Why I would be an effective mentor

  • Chartered accountant and farmer’s daughter Heather runs her own rural business as a sole trader – ‘in the evenings, weekends and every spare minute I have!’   Alongside this, she works as a partner for a registered firm of local accountants. A busy single mum to two small children, she also breeds and shows a small flock of pedigree Ryeland sheep.    
  • Having worked and specialised in accounting for 17 years, progressing to her current partner role, she has acquired a vast amount of business management and financial experience, advising small start-up businesses as well as larger well-established clients.  She prides herself on having good communication skills in Welsh and English.  “I listen, learn, understand their objectives and then provide the business solutions or guidance they need in a succinct and clear way.” 
  • She will encourage you to get organised and examine your situation from different perspectives.  She encourages learning and personal development by both asking questions and welcoming them in return.
  • Heather appreciates the pressures of running your own business, especially the need to juggle family and work. She’s up to speed on the farming calendar and is a stickler for deadlines – both her own and her clients’! 
  • Extremely computer-literate and always focused on outcomes, Heather is equally happy meeting clients around the kitchen table with a pen and paper.

Current farm business

  • Alongside running her own retail website and role as partner for a firm of local accountants, Heather is also a ‘hands on’ sheep farmer. She currently keeps around 20 pedigree Ryeland ewes at her eight-acre smallholding and is a past winner of ‘best native breed animal’ at Oswestry show with her pedigree ram.

Qualifications/achievements/ experience 

  • ACCA chartered accountant with over five years’ post qualification experience
  • 17 years working for mixed business/agri accountancy, learning the ropes from grass roots level to her current role as partner. 
  • Specialist in tax planning, VAT, agricultural taxes and Payroll
  • Experience of many different accountancy/book-keeping software packages

Top tips for business success

“It always pays to plan ahead so write down your thoughts and then revisit them before you take action.”
“Always seek advice from industry specialists or chat things through with your peers – their experience could be invaluable.”