Interview with Christine Thompson, AICB CB.Cert PM.Dip, Student of ICB's Legal Bookkeeping Course
Christine Thompson's love affair with figures began when she was a young girl helping out in her father's grocery store and post office. Now half way through studying ICB's Certified Legal Bookkeeper course, Christine has decided to specialise in bookkeeping for solicitors.
'I didn't become a bookkeeper until I was 61. It was a late career change! Although I had worked with money all my life, I wish I had become a bookkeeper much earlier on because I love the work.'
After being made redundant from her long career in the Crown Postal Service, Christine began bookkeeping training in 2007 with ICB-accredited provider, Training Link. Having passed ICB examinations to gain Level I and II qualifications in bookkeeping, Christine then received an exemption from the ICB payroll qualification on the strength of her related work experience and Sage Payroll certificate.
Since qualifying Christine now has several clients, including her local Church, and was approached by a local solicitor by chance.
'I found there are very strict rules that MUST be followed in the legal profession, and annual reports are submitted directly to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. An extremely high standard of accuracy is looked for here, although the work is no more difficult than in any other field of bookkeeping. When I heard that ICB was producing a legal bookkeeping course, I watched for it to emerge and signed up.'
'The Certified Legal Bookkeeper course is very practical and illustrates some of the many pitfalls that legal bookkeepers can come across. It's more than just a fact finding course and it will equip those who follow it for the reality of life as a legal bookkeeper. If you want to be a bookkeeper in the legal profession, the ICB legal bookkeeping course is a must!'
'There is good demand for legal bookkeepers as it is such a specialist area. Having already been offered other legal bookkeeping work by local accountants, I intend to specialise in legal bookkeeping when I've completed the ICB course.'
Christine says her enjoyment of the subject helps her find time to study at home around her other commitments. 'My motivation is my love of working with figures and the income produced as a result of my hard work.'
'I love working with lawyers. You are not just dealing with figures on paper but accounting for the whole gamut of human experiences; recording the figures to do with buying a home, writing a will, coping with marriage problems and so on. It is very rewarding to help real people change their lives in sometimes dramatic ways, even if you are only recording the financial entries for their lawyer.
'I would recommend others who are interested to go for it!'
Christine's Tutor says:
'The finishing line is now in sight for Christine as she approaches the final hurdle - the actual examination -
in her quest for qualification as the Institute's first Certified Legal Bookkeeper.
'Christine has approached the course in an extremely well structured way,
asking questions which have related to her own day to day work.
'With other members on the home straight and more just out of the blocks -
can you let the opportunity to add a unique qualification pass you by?'
COURSE AUTHOR AND LEAD TUTOR