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As I see it: Jessica Pillow

Jessica Pillow, managing director of Pillow May Accountants, is celebrating her firm’s 10th anniversary by supporting Cambodian charity Free to Shine.

I WANTED TO BE A MATHS or science teacher but when I applied to do a PGCE in maths after my ACA training I didn’t get accepted. They clearly knew something I didn’t as I would have been a useless teacher; I have no patience.

I LOOKED FOR A CAREER that used maths, which was always my strongest subject. My parents were both micro business owners so I wanted to specialise in that.

DURING MY FIRST YEAR of training at Deloitte the manager and trainee in charge of medical practices left suddenly. The partner called me and a junior manager into the office and asked us to take over as my mum was a GP. I’d already been employed as an agricultural specialist as my dad’s a farmer!

THERE ARE HUGE opportunities now for small practices with cloud accounting, which allows them to offer flexible working very easily, especially now most businesses have been pushed over to cloud software with MTD. The big challenge is finding team members but cloud accounting also helps with this as you can look worldwide for talent – my accounts manager works from New Zealand.

IT’S OUR 10TH ANNIVERSARY this year and I was looking for a way to celebrate in an inspiring way for my team and clients. The first 10 years of the business were about giving working mums a career in accountancy so we wanted to give back to women in the developing world. Free to Shine is about getting rural Cambodian girls into school rather than brothels. We made a target to raise funds to put a girl through school for the whole of her school life (13 years). We visited Free to Shine in Cambodia in June.

THE NEXT 10 YEARS will be spent helping to develop careers in accountancy for working mums in Cambodia. We will work with Free to Shine to encourage girls into the accountancy profession by demonstrating what a suitable career it is for mums, with the advent of cloud accounting. It’s great to have a strong purpose to work towards

Originally published in Economia on 17 July 2019.