5 accountants defying the stereotypes 

aat comment

Every profession has its associated stereotypes but is there such a thing as “a typical accountant”? We certainly don’t think so.

Accountancy is an exciting and challenging career for everyone as these five AAT members prove.

Edwin Samu 

“I’m a trained British soldier having been deployed on operational tours with the British Army and I’m now an AAT member in practice. I’m always recommending AAT to people, it is such a great opportunity.”

Edwin completed his AAT qualifications in 2004 and then joined the British Army as an Accounts Assistant but also had to train as a soldier. He was posted to Afghanistan in 2010 supporting the 40 Commando Royal Marines with logistics, using bespoke systems to supply millions of pounds worth of materials and equipment. 

In 2012, Edwin made the tough choice to leave the Army with a third child on the way. He did a resettlement programme and worked for a few accounting firms and then moved into industry. He then decided to start his own practice, Edmil Accountants, with the incredible support that the AAT offers with their branch events, templates, resources and CPD and he hasn’t looked back. 

Amanda Lang MAAT 

“You could say I left one set of figures for another when I moved from being a fitness instructor to an accountant. I’ve never worn a suit to work or worked for anyone else and have gained most of my knowledge through experience and AAT.” 

Fitness never left Amanda and she competes at a national level in kettlebell sport holding two UK records and runs a canicross group with her husband and their border collie, Bauer. 

Amanda took up accounting in 2007 when she started helping her mum with her bookkeeping business and then decided to get some finance qualifications. She became a full member in 2014 and is now MAAT and will be FMAAT by the end of the year. She has over 200 clients with her business Maccass and Lang. 

Clare Kaye 

“Being an aerial hoop and pole teacher isn’t that different from being an AAT member. I had to do the training, have the correct qualifications, keep up my CPD and insurance, work hard, be professional representing my studio, the sport and the professional body we study with.”

Clare did home study AAT, fully qualified in 2014 and now runs Clare Kaye Bookkeeping. After she finished spending all her evenings studying AAT, she wanted a way to keep fit that wasn’t going to the gym. She found a little pole fitness place in Salisbury and dragged her friend and sister along. They loved it and five years later they are still going. Two years ago the owner of the studio mentioned in passing that Clare should learn to be an instructor and a year later she was a beginner’s instructor in pole and hoop. 

Libby Walklett 

“I’m hugely into DIY and have now fully refurbished four properties. My most interesting hobby and passion is probably amdram. I’ve played lots of lead roles and am now trying my hand at directing for the first time.” 

Libby completed her AAT qualifications in 2016 at the same time as studying an Open University degree. She then began teaching AAT Levels 2 and 3 after she’d really enjoyed helping three other students on her course and her tutor spotted her potential. She is currently setting up her own practice to enable her to work from home so she can have more choice over her working hours to support her family. She has also recently achieved diplomas in manicure, pedicure, gel polish and a certificate in nail art, which she may turn into a small second business.

Patrick van Aalst FMAAT

“I spend summer weekends camping in fields at bike festivals listening to music and drinking beer and being told that ‘you don’t look like an accountant!’”

Patrick runs his own accounting consultancy as well as another business, The Laundry Company. During the week he is a dedicated accountant, helping his clients with a range of business issues. At the weekend he likes nothing more than real ale, music, and motorbikes with his partner and friends. At the moment he rides a V Max Trike. His passions overlap as he has volunteered as the Director of Finance for the Federation of European Motorcyclist’s Association as well as the National Finance Officer for the Motorcycle Action Group.

Further reading 

Sophie Cross is the Editor of Freelancer Magazine and a freelance writer and marketer at Thoughtfully.

Related articles