Meet Elizabeth Carter MICB PM.Dip, ICB Luca Award winner for Student of the Year

Elizabeth started her early career as a fuel engineer at a steelworks after gaining a chemical engineering degree. However, after three years she decided on a career change and left to become a maths teacher. She found teaching was a rewarding job but ‘all-consuming’. After having her first child, Elizabeth cut down her hours to part-time, and then two more children followed. It was then that she decided that teaching did not fit in well with her family life. Having three young children, with the eldest starting school, made Elizabeth re-evaluate those lifestyle choices. What she was craving was the flexibility to choose her working hours, so that she could attend school concerts and plays, and generally have a better work/life balance.

Elizabeth volunteers at her local sling library, helping parents carry their babies and toddlers safely and comfortably in slings and carriers. It was at a sling library that a fellow volunteer suggested she become a self-employed bookkeeper.

The more she thought about it, the more it appealed, so she took the jump and left teaching and started training.

Elizabeth initially bought an e-course for another qualification, but it was ’dreadful’! But, after chatting with another friend, they told her how great ICB was, and she decided to take the plunge and sign up for Training Link’s complete bookkeeping package.

“I started with an AAT course and I didn’t get on with it at all. The course was all online, I never had any contact with my tutor, and I struggled- just didn’t get on with it. A friend told me she had switched to ICB, saying she said it was better for self-employed bookkeepers, so I switched too, and it’s been fabulous!”

In February 2020 her first set of books arrived in the post, and Elizabeth got stuck in, initially on nursery days and in the evenings. Her study days soon became her favourite days. Then lockdown hit and she lost her nursery days, so instead she worked during her children's nap times and after bedtimes. 

Click here to watch our complete interview with Elizabeth Carter MICB PM.Dip

When news arrived that most accountancy exams would not be running during the pandemic, Elizabeth was relieved to hear that ICB would continue to deliver its exams online.

Elizabeth says she's 'forever grateful that ICB and Training Link offered a "business as usual" service,' enabling her to progress rapidly through her qualifications during lockdown. By the time she had got to her final M8 exam (at the end of Level 3), even that was available online.

“My biggest relief at the time was switching to ICB and being able to do the exams, whereas AAT students couldn’t do any exams. Fortunately, I switched before the lockdown hit and I was able to progress, I don’t think I would have gone on if I hadn’t switched to ICB.”

Elizabeth is certain that studying saved her during lockdown. Parenting three children aged 5, 3, and 1 was not easy without going out. It was easy to feel despondent, but she had her bookkeeping, and she was trying to get a chapter done every day.

Elizabeth decided to keep studying to complete all her qualifications before actively trading as a self-employed bookkeeper. She has now completed Level 2 (A1, A2, A3), Level 3 (M4, M5, M6, M7, M8, and Costing and Budgeting), and Level 4 (Self Assessment Tax, Financial Statements, and Corporation Tax). Elizabeth has also completed the Diploma in Payroll Management qualification, earning her the prestigious designatory letters MICB PM.Dip. “I cannot believe how much I have been able to learn in such a short time,” she said.

“I always do all the mocks available, including the Training Link mocks and both ICB mocks. I think the more questions you do the better.”

She is now excited about her future career as a bookkeeper and feels that it will fit into her life perfectly. Elizabeth explained: “I am confident that I will enjoy the work and that there is work available. After studying, my next challenge is finding it!”

‘Bottesford Bookkeeping’ is live! You can check out the Bottesford Bookkeeping site and contact Elizabeth here.