For 23 years now I've been on a mission - you could call it an obsession to help business owners to understand their finances and the difference this can make. Helping people to 'get' their numbers to know where they've been, exactly where they are now, and where they're headed.I want to make a significant difference to thousands of companies across the country by helping them easily understand finance, make their companies much stronger and more likely to survive in the long term. And give them the long term financial security they want from their business. What's my Why?In the early ‘90s my parents lost their dream business, a hotel in Scotland, to the recession. I watched them lose everything, including their home and have to start their business and their lives again from scratch. It was heart breaking to see after 20 years hard work. Later that year I lost the house I'd so proudly bought when I was 18. The interest rate at 15% was just too much for my meagre salary. So the week before my 21st birthday I handed back the keys to the bank.Luckily I'd got a brilliant job. Once the admin girl I was now accounts manager for an amazing family business, and things were going really well. In just three years we’d grown from two shops to 70, and built our turnover to £10m.Then things went catastrophically wrong.Whilst the directors were with the receiver I had to give the bad news to the factory floor; tell them they'd all lost their jobs and weren't getting paid, and then close the stores down. I watched the directors lose their home, their income, and everything they'd worked for. We went from being the darling of the retail world, featured on The Money Program as a huge success story, to be being featured again for very different reasons.I was 22 - the perfect example of an over-promoted, under-qualified, inexperienced accounts manager. The official receivers report was scathing about our fundamental lack of financial controls and information. The owners were given a lengthy ban from being company directors.The light bulb momentThis intensely personal and painful period in my life drove me on to qualify as a management accountant. I had to find out what had gone so wrong. Could I have stopped it happening? And how could I stop it happening to other people?It turned out it was all the stuff you read about in finance textbooks: over trading, under capitalisation, lack of controls and none of the information the management needed to make good decisions. What’s more, they didn’t even know what they didn’t know. But business owners don't read finance textbooks –they just get on with running their company. (And even if they did, let’s face it, most finance books for business owners are mind numbingly boring - even for an accountant!)With everything I'd learned I knew I could show people what was really important about their business finances.And I could stop business failing.Making it HappenOver the next few years I worked in various small companies. Then after 6 years of part time studying I qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant, doing my professional training with Northern Foods Plc and NEXT Plc. I learnt the very best in financial management from some very talented finance people.Ready to set off on my mission I set up a specialist management accounting and book keeping company in 2000 to bring corporate quality financial management to small businesses. And over the next 12 years I grew that business to a team of 12, working with over 130 companies. I sold the business in 2012 because there was so much more I wanted do to help business owners. I knew that a training company could embed these critical skills into businesses so they wouldn’t have to rely on what an outside accountant told them once a year.So I've dedicated my career to finding ways to help business owners 'get' finance so they can make sure they never lose their business, and enjoy the future they dreamed of. Because learning about finance does change lives; it gets you far closer to your goals than stumbling around in the dark. And over the last 15 years I've worked with over 220 companies to do just that.Now I'm a regular finance columnist for the Nottingham Business Post and a prolific finance blogger, writing for my own website and a number of business websites and publications. I'm also a CMI approved lecturer for the management training company CMBD where I deliver the Level 7 finance course.I have a unique background; I'll give you a fresh perspective. And the power to make your business just what you want it to be.
It's a great tool, simple to use and saves a HUGE amount of time keying in your invoices and receipts. It integrates directly into a number of on-line packages out-of-the-box, and we've put together a natty system to get it to talk to other accounts packages like Sage Line 50