A Q&A with Shameika Byfield of shyfigures.co.uk

 

What’s your name:

Shameika Byfield

Web site address:

www.shyfigures.co.uk

Social Media links:

Instagram: @shyfigures

Twitter: @shyfiguresltd

Facebook: @shyfigures

When did you start out in accountancy?

I studied Accounting and Finance at Greenwich School of Management between 2010-2012. I have always aspired to become a Chartered Accountant. I am now studying AAT Level 4 to gain my practitioners licence and will be studying ACCA after completion.

What is your current role and how did you arrive in this role ….. describe your journey.

At present, I would describe myself as Part-qualified accountant/ Business Advisor. I completed a BTEC in Business at college before going off to university to completing my BSc in Accounting in Finance.

I graduated top of the class with 1st class honours. I was elated and believed that I would be the ideal candidate for many corporate employer. I was also a customer service advisor at high street Bank which to me meant I had invaluable experience that would boost my prospects.

If someone wanted to have a similar role to you what tips would you give them to go about getting there?

Firstly get your qualifications, get the highest grades you can achieve, take this very seriously as this knowledge will last a lifetime.

To date what has been your biggest achievement:

  • In accountancy?
  • In life generally?

I believe my biggest achievement thus far was graduating university with a 1st class honours despite having two children under 5 years old and working 20 hours per week. It was one of the hardest times of my life and I managed to do my very best.

My biggest achievement in an accounting to date is maintaining a 100% pass rate for the students that I have been teaching level 1 accountancy courses over the last 18 months.

What, if any, have been your biggest challenges and how have you overcome them?

My biggest challenge is being a mother of 3 and running a business at the same time. All decisions lie with me. Decisions about my children’s future, myself and my business. Most days I am forced to evaluate my priorities. I have to diarise my business meetings around my children’s activities like sports day, parents meeting etc. I have had to find a coping mechanism to deal with this and get to the understanding that there is always tomorrow, that email can probably be sent tomorrow, that meeting can probably be rescheduled for tomorrow. I had no choice but to run my own business because through experience I learnt that due to my family circumstances I was not a suitable candidate for the demands of the corporate world of accountancy.

What tips would you give to someone who is trying to balance their career, work and family?

Find the right coping mechanisms that is unique to yourself. Whether that is delegating duties to others, working at late nights or early mornings, working weekends or 3 day weeks.

If you could change one thing in your current role what would it be and why?

There is nothing I would change in my current role at present.

What do you think the next five years will look like in accountancy and how do you think this will this affect you?

I believe there will be a shift in the wind and more flexible and remote working will become available as a result of more technological advance. This would definitely benefit me as I will be able to find an even better work-life balance.

If you could give one piece of advice to your 16 year old self what would it be?

My advice to my 16 year old self would be to take the opportunity to explore the world, travel to different countries and have fun but most importantly, take your education and future career goals into consideration from the onset.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Yes, to anyone considering joining the world of accountancy, I strongly recommend that along with the practical knowledge please ensure you are adept with general business and technological knowledge as the world of accounting is quickly changing. It is no longer about crunching numbers in an enclosed office, you need be able to add value to your client through bespoke advice and mentoring.

 

If you would like to be featured on the WomenInAccountancy.com web site please get in touch by emailing Elaine.Clark@CheapAccounting.co.uk.

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