Caroline Hopkinson - Owner at Emerald Accountancy Services
I was always keen on mathematics and numbers and right from studying business studies at school I knew I wanted to be an accountant!
As soon as I left school I enrolled myself on the AAT accountancy course and payroll course at Chesterfield college. I was much younger with little experience compared to everyone else that I was studying with, so a lot of hard work was required to complete the 3 year course.
Part way through the course, I was lucky to gain an apprenticeship at Mitchells Chartered Accountants, to gain real experience of the job that I wanted to do, whilst finishing my qualification. With a lot of study and hard work, I passed the courses, including additional modules and was also granted an award for Overall Outstanding Achievement from Chesterfield College.
Whilst working at Mitchells I had the opportunity to work in the Corporate department with fantastic colleges that were brilliant mentors and I learned a wide range of skills giving me the grounding to move on and develop my career.
In this role I worked largely on Limited Company accounts and Corporation tax, also auditing, management accounts and dealt with many clients.
I had the opportunity to set up my own business doing bookkeeping and accounts and soon built up a small client base working from home. After a year my workload was becoming too big for just me and I set on my first employee.
I then went on to take on offices and increase my staff and client base, we have now moved into lovely offices at Staveley Hall that have been newly refurbished and I'm very happy with how business is progressing in its 8th year.
We had a period of rapid growth in 2016, meaning our team, resources and systems have also had to evolve. In 2017 I was shortlisted as a finalist for BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE YEAR in the Enterprising Women Awards, this is something that I'm very proud of.
Catherine Ford - PT Practice Manager
I got bitten by the Business Bug on a residential course as a teenager and watching Sir John Harvey-Jones on TV! I am a Chartered Accountant, trained with KPMG, which allowed me to travel to a plethora of companies as an auditor and experience a diverse range of business models and contexts. I had a rare opportunity to help establish a Corporate Finance department, mainly helping start-ups find finance.
On qualifying, I moved to a PLC to manage an accounts department, before moving back into a firm with a consulting arm, so that I could work with business leaders to help some of Sheffield’s traditional industry companies find new ways to compete.
Starting a family, my world became smaller as I worked on my own business in which I was Director and Company Secretary with cross functional responsibilities, and later went smaller still, as an internet entrepreneur. Working alone was not for me though, and I am relishing my role here ensuring peace of mind for clients, and shaping our systems in this dynamic and ever growing environment.