• Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

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‘Posterboy’ Jay breaking the mould of accountants

THE posterboy of a new generation of accountants has moved his company into its first office.

Jay Wilson, founder and MD at Jaccountancy, left school at 16 to begin an apprenticeship in customer services, working at a hotel. Now he heads up a successful accountancy practice breaking the traditional accountancy mould.

While completing his apprenticeship, Jay was also working shifts at call centres and bars.

“It was tough and I wasn’t really enjoying the apprenticeship and was looking for something else to do. I saw an advert at Newcastle College for an accountancy course with AAT. I tried it, found I could do it and kept going through the qualifications,” explained Jay.

“That was in 2017 and I continued with the call centre and bar shifts while studying with AAT,” he added.

Jay became a fully qualified accountant within 24 months instead of the usual four or five years.

“The week after my final exams I incorporated Jaccountancy and have never looked back. We have a team of five and three other consultants who we use regularly – and we have 225 clients on our books already,” said Jay, who is still only 27.

Such has been the pace of his success, AAT, the professional accountancy membership and qualification awarding body, has used Jay in a series of high-profile media adverts. He was also AAT’s AAT Professional Member of the Year for 2020.

“I enjoyed doing the ads, they were fun and raised the profile of Jaccountancy. I think we’re seen as different – young and fresh. Traditionally I think accountants have been seen as confusing, expensive and disconnected whereas I think we’re seen as accessible, innovative, understandable and affordable.

“What we’re trying to do is rethink accountancy, for it to be seen in a different light.  We don’t fit the usual stereotype, although we’re all well qualified. We go beyond the balance sheet – getting to know our customers on a personal level .

“We have an app which many of our customers find easy to use and we’ve also produced a handbook, available on our client online portal, that answers many of their questions.”

It’s an approach that is working – as well as a growing list of clients, Jaccountancy was named New Accountancy Business of the Year by judges in the North England Prestige competition.

Clients come from a range of sectors, but are mostly start-ups or small to medium-sized enterprises who appreciate the personal approach and hands-on guidance.

Jay explained: “Jaccountancy can be a powerful ally in starting a business and taking it to the next level. We agree a bespoke monthly fee with our clients, which is affordable and increases in line with business growth.

“We are a new business ourselves so we completely understand how daunting it can be to start and grow a new company. We help business owners at the start of their journeys, setting up not just the accounts, but the capacity to invoice and take card payments or direct debit. We even help with credit control for our clients, with 30-day payment terms.”

Jay left school with a C in maths, but is building on his accountancy qualifications. He’s currently studying a chartered accountancy degree at Arden University.

“I suffered with ADHD at school and didn’t feel as though I fitted in, but now I think the ADHD gives me the energy and restlessness to constantly push myself. After leaving school the real world was a huge wake-up call, but I’ve since dedicated my time to better myself. Now I want Jaccountancy to better our clients!” explained Jay.

The company’s new office is in Hoults Yard, Byker, a site Jay knew well due to visits to clients: “It’s perfect for us, and we were ready for an office. We were at the point where we needed to see each other and spend some time together.

“The Yard reflects who we are – young, cool, hardworking ambitious, different!”

Jay is a big personality, with big ambitions: “Everyone knows about the Big Four – well, perhaps it’s time for the Big Five. I know it sounds too much and overambitious, but I’ve always overcome obstacles and barriers and it’s always good to aim high!”

For more information, go to http://www.jaccountancy.co.uk