Enrol on ICB Level 2 & 3 Combined package and receive L4 Self-Assessment Taxation FREE (excluding exam fee). Enrol for AAT Level 2 & 3 Bookkeeping or Accounting and receive CPD Self Assessment Taxation FREE
Nicky Hagenbeek
Being able to support others who are starting out on their own journeys to becoming bookkeepers is really rewarding.
After 16 years in the corporate world, working in a wide range of industries, I left on maternity leave and haven’t looked back since.

​I spent two precious years looking after my baby son full time. My husband left his full-time job, to start his own company, when our son was born. Not the best timing, but an opportunity not to be missed. I started helping, keeping basic records of his accounts (using spreadsheets), which I would then pass on to my accountant friend to do her magic.

I knew I needed a job to fit around my new life as a mum. Bookkeeping seemed like an obvious choice, so that I could not only do my husband’s books properly, but also hopefully start taking on my own clients.

​My accountant friend suggested the ICB as a route to becoming a qualified bookkeeper. I did some research into courses and course providers and after chatting with Brian at Ideal Schools, I was very excited about starting my journey to becoming a bookkeeper!

I started off in September 2014 just studying in the evenings and then gradually built up my hours when my son started going to preschool a couple of mornings a week. By July 2015 I’d worked my way through Levels II, III and IV, achieving Level IV Certificate in Advanced Bookkeeping. I then applied for my practise licence and started planning my business.

It took a lot of work to set up my business, as there wasn’t as much support and resources available as there are now. It took 6 months to get my first client, which was frustrating at the time, but I was still only able to work on my business part time and it had given me the opportunity to continue with my studies. In December 2015 I completed my Level III Diploma in Completion of Self Assessment Tax Returns.

I continued to take on clients and when the FRS105 course was launched, I signed up straight away and achieved my Level IV Certificate in Preparing and Submitting Final Accounts Under FRS105 in December 2016.

I then moved counties and had to start from scratch again as I was only able to take one client with me. Within a year of moving, I had taken on so many clients that I had too much work! I think a combination of the close business community and my confidence having already been in practice for a while, enabled me to build up my business more easily the second time round. I have since made efficiencies in my business by organising the way I plan and do my work as well as using software such as Taxfiler and Auto Entry. This has enabled me to get my work to a manageable level and to get my work/life balance back.

Having experienced what it is like to go through studying and building up a business, whilst juggling family life, I love the idea of being an Ambassador for Ideal Schools - who provided me with the perfect solution and support to becoming a bookkeeper and successfully running my own business. ​Being able to support others who are starting out on their own journeys to becoming bookkeepers is really rewarding.

How to arrange contact with Nicky

Using the following contact information, provide us with your contact details, preferred time of contact and a brief description of what you'd like to discuss. Nicky will then be in touch as per your request.
0141 248 5200 / 0800 028 1404
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