Crackatax doesn’t fit the traditional accountancy mould! Read Aly’s story of how Crackatax started and how she’s got to where she is today.
Accountancy runs in the family
Both my Mum and my Grandfather were qualified accountants so I always knew accountancy was in our blood! My Mum qualified in 1961 and was a pioneer, being one of only 4 women to study accountancy in a group of 200 students. Being a working Mum, she would often take me to audits where I was tasked with physically counting small items of stock. I loved helping her and immediately felt a connection with counting and numbers…
The start of my accountancy career
Toying between a career in teaching (that’s another story) and accountancy I graduated from Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes) with a BSc degree in Educational Studies & Accounting. Knowing numbers were ultimately at the heart of what I wanted to do I decided to follow the accountancy path and started work for British Airways as a Finance Analyst in 1999. Two years later in August 2001 I became ACCA qualified.
Mum’s lasting legacy
Shortly after qualifying in 2001, and when my eldest daughter was only 4 months old, my Mum died suddenly leaving a pile of clients with no accountant. Remembering I was qualified a few of them got in touch and requested that I do their returns for them. Given that I was still on maternity leave from British Airways, this was a welcome distraction and I found that I enjoyed the interaction with people, who valued my approach and my expertise.
Crackatax was born!
I set up Crackatax Ltd in October 2003 after a few more clients had gravitated my way and have never looked back. When I returned to BA after my son was born in 2005, I negotiated a part time contract so that I could manage both my practice and being employed looking after BA’s passenger taxes. The following year I became a Fellow Member of The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants meaning I could put the prestigious FCCA after my name.
The only accountant on the fiddle!
As a creative at heart (when I’m not crunching numbers I’m a musician playing the fiddle and singer) it’s not surprising to know that a lot of my clients are creative too. Over the years I’ve enjoyed building my Crackatax customer base and have several musicians and bands in my client portfolio. I thrive as a creative personality and understand the challenges that musicians, bands and all creative small businesses face, particularly supporting them through the pandemic during 2020 and beyond.
What makes me different
“You don’t LOOK like an accountant” is a common commentary when I meet people socially. I take this as a compliment and am pleased to offer something refreshing away from the normal ‘accountancy stereotype.’ My number 1 aim is to take away the pain and frustration of numbers in your business and make the process as easy and smooth as it can be, allowing you to solely focus on what you do best.
Onwards and upwards
I finally left BA permanently at the end of August 2021 to pursue Crackatax full time. With almost 20 years of experience with small company accounts and personal tax returns, and a portfolio of around 100 clients from a range of industries I feel it is time to grow and am excited to be able to focus solely on assisting small creative businesses with all their accounting needs.
I hope you have enjoyed learning more about my Crackatax journey. Numbers will always tell a tale and I’ve been crunching the numbers for so many years now that I will instinctively know how to piece your story together. Get in touch so we can discuss how I can help you with your specific accountancy needs or view my services to get a taste of the packages I have on offer.