16th February 2021
We chat to Melanie Beech, owner and manager of Melanie Beech Accountancy Services based in Gosport.
Tell us a bit about yourself
As a practice we offer bookkeeping, self assessments and year end accounts for sole traders and small limited companies. I started the practice 2 ½ years ago. Within 6 months I took on a bookkeeper to help and a year later I took on an office manager. Previously I ran a successful dog groomers for 12 years. Prior to that I worked in banking both in the UK and internationally for 8 years.
What’s the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
Turn on my laptop, have a look at my diary and then make a list! I make a list about what lists I am going to make.
How do you plan out your day? A good old fashioned to do list, or more go with the flow?
I am quite a disciplined person so I do use my online diary to plan my week. I have definitely got better at allocating the right number of tasks each day so I’m not overwhelmed. I like to finish my list each day rather than carrying it over so I try to be realistic in what I can achieve in a day. Sometimes work comes up that you need to get done but since using task management software this has become much easier to manage.
What’s your desk and workspace like?
We are a paperless accountancy firm so we don’t have any paper at all. Before Covid I travelled a lot so I worked remotely from wherever I was so very early on I knew I wanted us to work only on the cloud. The only exception to this is my trusty note book, where I make my to do list and take notes of anything I need to. All I have on my desk is my laptop and computer screen. I have recently added a fish tank to my office as I thought this would be a nice addition now I am home working all the time. There is always a dog at my feet and a cat keeping themselves warm on my laptop.
What is the big issue affecting your sector at the moment?
Uncertainty – As I work mainly with sole traders and small owner managed limited companies these uncertain times are affecting how people run their businesses. Many have had to shut completely because of lockdown and have no idea when they can open or may be locked down again.
Do you have a business niche?
Directors of small limited companies with less than 5 employees who want us to do bookkeeping and year end accounts. We prefer to work with clients who value a professional keeping their regular bookkeeping up to date.
What do you do to escape the world of tax and accounts?
Pre Covid I travelled a lot. I was meant to be in Spain for 2 months over the winter but that wasn’t to be. Since Covid I am renovating my old 1930’s house pretty much single handedly. I love interior design and have recently studied an interior design course.
Have you always been interested in numbers and can you remember your first calculator?
Not numbers particularly but business and logic. I always loved logic puzzles as a child and that’s what I enjoyed about Maths at school. I also have a love of business and what makes businesses successful. This has really helped me when supporting my clients with their businesses.
Tell us something that not many people know about you?
I am one of 7 children. We are a very close family and we love spending time together. It is so loud and fun when we are together. I miss them all so much over lockdown but we are trying to stay connected through zoom, although it is challenging when we are all trying to speak at the same time.
How has your practice benefited from being part of the Lifecycle accountancy network?
The tax planning updates have really given me the confidence to think outside the box for clients and research rather than taking other accountant’s opinions as gospel. I do have a trusted group of accountants that I go to if I’m not sure about something but I now do my research first then go to them.
Find out more about the Lifecycle network at www.lclifecycle.co.uk or get in touch on 03300 242 333.