Case study

Managing director — Lee Murphy

Lee Murphy set up his own accountancy company and is developing its innovative cloud-based bookkeeping software

How did you get your job?

I worked for a family member's practice before starting my own firm, The Accountancy Partnership. It began with a very small client base and progressed from there.

Working in a small practice often means exposure to a variety of work and responsibilities, which is invaluable

Was your qualification essential for the job?

The distance learning Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) professional qualification I gained from Kaplan was an important preparation for the job for a few reasons. Firstly, the course gave me in-depth knowledge of accounting and tax principles, which may have been hard to pick up from just practical work. Also, clients and colleagues are generally interested in credentials for assurance in the quality of the work being produced.

What's a typical day like?

A typical day usually involves software testing for the changes the developers make on Pandle, coming up with new ideas to improve features and user experience. I also spend time recruiting, reviewing company performance reports and acquiring customer feedback from sales, support and accounts, to look at areas I can tweak and improve our processes.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

My role has developed from mainly accounts and tax work to a varied one. I now work on company progression, sales, marketing, public relations, IT, software development, HR, recruitment and management.

I'm aiming to further develop the company into the cloud accounting software space by working on a solution (Pandle) that's simple, intuitive and cost effective for business owners and other accountancy firms.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

As managing director, it's having to adapt to the constantly changing landscape of the accountancy profession - the software side, in particular. I enjoy the progression of our service offerings, development and company growth.

What are the challenges?

The main challenges are keeping ahead of the competition and ensuring that we deploy enough resources to not only keep on top of the changing accounting/tax landscape, but also the software one.

What advice would you give to other students and graduates looking to get a job in accounting?

I'd recommend working with a small firm of accountants at some point early on in your career, even if your ambition is to ultimately progress within a top four firm. Working in a small practice often means exposure to a variety of work and responsibilities, which is invaluable. Larger firms can be very departmentalised, which means that it's hard to explore all aspects of the profession.

Keeping up with technology is a prerequisite in most industries these days, and accountancy is no exception. There are big changes happening in the industry at the moment and it's the firms who are the most technology-focused that will prevail. It's therefore crucial to remain up to date with the new tools available to clients.