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Star quality

Ricardo Pereira explains how the ICB qualification has opened doors for him

December 2018

Why did you choose to pursue a bookkeeping career?
After a corporate career in business development I decided I wanted the freedom of running my own business. Having had some previous experience with bookkeeping, and coming from a family of accountants and bookkeepers, I decided to take out my Practice Licence with ICB, in order to set up my practice. I haven’t looked back since. The ICB qualification is really practical and now I’ve been in practice for a three years I’m ready to continue on to ICB Level IV. This will allow me to expand the services I can offer my clients.

What size is your business in terms of clients and staff and do you see yourself growing this?
I have four staff members, three part-time and one full-time, with around 70 clients between us. We’re now focusing our marketing efforts on growing the business further.

What is it like working for the BBC and your other film and TV clients?
The TV and film industry is great to work in; being able to account for a production’s transactions and payments with very tight deadlines and ensuring that the production’s budget in on target. Working with production teams makes for an enjoyable environment, especially when you get asked to fly to other countries to work on location to process receipts and deal with all of the cash on behalf of the crew. Oh, and there is always the famous person you’ve not met before.

What experience do you have working alongside accountants?
All of my clients have accountants who I pass work on to, so I’ve worked with KPMG and some of the other big firms. Working with accountants has always been a good experience – we work really well together to ensure the client’s accounts are processed in time, without stepping into each other’s roles.

Is accountancy all about the numbers or the people?
In my view accountancy is about the people – I work directly with all my clients, supporting their day-to-day activities. Numbers are obviously important, forming the basis of what we do, but if there is no involvement with the clients or their staff then sometimes the numbers may not make sense.

What makes a good bookkeeper?
Attention to detail, putting systems in place, understanding your clients’ requirements, going the extra mile and not forgetting the value you add by being “not just a bookkeeper, but an ICB bookkeeper”.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Hard to say, but I will either be working within my business overseeing the operation, or lounging on a yacht in the Caribbean. Accountants and bookkeepers are supposed to be boring. What do you do to dispel this image? I try to make it as easy and as fun to work with me as possible. My clients enjoy my sense of humour and dedication to their accounts; accounting is never boring and there is always so much to talk about.

• For information on the ICB’s Bookkeepers
Summit go to https://tinyurl.com/y89zkv3z

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