Carl Elsby – Chartered Accountant (Founding Partner)
My background is not what people expect! I left school (and home) at 16 with 3 ‘O’ levels to my name (I preferred sport to schoolwork at the time) and was lucky enough to get a job. This happened to be at a small firm of accountants and I found that when I understood the value, I could apply myself. I did well at my job and soon earned enough to afford to eat proper meals but I couldn’t afford to have a night out, so I decided to qualify as a Chartered Accountant.
I worked out how I could do this and managed to scrape through all the exams. I actually ended up as the youngest qualified accountant of that generation, at the age of 22. I turned ‘doing just as much as was needed’ into an art form.
Being rebellious by nature, I set up my own Practice as soon as possible (in 1992, at the age of 24), in conjunction with my wife, Clare. I always felt I could do things better so it was time to prove it.
I worked out at an early stage what clients actually wanted, and provided just that! Accountants generally were too ‘stuffy’ in those days to think that the client came first. The client coming first has always been the mantra of Elsby & Co and never more so than today. To ensure that happens in a growing business, I now realise that Staff also have to come first.
Nowadays, I look after a portfolio of clients, but my main role is to find ways of ‘helping’ our clients – this may sound obvious but I don’t think people realise just how much a good accountant can do to help, if they have that mentality. Not only do I spend lots of time coming up with ideas, but I also ensure that all staff are trained and mentored to apply the same principles.
Elsby & Co have some very modern ways of working which ensures that our philosophies can be applied throughout the whole company, and for the foreseeable future, without us becoming too big to care.
My great loves are playing Squash – I’m a Level 2 coach and still represent Northants when I’m not injured, and have ambitions to play for England in my age group. But the most fun you can have is downhill mountain biking – I just absolutely LOVE that!
I am a regular commentator on financial matters having featured in Business Matters, Tax Donut, Midlands Business News and Freshbusinessthinking.com
I have also featured in “Economia“, magazine of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales because of Elsby & Co’s success story in recognition of my personal achievement from humble beginnings and my innovative approach to business. This is a very proud moment and you can read about it here.