ACCOUNTANT Nikki Belshaw has seen her client base grow 10 fold since taking the plunge and opening her own business.
When she completed work experience as a student at the former St Hilda’s RC High School in Burnley, she went into an accountancy department where her task was to input invoices.
Nikki, from Weir, Bacup, said: “I told my mum and granddad how much I enjoyed the work and they suggested that I do it as a job. Another relative was already working as an accountant in a company; I never imagined working for myself.”
Belshaw Bookkeeping Services opened its accountancy practice in Bacup in May 2017 initially in the back room of a former shop on Burnley Road. Nikki said: “At that time I was the only employee and I had seven clients, now there are four of us and we have more than 70 clients from all over the North West and even one in Devon.”
At one stage there were three people working out of what is now Nikki’s office, so when the landlord offered her chance to expand into the former shop, it made perfect sense. The finishing touches have just been made to the premises with a new sign hanging outside and the business name in frosted glass on the windows.
Nikki has a thirst for knowledge, so although she left school at 16 and went into work in the accountant department of car dealership Ford, in Burnley, she also studied at Burnley College completing her Oxford Cambridge RSA Level 1 Bookkeeping and Level 2 Accountancy.
When she worked for Glengarth Construction in Waterfoot, she went to Accrington and Rossendale College and added the Association of Accounting Technicians qualification. At Neales Waste Management in Blackburn she opted to study at Manchester Metropolitan University and passed her industry qualification – a CIMA. While working at Domino’s Pizza covering six outlets she was responsible for the payroll of 356 staff and of course she also studied. This time she gained Level 1 and 2 qualifications from the International Association of Bookkeepers.
Since becoming self-employed and then opening the business, Nikki has also become a forensic accountant and so examines financial divorce settlements and also works on fraud. In 2017 she was runner-up in an international competition to find the Payroll Professional of the Year and attended a glittering presentation at the House of Commons. She has also been nominated in the Rossendale Business Awards and Inspiring Woman Award.
Nikki, 31, is married to Jonny and has two children Hayden, nine, and Charlie, five. She said: “When I met Jonny and he said I really should be working for myself I decided that I wanted to have my own business by the time I was 30. I did it with six months to go.
“I now employ a receptionist, an apprentice and have a part-time member of staff. I take on work experience because I want to give a young person the opportunity to learn because I was given work experience when I was at school.”