The Industry Leaders opens up the conversation about personal finance and money management by talking to Tanya Ibberson, the managing director of FD Business Services Ltd, and aspiring financial coach.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I currently run my own accountancy practice and look after just over 70 clients. I left school with my three A-levels and went straight into an accountancy apprenticeship, working full time whilst qualifying over the next six years to be a chartered certified accountant.
I've worked in both practice and financial training over the last 24 years, so these experiences combined help me to teach the best practice, as well as take care of the accounting needs of my clients. I'm also currently working towards becoming a financial coach.
What kind of work does your role involve?
I look after the compliance needs and my clients, as well as holding the position of virtual FD for a number of them. This is ideal as it allows me to really get under the skin of the business, and I can give my best advice when I see the full picture of how things work internally.
I also work on helping entrepreneurs to ensure that they have the right financial foundations in their business to be able to achieve their long term goals. This enables them to scale and grow without needing to reinvent the wheel later!
What gets you excited about your industry?
I love educating clients about the importance of having solid systems in place in their business to help them achieve what they started out in business to do. Finance is often seen as something that just needs to be done to tick the boxes for HMRC, but, without understanding the numbers, it's easy to lose sight of long term goals.
Having a good financial foundation set up gives business owners the power to make decisions, highlights opportunities when they arise, and enables them to leverage their position to get where they want to go much faster.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Don't be afraid to ask for help!
Often, when I tell people what I do for the first time, they do a bit of a sideways shuffle away from the conversation! Either they don't want to admit that they don't have a handle on their finances themselves, or they've learned that talking about money in business is something that's just not done. This makes the subject taboo! Instead, we should be opening up the conversation about money in business and make it a subject that we do talk about so as to help others rise.
How do you support aspiring leaders in your field?
With my financial coaching, I can help to remove the money blocks and limiting beliefs that leaders carry around with them subconsciously. Charging their worth, knowing the value of the work they do, and acknowledging the transformation that they can bring to their clients is half of the battle when it comes to the confidence they need to progress in their business. With the knowledge that their financial systems are in place, too, they can know that they don't need to worry about finances or surprise tax bills as it's all taken care of.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
I regularly network in my industry, and I am a member of several accountancy forums and groups where we share knowledge and experience in an ever-changing industry.
Reading publications and keeping up with current issues is also really important so that I can understand how changes outside will affect my clients' businesses.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
I once worked for a client that expected access to my skills and experience whilst only wanting to pay around a third of my usual rate. Their business was struggling financially, so a lot of work was needed to help turn things around, and I had only recently set up on my own, so I accepted the work to help build my business up. I did successfully help turn the business around and secured them a sale for their business, and ultimately walked away on my own terms by enforcing my own boundaries with them.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
I would set up a Financial Freedom Foundation to help women in financially controlling relationships to find the courage to walk away from that situation by giving them a financial boost to kick start their own business journey. I'm really passionate about financial education, so I would also love to see this taught in schools. I strongly believe that no one should have to stay in an unhappy relationship, or a job they hate, just because they can't afford to leave.
How do you define failure?
Failure is giving up. There is no such thing as failure in business, only lessons. We all make mistakes, but that's how we grow and become stronger and more resilient.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
More access to resources that don't confuse people to make accountancy and financial education something that's easy to understand.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
Lisa Johnson's podcast, Making Money Online, is great, and I also enjoy listening to Rob Moore in his The Disruptive Entrepreneur podcast. I love all of Denise Duffield Thomas' books on money and being an entrepreneur too!
How should people connect with you?