Question and Answer Feature - January 2019 - Portfolio magazine - Charlotte Corlett

Charlotte Corlett

What is your business background?

I’ve been an accountant for the last nine years. I left school in May 2009 and shortly after I left, I started training to become an accountant. I then became one of the youngest people to qualify as an Accountant three years later, at the age of 21.

What was your very first job?

My very first job was when I was 11 and I worked in my Dad’s business. At the time he owned a t-shirt company so if I wanted pocket money I would have to help out folding t-shirts earning £3 an hour! My parents installed a “work hard, play hard” ethic in me from a relatively young age so I’ve always known if I want something I need to work to earn it; it won’t just magically appear in front of me!

If you hadn’t chosen your current career, is there another career path you would have liked to have pursued?

I would have liked to have done something relating to football as I played it for a long time. I got accepted on a “Sports and Exercises Science” course at Loughborough University but I decided at that point that I would like to become an accountant and went straight into accountancy. My other option was to study volcanology – I have always been intrigued by volcanoes!

Who is your business role model?

Walt Disney and Richard Branson. I think they both have a brilliant work ethic and the way that Richard Branson treats his staff is inspiring. I also think it’s incredible that they both failed but they didn’t give up and they still went on to achieve great things. We could all learn a lot from them.

What’s the best business lesson you’ve ever learned, and how did that come about?

My parents have always had their own business doing various things so I’ve grown up watching them work hard. I’ve learnt that any job you do is difficult but it’s rewarding if you put the effort in. My boys are only three but they know that Mummy and Daddy go to work Monday to Friday to earn pennies so we can have nice things. I think it’s so important that they start appreciating that, even at such a young age.

What’s the best thing about your job?

It’s definitely the variety of work I have as no day is ever the same! I love that I have great clients and I enjoy helping them - it’s so invigorating knowing you’ve helped your clients. I also like learning about the different companies/industries they work in, you learn something new every day!

What is the best business advice you could offer to anyone?

I would say, if you want something, go out and work hard, don’t wait for it to come to you. I decided when I was a teenager that I wanted to buy my own house, get a good job and travel the world without relying on anyone, so I have done just that. While I was studying for my GCSE’s and A-Levels, I had three jobs and saved my money – I bought my first house with my now husband at the age of 18. It’s never easy but if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything.

What are your favourite gadgets?

My phone!

Which websites do you visit most?

Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney World and unfortunately, my credit card bill website!

Do you shop online and if so what for?

I try to shop local as and where I can but I do shop online for items I can’t find on the Island.

Where in the world would you like to visit and why?

I’ve always dreamed of going to Hawaii, in fact, we have just booked a Disney Cruise and will be going in May 2020! I’m extremely organised so always book our holidays well in advance, it gives us something to look forward to!

What is your favourite TV series?

I have two, “Suits” and “One Tree Hill”.

What is your favourite film?

Again I can’t choose! It would either be “Singing in the Rain” or “Coach Carter”.

What is your favourite single or album?

Robbie Williams – Swing when you’re winning.

What is the most memorable event you have attended?

Obviously the birth of my twin boys who are now three and a half, but my wedding was very special to me too.

Name 3 things you would like to do before you die?

Travel the World, watch my two little boys grow into happy gentlemen and take part in a Run Disney Race.

What is the best piece of personal advice you could offer?

If life gives you lemons make lemonade. Everything in life is what you make of it so take the good with the bad and work hard to change the things you want.

What are the current challenges facing the accountancy industry?

I would say there are two main challenges facing the accountancy industry at the moment, the first being the ever increasing compliance regulations. I appreciate that compliance is a necessary evil but it does take a lot of time and paperwork before you can even begin to perform any accountancy work. Not only is this costly but I also worry about the environmental impact of all the paperwork required, even with the majority of forms being paperless.

Second would be data security, with the ever increasing use of mobile technology trying to find the right level of convenience to clients whilst considering the security and reliability of the information being processed can be quite a challenge.

Peregrine Tiagnet ICAEW