A Day in the Life of… Aaron Dowling

In the first of our new monthly “day in the life” series, we spend the day with one of our members to find out what a typical day for them entails.

Name and job role: Aaron Dowling MAAT AATQB, Accounts at Accounting and General

I get up at…

I’m a creature of habit during the working week. My morning routine consists of eating breakfast, ironing my work clothes and making my lunch for the day. This all happens with the news on television; I like to know what’s going on in the Brexit… I mean the world! I’ll then kiss my wife and baby goodbye before getting in the car for the short but unpredictable commute to work.

The first thing I do when I get to the office is…

Once I get to the office, the first thing I do is to check the emails that have come in from clients overnight. There will often be something that requires attention straight away (a query regarding payroll perhaps). I’ll then run through the list of things to do with our Accounts Assistant and prioritise the jobs for each of us during that day.

My responsibilities are…

We are a small firm that aims our services at business owners, so as a result I am involved in a broad range of services that we provide; bookkeeping, production of financial accounts and tax returns for sole traders, partnerships and companies, as well as payroll that we run on behalf of clients.

I’ve been working here for…

I have been at Accounting and General for just over three years now. I completed my AAT Level 2 just before leaving the Royal Navy which had been the career I had initially set out on for four and a half years.

I was struggling to make any progress applying online for jobs online because of my lack of experience. I ended up knocking on the doors of local firms with my CV, trying to find any kind of position that was going.

Eventually, I was lucky enough to knock on the door of a firm I had researched beforehand and had a chat with the boss at the door. Although there wasn’t a position available at the time, two weeks later he emailed me with a proposition to have me work a couple of days a month. This worked quite well with a flexible job I had at a coffee shop. Over the next few months, the accountancy work grew into a couple of days a week and then eventually a full-time position.

I’m qualified in…

AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting (Level 4), and I’m an AAT member.

A typical day in the office is…

Working on year-end accounts and tax returns, assisting our accounts assistant with bookkeeping queries. Occasionally I may need to drive out to see a client for training on our cloud-based accounting system, Liberty Accounts. There are a lot of emails and calls back and forth with queries. 

My most memorable work moment is…

Bring your pet to work day; it’s not on the calendar this year!

The best part of my job is…

The interaction with our clients and seeing them and their businesses grow. With Making Tax Digital, training our clients to move onto our cloud-based accounting system, Liberty Accounts, has become a big part of what we do.

I really enjoy helping them make the step from the old ways to the new. It’s a rewarding experience once they’re running their bookkeeping and getting more value from what was an administrative burden before. I go home happy when I know we’ve provided a quality service for everyone we work with.

The worst part of my job is…

The on-hold music when phoning HMRC.

When I’m not at work…

We had our first baby six months ago, so rock climbing has been put on hold. We now enjoy walking on the weekends and spending time in the lovely town of Brixham as a family.

I’m the treasurer for my local Chamber of Commerce in Brixham. The aim of the Chamber is to represent our 110 member businesses in the public forum as well as promoting the town. We’re currently running a marketing campaign on Facebook to promote the town to Christmas shoppers.

As treasurer, my job is to oversee the financial affairs of the chamber, to attend our monthly Executive Meetings and also our quarterly Open Meetings. It will also be my job to present the Chamber’s finances at our Annual General Meeting in February, where we also host a debate which is open to everyone. Last year the topic was Brexit and this year the topic will be climate change, no boxing gloves required!

If I wasn’t in this job I’d be an…

Airline pilot; think Tom Hanks as Sully.

For more inspirational career content:

Sophie Cross is a freelance writer and marketer specialising in business and travel. She is the editor for London Revealed magazine and her clients include lastminute.com Group and Merlin Entertainments.

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