Catherine’s business experience
Catherine is a qualified tax professional and advises businesses from sole traders right through to large corporate companies on how to maximise tax efficiency, at the same time as remaining compliant. Having qualified and spent 12 years’ in a Big 4 firm, she initially worked in expatriate taxation, before diversifying, including a stint working in New York. She has a wealth of experience in some of the more complex areas of personal and employment tax, including share plans and dealing with HMRC investigations. She has dealt with a range of clients from individuals and start-ups, through to multi-million pound international businesses. Now, as an Owner and Director of Blue Peak, Catherine focusses on helping smaller businesses to flourish and has a passion for supporting new businesses through their start-up phase. She runs a number of free seminars to help support local businesses and her clients. Although only three years’ old, Blue Peak already has a number of accolades, including Thames Valley Accountancy Firm of the Year for 2020.
Five questions, five answers…
What has been your most pivotal moment in business?
For me, it was leaving a very well-paid corporate job and starting up my own business (with my business partner). It taught me a few key things: that at heart I am entrepreneurial, the importance of a strong network and how crucial it is to develop the right culture in your organisation when hiring a team.
If you could send a text to yourself the day you started out in business what would it say?
“Keep doing the right thing” – all business owners will have days where they question what they are doing and we were no different. Our ethos throughout those early days was that if we kept doing the right thing for our clients, we would succeed…
Who has been your biggest inspiration and why?
I’ve been asked this question many times. When I was going for a leadership position in my previous role, it dawned on me that we are all different, so we need to look to different people for inspiration in certain areas that work for us. So for me, they include Richard Branson, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, my previous boss and my first headteacher. These have brought me inspiration in resilience, vision, humility and leadership strengths.
What book should all business owners read?
The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters. For me it was a lightbulb-moment-kind-of-a-
What is your favourite quote?
“Aim for the moon and if you miss you’ll be among the stars” (or dancing related it would be “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did … but backwards and in heels”!)