In this photo, left to right: Fabian Hamilton, Labour MP for Leeds North East, the IAB Honorary President, Ruth Lowbridge, Executive Chair of SFEDI, Laura Howard, IAB Mentor of the Year Award winner, and Janet Jack, the chair of the IAB Council.
Earlier this month, Laura Howard, from Long Buckby, in Northamptonshire, won the International Association of Bookkeepers (IAB) "Small Business Mentor of the year 2012" Award at the IAB Awards Ceremony at the House of Commons. It was awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution as a volunteer business mentor over the past year.
Said Laura, "Helping people who run small businesses to get started and develop their new career is what I love doing. When they get good results, it’s amazingly pleasing."
"Bookkeeping is really not that difficult but getting it right is so essential for a business. With a little help, it should all become clear. Having someone by your side is very important."
"This award is fantastic, it's the highlight of my career to date. Throughout this great experience I have learned that anything is possible with hard work and the will to share your knowledge and help others. I have been very lucky and priviledged to have great mentors in my life and now is my turn to put in practice my mentoring skills."
Laura completed the Get Mentoring course in April to develop her mentoring skills even further. She attended a Get Mentoring workshop in Birmingham and couldn't recommend it highly enough, she says:
"The training course is fantastic, very well explained and easy to follow. I have learned the difference between advising and mentoring and the course taught me about body language, about being a good listener and giving constructive feedback to the mentee. I feel that I have learned how to be a good mentor and how not to be a bad mentor.
I absolutely loved the course".
"My latest mentee is a lady in the village where I live. Currently she is developing a plan to promote her business. I gave her a task when we met a few days ago and we are going to meet in 2 weeks time to discuss further".
When asked about the importance of bookkeeping for businesses, Malcolm Trotter, the IAB’s chief executive, said: "So many small companies which have succeeded in getting customers, go bust simply because they ran out of cash, we want to help everyone in business to avoid that happening either by giving them the right skills to make money work for them or by pointing them to one of our highly qualified members. Either way, the UK can get out of recession and into prosperity more quickly when we succeed in doing this."
Find out more about Laura here: Laura Howard Bookkeeping Services