Jo Finch AICB suffered a life-changing injury, leading her to seek different self-employment opportunities

Jo has loved working with numbers since she was 17 years old and has worked in finance departments for thirty years, specialising in cash forecasting for multi-million-pound companies. Jo became a mother in 2005 and returned to work part-time, but she needed more flexibility as a single mother of two children. She left the corporate world and started a catering business, delivering healthy lunches to offices. However, at the end of 2016, Jo broke her elbow in a fall, putting her out of work for ten months and leaving her with limited mobility in her arm. She was forced to shut down her limited company, but she was determined to start another business with a similar work/life balance.

Jo did the annual accounts and corporation tax returns for her catering business so while she had many years’ experience in bookkeeping, she wanted to gain the necessary qualifications to become a certified bookkeeper. She came across one of ICB’s Accredited Training Providers, Ideal Schools, and from the initial phone call, she knew they were the right training provider for her. Jo studied ICB’s Level II & III qualifications, as well as the Self-Assessment Tax qualification.  It took her four months to gain the qualifications and Jo achieved a Distinction in Levels II and III and 100% in the SAT examination.  Jo says that SAT exam was the hardest qualification she has ever done, and she is extremely proud of this achievement.  She also had an excellent tutor (Eszter Petrinovics), who Jo believes is a true credit to Ideal Schools.

Jo set up her bookkeeping practice in April 2018, which was both a challenge and an achievement. As she was out of work for ten months after her injury, she had to do a lot of budgeting to run a household and study at the same time. Jo also designed and built her website herself and has since taken on her first clients. She particularly enjoys rectifying errors in people’s books and training people on how to use bookkeeping software.

Jo says,

If you are doing a job that doesn't inspire you, change it.  Do something you are passionate about and believe in yourself. Even though my injury was traumatic, if it hadn't happened I may not be where I am now.  I am back in business and I’m stronger than ever!”

You can find Jo’s business here:


#ICB100Women logo


This is part of our year-long #ICB100Women Campaign honouring 100 influential and inspiring women bookkeepers, to celebrate the suffrage centenary.