Kent-based female entrepreneur Joanne Bell, Founder and Director of Bells Accountants, has been publicly recognised for her ground-breaking accountancy and business services by winning the ‘Business Woman of the Year 2019’ award at the Kent Women in Business Awards.
Joanne, age 32, beat off formidable competition from other female entrepreneurs across the county to take the award in the 5+ years in role category, and was also a finalist in two other business categories; ‘Leadership & Management’ and ‘Growth’. The black-tie awards ceremony was held at the Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel, attended by over 200 guests.
Joanne started Bells Accountants ten years ago, initially as a bookkeeping business, and has nurtured her company to its current size through a mix of organic growth and the acquisition of local accountancy firms. She is now the sole Director of its three accountancy practices in Chislehurst and Bexley, Kent and Kenley, Surrey. Bells Accountants has grown to a current turnover in excess of one million pounds per annum, with over 1,500 clients across Kent, Surrey, London and beyond.
Joanne has striven tirelessly to differentiate her business from traditional accountancy firms by offering a simple, personalised service. She uses her excellent communication skills to unravel financial jargon for clients, to help them to understand their business numbers, enabling them to be profitable and to stay in control of their finances. Bells’s dedicated 28 staff benefit from flexible working practices to help them to deliver excellent client service, balancing their professional responsibilities with their lives outside of work.
Joanne is delighted to have received this award at a relatively young age: “I want to be an example to all, particularly young women, of what can be achieved through hard work, determination, and a clear vision and strategy” she says.
With a considerable business journey accomplished to date, Joanne is brimming with ambition for the future, setting her sights on further expansion including accountancy firm acquisitions. She is aiming to make Bells the first female sole director firm in the top 100 UK accountancy practices.
“Through my own experience of setting up and growing business from scratch, I have a wealth of knowledge, skills, contacts and a passion for progress, which I am eager to share with clients, colleagues and all those in my network“ she reflects.
The award win has already had a measurable impact on Bells Accountants’s business: “Our volume of new enquiries has increased substantially following the win“, says Joanne. “I am committed to continuing to provide a fantastic service to our clients, completely above and beyond what they would normally expect from an accountant” she adds.