Nikki Adams, joint MD, Ad Valorem - what did you want to be when you grew up?

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As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I had no idea what I wanted to be, and if you’d have told me when I was at school what I’m doing now, I wouldn’t believe you. I was very shy but heavily influenced by my father, who was a business and systems analyst, and my first ‘boss’ who was a very charismatic accountancy recruitment entrepreneur.

Where had the got to during your later studies (or not, as the case may be)?

I learnt on the job, leaving school after A-Levels and going straight into the workplace. Since then, I’ve been very keen to learn continuously, I read avidly and have mentors both inside and outside the accountancy profession.

When did you move into accountancy; why and how?

I started in an accountancy recruitment company at the age of 19, being given responsibility (directorship) very early running a finance team for a fast-growing company, and learning first-hand how hard it is to get a company from start-up to £6m and then being part of an MBO. After a career in London, I then had a family and joined my husband in building an accountancy firm of our own.

How important is accounting in your role – and how has being an accountant helped you develop in your career and as a person?

Accounting has been the core of everything for me for most of my working life either directly in my role or now it is the industry our company is centred around. Working in another industry and in general practice, has given me incredible insight into what a business owner needs to know to build a successful business.

Business strategy, risk management, credit/cash management, pricing, people management, economic factors, geo-politics, business analytics, technology integration, requirements for R&D/innovation grant funding, change management, marketing strategy, networking skills, presentation skills, public speaking... the list is almost endless of what I’ve learnt along the way!

The driver for me is working with micro and small and medium owner-managed and family businesses that don’t get the attention they deserve.  Technology has changed that, and I’m excited about the possibilities it gives us to serve our marketplace better in the future.  I think we’ve just scratched the surface.

Catch the full article in the XU Magazine here

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