Accountancy and tax advisory consultancy in Caterham - meeting Chantal Baker
PUBLISHED: 11:42 22 July 2015 | UPDATED: 11:42 22 July 2015
In the first of a new series, where we will meet some of Surrey's top business people, this month we catch up with mother-of-three Chantal Baker, who runs her own accountancy and tax advisory consultancy in Caterham.
• Name: Chantal Baker
• Town you live in: Caterham
• Role in business: Co-founder and director
• Name of business: Champ Consultants
• Address: 34 Westway, Caterham, Surrey CR3 5TP
• Tel no: 01883 349300
• E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Website: www.champconsultants.co.uk
Tell us about yourself
I trained as an accountant in The City in accounts, tax and audit and then moved into Mayfair to become a tax specialist. I started my own business in 1999 when I wanted to start a family. I am married and have three boys (aged 14, 12 & 10). I speak fluent French and understand Italian and Maltese. I started my business from home and we are now located in our office in Caterham, having outgrown offices in Warlingham.
What makes you good at your job?
I know that I am able to explain to non-financial people tax and accounting matters in plain English. I am a good listener and so am able to understand my client’s needs and their specific requirements. I am a very organised person and am happy to delegate to my supportive team. I am very good at saving my clients tax and so usually have happy clients.
Are there any particular challenges you have faced on the way?
Accountancy is a very male dominated industry and I found it interesting at times running my own business as a woman up against these strong male characters. I started the business as a new mum and then went on to complete my family while still growing the business; this was a huge challenge but thankfully I had a supportive husband and family around me.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
I was once told by a former employer that “cash is king”. A quote that I like and try to follow is “spend most of your time looking forward”.
Are there any entrepreneurs you particularly admire?
I feel that I am constantly learning from my clients.
How do you manage to get the work/life balance right?
Having 3 children, I always like to drop off and pick up at school as well as trying to go to all home matches. This enables me to support my children in what they do. I also ensure that I have a good team around me.
What do you most enjoy about doing business in Surrey?
I feel that there is a fantastic community spirit and I love the fact that I live only 5 minutes away from the office. The access to London (by train) and the world (from Gatwick) means I never have to spend hours getting anywhere.