A certified accountant with a head for books
When we think of a hard-working accountant, we might think of someone with their head constantly buried in the books. That sums up Heather Gerrie, accounts manager at north-east firm James Milne.
By day, Heather spends her time looking over her client’s books while at night, it’s books of a different kind that exercises her mind. For Heather is such an avid reader she devours them, reading as many as a hundred a year.
“It’s my way of relaxing,” said Heather, who has been with the firm for fourteen years, “I love reading and have always been a fast reader, as soon as I finish one book I can’t wait to start another.
“I read all sorts, mainly fiction, but my favourite genre would probably be crime thrillers. I enjoy the escapism and it’s a wonderful way to unwind after a busy day at the office.”
Heather works out of James Milne’s Inverurie office and has been an important member of the team for many years. “I joined the firm in 2003, which was at the time Cassie and Co prior to its acquisition by James Milne in 2008.
“Many of my colleagues are still here from the early days and it certainly helps working with a team that you’ve got to know and understand over the years.
“It’s the same with clients, many have been with us for years. We have come to understand so much about their business that I feel we are very much part of their organisation.”
Heather is now a fellow of the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), a global body for professional accountants, having demonstrated her long-term commitment to professionalism and ethics as well as knowledge and ongoing professional development.
For anyone starting out in the profession, Heather has one word of advice: balance. “A healthy work-life balance is essential in what can be a demanding line of work. Being able to relax keeps your mind sharp and focused on the attention to detail that accounts preparation demands.”
Perhaps then it’s the meticulous care applied to the minute details of accountancy that has given Heather a passion for crime thrillers.
The world of accountancy has moved on since Heather’s early days with the firm. “The impact of the digital revolution is transforming the way we do business,” said Heather. “It’s something we are well aware of at James Milne and have invested time and money keeping on top of software developments, not just for the business but for the benefit of our clients.
“We are well placed to advise clients on the most effective digital solutions available and how they can help streamline accounts procedures, keeping financial information organised and in a format, that enables easy access and retrieval of information.”
Heather’s story and that of the accountancy profession continues with the latest chapter in digital transformation.
James Milne serves both personal and business clients across a diverse range of industries, from the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire staples of oil and gas and agriculture through to retail, hospitality, fishing, haulage, trades, construction and many more.
With offices in Aberdeen, Inverurie and Banchory, the firm is led by four experienced partners as part of a team of 30 specialists.