Business Achiever - My Profile
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
I was recently asked to contribute a profile piece to the online platform Business Achievers. It gives you an idea of what I do and why I do it. Enjoy!
'Our latest Business Achiever is Paula Travers and Travers Accounting Services. We asked Paula to tell us a little bit about her accounting-focussed business and asked her about her business journey to date. Read on to find out more in Business Achievers: Paula Travers and Travers Accounting Services.
Give us the background to your business
Sad to admit, but I always wanted to be an accountant! I started my business, Travers Accounting Services, in October 2017. By then I had worked as a Chartered Accountant for over 20 years, having spent 7 years working and training in practice, and a further 15 working at Financial Controller/Head of Finance level across various industries. I had always wanted to be my own boss, and I believe that having the dual strengths of a solid practice background, along with real-life commercial experience, has left me well placed to understand the needs of business owners, and to provide a service that meets those needs.
Being a sole practitioner, it was imperative that I utilised every resource available to me in order to run my business as efficiently as possible. Therefore, I threw myself into researching all the technology, software and tools that are available nowadays to make the whole accounting process much more automated and pain-free compared to what it used to be. Cloud accounting software and the ability of various systems to integrate with each other via API’s is an absolute game-changer. In my opinion, there is no better time to be an accountancy practice owner!
My business is still very much in growth mode, as I took my time figuring out what particular part of the market I wanted to focus on. I have identified a particular need at a particular stage in a company’s journey; it is that dangerous stage, possibly 3-5 years into the company’s existence, where due to hard work and success the company is growing, but there is a significant possibility that it will outgrow its existing accounting resources.
Those resources will most likely consist of a junior accounts person who doubles up as an administrator; they do a wonderful job, but the needs of the company in growth mode are beyond their skillset and experience. The company does not have the resources to hire a full-time in-house Financial Controller/CFO, but there is a need for an accounting professional to guide them through this vital stage.
I developed my Virtual Financial Controller/CFO service to meet the needs of this company. They get access to a qualified, experienced accounting professional on a needs basis. I have also written a guide on why this service is perfect for some companies.
The best business tip you've ever received?
Learn to say No to the wrong thing, so that you can say Yes to the right thing!
‘What you don’t do determines what you can do’. Tim Ferriss
Any advice for other business owners?
📷It’s a cliché, but like all good clichés, it’s true! ‘Cash Is King (or Queen)!’. Profitable businesses fail because they run out cash. Have a robust cashflow forecasting system in place to give you visibility of your working capital, to allow you to plan and grow safely in your business and to avoid those sleepless nights of worrying how you’re going to pay the wages!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
The accounting profession is currently going through a huge period of transition. The main catalyst for this has been technology; it is the great leveller. It has spawned a new breed of accountant who refuses to be constrained by the staid, boring, traditional image of accountants. I am currently embracing all that is new, I see it as a wonderful opportunity rather than a threat.
As such, in 5 years time, in business terms, I see myself as still being at the forefront of this change in the accounting profession in Ireland. I see myself still thoroughly enjoying running my own business on my terms, continuing to solve problems and positively impact the lives of my fellow business owners.
What does business achievement mean to you?
Business achievement or success to me is very much based on the principles espoused by Arianna Huffington in her book, and now online platform ‘Thrive’. I refuse to be a slave to my business, as I may have been a slave to my job at different stages in my career. Achievement means being in a position to do work that I love at a level that fulfils me, serving people that I enjoy interacting with whilst being financially rewarded for my expertise and experience.
It is also about having the biggest impact that I can possibly have, specifically in the lives of fellow business owners by using my skills to provide peace of mind and solving problems for them. That is personally very satisfying for me.