Bookkeeping Boss

A Chat with Best Kept Books

Bookkeeping Boss Louisa shares her inspirational story, and advice for new bookkeepers...
Sean QuinnPosted on Thursday, August 18th 2022

In this installment of our Bookkeeping Bosses series, we're chatting to bookkeeper and money management expert Louisa about her career journey, charging your worth and finding that elusive work-life balance.

What did your journey into bookkeeping look like, and what motivated you to enter the profession?

I started my bookkeeping journey after the birth of my first son. I had worked in banking for 5 to 6 years and suddenly realised that was all I knew, so I decided to go to evening college to study as a Bookkeeper. I moved from the bank to be a full time PA, whilst still studying. My son was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 18 months old and as a single mum at the time, I struggled working and keeping up with the appointments.

I applied for a part time secretarial job within an Accountants which I was offered and then moved to the bookkeeping department within 8 months. After the birth of my second son, I went on sabbatical leave to care for my eldest after he had a major spinal operation to help him walk unaided. During COVID-19 I was made redundant from the Accountants, giving me the push to set up my own bookkeeping business; this was as a sole trader but recently I went Ltd as Best Kept Books and Consultancy Ltd.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far in your business?

The biggest challenge has been knowing the best way to market my business but over the last year I have been doing 4 courses, learning about technology, marketing and ways to scale and grow.

What do you love most about your job?

For me, having children and being married - it’s all about my work life balance. This was something I was not offered in the Accountants and it is the main reason I went self employed. I can now take my eldest son to his disability appointments without feeling guilty.

I also really enjoy helping business owners get in control of their books, helping them grow and reach their business goals. I also offer business consultancy where we look at your processes, systems and make suggestions to streamline processes and cut costs.

Which digital tools do you use in your business that you couldn't live without?

I love Xero, I am certified and a partner. I personally feel it’s the most user friendly programme (that I have found so far). I also use Sage but prefer Xero over this.

I recently discovered Dext precision and this has been a game changer. Soon I will be looking at a paid for Auto entry software and management system.

If you had to choose one - Xero, Sage or Quickbooks?

Xero - no question about it!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given by another bookkeeper or someone in the industry?

Not to undersell your services. Bookkeepers often undervalue or undercharge themselves due to the lack of confidence in thinking businesses will pay the fees. At the end of the day, us Bookkeepers are a vital part of a business, we know the figures, create forecasts and budgets helping business owners make good, correct and suitable decisions. We also help to look at areas that are not working so well and can help put processes in place to make improvements. We do all of the leg work, keeping everything compliant and in check - it’s time to start charging our worth!

When you’re not bookkeeping, what do you love doing?

I am also a money management coach, showing others how to manage their personal finances. I cover mindset and how you can reduce household bills and start saving. This could be at the beginning of your budgeting journey, learning how to get in control of your finances, or later in your journey saving for a mortgage or looking to invest and grow your money. This is something I love doing and will be launching a course in the New Year to help more people. I aim to cut the gap between education and budgeting knowledge by going into schools, colleges and universities offering budgeting presentations to the students.

I also love the beach. You can often find me with my family, covered in sand and ice cream, relaxing at the beach over the weekend.

If you could travel back in time, what would you tell yourself when you were first starting out?

To not listen to those who told me I didn’t know what I was doing, push back, have confidence and believe in myself.

Would you rather fight one hundred duck-sized horses, or one horse-sized duck?

Well personally, I’d rather not fight either so I would try to get away. However, if I had no choice then one horse-sized duck but I can imagine it would not bode well for me haha!

Who are your biggest role models - in both your work and personal life?

In my work life Lisa Johnson has become a role model, she is a massively successful business woman and runs everything with so much integrity - we need more of this in the industry. I also look up to fellow bookkeeping entrepreneurs who I have connected with over the last year and are always more than happy to offer help and advice when needed.

In my personal life, my sister. A wife and mother to 4 children, she has been studying teaching with the Open University and absolutely smashing it. She now has a teaching job and honestly, I don’t know how she manages it all - she is simply amazing and has helped, encouraged and supported me the entire way! Without my sister and my husband’s support, I honestly don’t think I’d have believed in myself to set my business up in the beginning and I am so grateful for their support as I absolutely love what I do now.

How can people reach out to work with you?

If you wish to talk to me about bookkeeping you can email me at, or find me on Facebook as Best Kept Books & Consultancy Ltd.

For Money Management, you can email me at or on Facebook as Managing My Money.

I'm also on LinkedIn (Louisa Willcox) and Instagram (@louisawillcoxcoach).

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