believed it. It just goes to show what you can do if you’re willing to work on yourself.

We all as human beings have got our insecurities, and they come out in different ways. What I’ve learnt to do, is to be able to handle those insecurities better when they come, and I love helping others to do the same. It is so important to communicate the value of what you bring as an accountant in whatever generation you are working. Clients or employers don’t pay you what you’re worth, but what they think you’re worth!

One pressing issue that I see the most from the practice owners that I speak to is around pricing, and many not having a consistent system in place. It’s something I love working with clients on, because we all value things differently and it is so important to get a system in place which takes account of this.