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Another Answer Blog – Sylvia Writes…

The Another Answer Team – Luca Awards ‘Employed Team of the Year 2021’ Winners.

It will come as no surprise that I was delighted and proud that last month, the Another Answer team won a Luca Award for the second year running. My gratitude to them for their amazing work in supporting our clients during the Covid19 pandemic is heartfelt, and I couldn’t think of a group of people more deserving of such recognition. As I took time to reflect on their achievement, it occurred to me to share something about the people behind the job titles. Accountancy might have a reputation for being grey and boring – at Another Answer, nothing could be further from the truth. Here they are then:

Stacia Wrenn is our Practice Administrator. She will be the first to say that she is not a bookkeeper, but she manned the office solo throughout both lockdowns. Stacia is the voice of calm to customers and other team members alike.  Her job description specifically cited ‘keeping Sylvia sane’. This she has done in spades, and it’s not just me she keeps grounded – she’s the glue that keeps the team together.  Stacia is responsible for our client onboarding and AML compliance, and she makes a great cup of tea! In short, she just gets on with it – whatever ‘it’ happens to be at the time. When Stacia had to take time off when she recently broke her ankle in three places, we very soon discovered that things could start to unravel without her. It took the entire team to muck in and help cover Stacia’s extensive remit. Between all of us, we managed to check the emails, order the stationery, onboard new clients, send out client reminders, remain hydrated with tea and biscuits, learn how to keep the AML records and even figure out how to change the answerphone message. That’s how valuable our Practice Administrator is!

Alisa Schroeder, a previous winner of Employed Bookkeeper of the year at the LUCA Awards, has recently been promoted to Client Manager and is responsible for the rest of the Bookkeeping Team.  She is a compulsive learner and has an enormous capacity for work. Whilst Alisa continues to support our clients who have the most complex requirements, she has also been busy creating systems and check lists for every task we undertake, whether it be internal or client-facing.  She has taken on the mantle of training both our new team members and our new clients in the way that Another Answer works. All this is achieved with a smile and an air of calm authority…

Daska Emery joined Another Answer as a novice bookkeeper just after the first lockdown in July 2020, and studied and passed her Level 2 certificate in bookkeeping with distinction in February 2021. Most of her study was done from the ICB workbooks, and with the help and assistance of her colleagues she managed to pass A3 using QBO instead of Sage.  During the second lockdown she juggled working from home and getting her two sons through A Levels and GCSEs at the same time as studying.  In June 2021 she was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community in Bourne End where she co-founded and coordinated a Covid19 SOS group to meet the needs of the elderly, vulnerable and housebound. All in a day’s work then…

Helen Burgess-Allen and Emma Bray are both student team-members who are working towards their full ICB membership either by exam or exemption, and joined us on 1st May this year.  They come from very different backgrounds but have fitted in to the team as if they had always been there. That’s the measure of two very special and dedicated recruits…

Neil Bourhill is my Co-Director and also happens to be my husband. He retired in 2017, then promptly came to work for me! Neil studied and completed his Level 3 in about 6 weeks in 2020 (finished before the last Luca awards otherwise he’d have been up for student of the year too!) His background is in business systems implementation and training – an invaluable string to the Another Answer bow.  He takes care of the Business Insights element of our services and is currently working through the ICB self-study manual to get official ICB accreditation for that also. Neil’s vast experience, combined with a ready wit and endless patience, adds tremendous value to the company. Yes I’m biased, but I know that no-one  on the team would disagree!

Apart from delivering great service to our clients – which is a given – the team works brilliantly together.  They help each other out when things get tricky, because what one doesn’t know, another most certainly, will. Our WhatsApp group is always humming with ideas, questions, answers and suggestions, even when the team are not at work. This also goes for our two fabulous sub-contractors Kirsty St John and Andrea Frate.

Maintaining our strong team bond is important to another Answer. A few weeks ago we enjoyed a Team Away Day on 30th September to look at team vision and values. All members of the team took part and concluded that we should be:

Professional, approachable, efficient, honest, reliable, encouraging, caring, forward- thinking and willing to learn. 

This sums up each of them, individually and as a whole team, and it’s safe to say our clients love them for it. Oh, and we made some awesome structures out of paper and masking tape to meet the challenge of seeing who could build the tallest one that could hold a golf ball. Who said accountants weren’t fun…

If you would like to speak to our award-winning accountants and bookkeepers based in Buckinghamshire, then please do get in touch.

[Pictured:  The Luca Awards and The Golf Ball Challenge – Neil Helen and Emma went for sturdiness.  Alisa, Daska and Sylvia reached for the sky…]

Another Answer Blog - Sylvia Writes… Another Answer Blog - Sylvia Writes…Another Answer Blog - Sylvia Writes…

 

Published On: December 3, 2021

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