Ade Omosanya FICB is the 2018 Luca Award winner of Employed Bookkeeper of the Year

He is a Finance Manager at Celerity and also runs his own bookkeeping practice, AO Accountants Ltd. Adeolu has been an ICB member since 2016 and passed his Level II, III and IV examinations and the Self-Assessment Tax qualification in 16 months. We caught up with Ade to learn how much of his employed work includes bookkeeping and why he thinks bookkeeping is the fundamental basis of the finance industry.

What made you decide to take ICB’s bookkeeping examinations?

I studied accounting at college and university but found that when I graduated, I was missing the underpinning knowledge of accounting. I wanted to improve my knowledge and looked online for bookkeeping courses and came across ICB’s website. After talking to Training Link, I decided to embark on a course to complete the Level II, III and IV qualifications. This was an eye-opener, as ACCA’s qualifications focus more on the technical side of accounting (e.g. auditing), but not bookkeeping. Without ICB, I would have finished my ACCA qualifications but without the basic knowledge I would need within my day-to-day employed work.

How did you pace yourself during your studies?

What I learned quite early on is that it is not all about the hours you spend studying – you can spend 10 hours sitting in one place but that doesn’t mean that you have actually retained the knowledge. I think it’s a good idea to study in blocks and take regular breaks. I am also an artist and draw in black ink, so that is one way I used to unwind.

How much of your day-to-day employed work is basic bookkeeping?

I started at Celerity as an Accounts Assistant and at the time, I would say that 60% of my job was bookkeeping. Following my promotion to a Finance Manager, I am now able to delegate my work and so the percentage of bookkeeping I do now has dropped to 30%. Now, more of my time is dedicated to the technical side of finance, including looking at profitability, recognising revenue, management accounts and liaison of auditors.

How do you juggle your employed and self-employed work? What keeps you motivated?

 With regards to my self-employed work, not everybody has a head for finance, and they need to trust their bookkeeper to interpret their data. I liked being relied upon and it’s nice to know that having knowledge that comes from my ICB qualifications adds value to my clients’ businesses. I like building relationships with my clients, but I would also say that it’s key to build confidence in yourself, which is why I’m glad I studied with ICB as the qualifications are so practical. My long-term goal is to be able to do my self-employed work on the weekends and in the evenings after my employed work.

Ade hopes to attend this year’s Bookkeepers Summit and Luca Awards, which are taking place on 25 and 26 November at the Radisson Blu Edwardian in Heathrow. You can find more details and book your tickets here.