Meet the Team: Sam Clarkson

11th September 2019

Each month we’ll be introducing you to a member of our team. This month we’re getting to know Sam Clarkson. Sam has wanted to be an accountant since she was 13 and is currently delivering software training to our clients to support their transition to Making Tax Digital.

What are your qualifications?

I am part AAT qualified with certifications in Quickbooks, Xero and FreeAgent

Why did you choose accountancy and what do you love about it the most?

I remember the exact moment that I decided I wanted to follow a career in accountancy.

I was 13, about to choose my options for my GCSEs, and taking part in my Dad’s pheasant shoot. There was a barrister and a chartered accountant in the syndicate, which worked out great as law and accountancy were the two careers that took my fancy, so I decided to ask them about their chosen fields.

The barrister said their job involved very long hours and that it was incredibly hard to get to barrister level. I would likely be called upon to defend someone I knew was guilty which I didn’t think I’d feel comfortable with. On the other hand, the chartered accountant explained that once qualified you can go anywhere in the world and work with the most amazing companies. It would also mean long hours but would be extremely rewarding. With all that in mind, I left school at 16 and dove head first in to an apprenticeship in accountancy.

Fast forward 16 years, I have had opportunities working with a national firm of accountants specialising in Limited Company Contractors and a couple of other local firms but, after trying for several years to get in, I am finally here with TTR Barnes. I now work with a variety of businesses and everyone in the team feels like family – which I love. No two days are the same, you never know what questions you are going to get asked by clients and that keeps you sharp and on your toes. I also really like that the industry is constantly changing – there is always a new piece of software or legislation to get my head round!

What do clients worry about the most?

At the moment, Making Tax Digital (MTD) is causing a lot of business owners to worry. Fear not though! We, as your accountants, are here to support and guide you through this change. I am currently delivering tuition to our clients on Quickbooks, an MTD compliant software, tailoring the use of the system to each businesses individual needs, and the entire team is here for back up support too.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

I love to cook and bake, which is great as my husband loves to eat and my colleagues love cake! When I am not in the kitchen though I do like to get crafty with my crocheting, sewing and in recent years, floristry! I also spend a lot of time up in Northumberland with my Dad and I love doing a variety of countryside activities.

What are your current accountancy hot topics and why?

There are a couple but the main one would be MTD. This is a big change for a lot of businesses and affects a large portion of our clientele. The main issues I have found are for long-established businesses that have traditionally done their record keeping and VAT preparation manually. Although we are living in the digital age a lot of business owners still don’t own a computer and for that reason alone MTD is problematic to them.

On the other hand, we have clients who use a computer but know nothing other than spreadsheets, Word documents and email. It is a huge change for them to go from one system that they have perfected over a number of years to something that is new and unfamiliar. The majority of clients who I have helped train on Quickbooks have needed to change a few bits of their bookkeeping processes, but it has mostly been for the better, such as linking their bank statements to the software and setting up rules to deal with reoccurring transactions, which saves them time in their bookkeeping. I’ve also helped clients set up processes for creating their invoices and emailing them to clients directly from the software so they have a clear audit trail of which customer has viewed their invoice and when, which is helpful for chasing stubborn payers and trade debtor management.

Chartered Accountants in Sunderland, offering expertise on everything from Tax and Business Planning,
to Accounts and VAT.