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19th June 2024
Annemarie Vernege's Journey: From Diverse Career Paths to Bookkeeping Success Annemarie Vernege shares her journey back to her passion for accounting and her acquisition of a bookkeeping practice licence through her study with Ideal Schools. She discusses her strategies for setting up her practice. This post also covers the benefits and challenges of home study and self-employment.
Annemarie Vernege's journey to becoming a successful bookkeeper is a testament to perseverance, passion, and the power of lifelong learning. As a mother of three — two girls and a boy aged 21, 19, and 17 – Annemarie has navigated various career paths, always finding her way back to her true passion: accounting.

A Diverse Career Path

Annemarie's career is as diverse as it is inspiring. She is a qualified dental nurse, has run a Jamaican takeaway and restaurant in St. Lucia, managed a grocery store, worked in special needs administration, and even dabbled in childminding. Despite these varied roles, her love for accounting has always been a constant.

Living in Catford, South-East London, Annemarie appreciates the green surroundings after having lived in different parts of the city. Her journey in accounting began over 20 years ago when she completed Levels 2, 3, and 4 with AAT. However, it wasn’t until later that she discovered her true calling: bookkeeping. This realisation came while working in a practice where she found joy in the detailed aspects of accounting, such as sales, purchases, and credit control.

Returning to Her Passion

After returning from St. Lucia and working in a special needs admin role, Annemarie decided it was time to reignite her passion for accounting. Although she didn’t want to become an accountant, she discovered bookkeeping as a perfect fit. Each career step had equipped her with invaluable skills, ultimately leading her to this realisation.

Diagnosed with a health issue in 2016, Annemarie needed a career that offered flexibility. She wanted to work for herself, choose her own hours, and select her clients. This autonomy was crucial for managing her health and balancing her responsibilities. She chose to study with Ideal Schools, which she describes as a pivotal decision in her career development. 

"Ideal Schools has been one of the best things that’s happened to me in terms of forging my career and getting to where I want to be. Honestly, hand on heart," she shares.

Building Her Bookkeeping Practice

Annemarie became an ICB member in March 2024 and acquired her Practice Licence in May 2024. During her studies with Ideal Schools, she meticulously planned her bookkeeping practice. She researched online, listened to other bookkeepers, and made detailed notes, ensuring every step was carefully considered and documented.

Her hard work paid off. Annemarie launched her website, AV Premier Bookkeeping Services, and secured her first client, a boutique hotel in Blackpool. She emphasizes the importance of planning and advises aspiring bookkeepers to write down their steps and prioritize them.

Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Community

Throughout her studies, Annemarie faced several challenges, including balancing her coursework with caring for her partner undergoing cancer treatment. Ideal Schools provided the understanding and support she needed during these tough times. Despite the hurdles, she eventually completed her final exams, achieving her best exam grades and feeling a profound sense of accomplishment.

Annemarie's journey underscores the importance of community. As well as being part of the Ideal Schools learning and professional community, she also highlights the value of joining professional organisations like the ICB, attending branch meetings, and collaborating with peers. These connections provide support, inspiration, and opportunities for professional growth.

Words of Wisdom

To those considering a career in bookkeeping, Annemarie offers this advice: "If you want it, go for it. You will need to put in the effort and be self-motivated. If you want to work flexibly and work your own hours, it’s absolutely worth it." She encourages making a realistic plan, revising it as needed, and staying committed to your goals.

Annemarie's story is one of resilience, adaptability, and unwavering optimism. Despite living with fibromyalgia, she maintains a positive outlook, viewing her walking sticks as accessories that complement her vibrant spirit.

In conclusion, Annemarie's journey with Ideal Schools is a powerful example of how determination and the right support can lead to personal and professional fulfilment. Her story should inspire others to pursue their dreams, no matter the challenges they face.