Kathryn Frimond
Kathryn Frimond

The Bookkeeper Q&A: Kathryn Frimond, Your Local Bookkeeper

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Kathryn Frimond explains why she has niched her bookkeeping practice to focus on sustainability.

16th Aug 2021
6 Figure Bookkeeper
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Kathryn runs Your Local Bookkeeper, a bookkeeping practice in Surrey which focusses on supporting purpose-led, ethical, and sustainable businesses with their finances.

What did you do before you set up your bookkeeping practice?

I started my business, Your Local Bookkeeper, three years ago. I used to work in corporate banking in restructuring and recoveries. I left that role that role and decided to retrain as a bookkeeper, but was lured back to the corporate world and eventually started my practice when my son started nursery.

What made you move into bookkeeping?

One of the reasons I set up the business was to work my own hours around my son. My job in recoveries was morally quite difficult for me, calling in debt. So after working with a business coach, I decided to flip this and start working with clients to stop them ever getting into that situation.

Did you always plan on niching?

I started the business as Your Local Bookkeeper planning on finding clients locally, but things have developed and over time I’ve learnt that I need to do something that I really care about.

Did you have reservations about niching?

Yes I did, and I think other bookkeepers will wonder how they can get clients when they’re starting up if they rule clients out. What I think is important to remember is that you can have your ideal client and that gives you focus with your marketing and what you’re striving for, but you can have other clients as well. Your ideal client will attract more of your ideal client and as I’ve started marketing in that sector, more clients have been coming to me. Also clients who aren’t in that sector know that I’m not the right bookkeeper for them, but they will refer me to others. Just because I have a niche, it doesn’t mean I have to only have clients in that space. As long as I don’t take on a client who is an oil baron!

What’s your niche?

I look after purpose lead ethical and sustainable businesses, so businesses who want to make a change to the planet. It’s something I do in my personal life and I want to reflect that in my business.

Does having a niche mean you rule clients out?

I do have clients outside of that niche and they will remain my clients. But now I really feel like I’ve found my tribe. I work with people who have the same interests, ethics and goals. It makes me happy to know that there are people out there who are with me. I truly believe that businesses can make a difference to the planet, and that’s what I want to help people to do.

Regardless of peoples’ sector, if businesses want to make even the smallest difference, I’m happy to work with them and help them.

How does that work in real life?

All my current clients will tell you that I go on about sustainability, challenge them on what they’re buying and ask them whether they’ve thought about their carbon footprint in everything they do. Sustainability is built into everything I do. When I was recently interviewed for The Bookkeepers’ Podcast, I was aware of the carbon footprint of streaming that and ensured I planted a tree to offset the emissions.

Is sustainability built into your marketing strategy?

In my marketing, I focus more on those clients and I talk about the things they’re likely to engage with, but I’d also naturally be doing that anyway. As an example, I bank with Starling, and the main reason I do that is that they don’t invest in fossil fuels. If everyone was to move to a bank or pension provider that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels, we could make a huge difference collectively so I talk about that on Instagram which is my main channel.

What’s working for you right now with marketing?

I started marketing in Facebook groups, in local business groups and on LinkedIn but I wasn’t getting anywhere, clients weren’t picking up on me, and then I made the realisation that I’m lots of sustainability and green, ethical groups anyway, why aren’t I selling myself to them. I joined a networking group in my local area run by somebody in sustainability and he introduced me to a few people and I then found some Facebook groups filled with people within my tribe. I don’t feel I’m really selling to them because they are my people and we’re naturally talking to each other. I’m running some workshops on cash flow and business basics for them and I’m also finding clients on Instagram.

What can bookkeepers and accountants be speaking to their clients about right now if they want to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly?

This is a global issue. Every single business should hopefully be interested in protecting the planet. We’ve just had a pandemic and nobody wants that to happen again, but with the way that humans work and the way we treat the planet, it’s possible. Unless we make a serious change, we’re going to come across these things time and time again, wild fires, floods, pandemics, they all affect businesses, but businesses can make a difference.

Bookkeepers and accountants can help their clients by asking them to consider:

  • How ethical their bank accounts are - top rankers are Co-op, Starling and Triodos
  • Thinking before they send an email or print
  • Encouraging staff to cycle, walk, or lift share to work
  • Turning off tech when they go home
  • Bringing plants to the office to create better air quality
  • Changing lightbulbs for more energy efficient ones
  • Set up recycling stations
  • Ditching water cooler cups and coffee cups
  • Shopping local where possible and ditching Amazon
  • Creating a sustainability plan

You can find out more about Kathryn Frimond at localbookkeeper.co.uk or connect with her on Instagram @your_local_bookkeeper.

Replies (11)

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By Hugo Fair
16th Aug 2021 12:19

Is it really that time of year already? April 1st?
Good luck to Kathryn ... but "people within my tribe" ?!?

Thanks (4)
Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By YourLocalBookkeeper
02nd Sep 2021 09:21

Hi Hugo - just a turn of phrase. The "sustainable" community is really a place where I feel I fit and can make a small difference

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Tornado
By Tornado
16th Aug 2021 17:05

Hello Zoe

I wish you the best with your business, and whilst I am not quite as committed to practical greenness as you, I like your approach to a niche market. Being the best provider of services and support in your chosen market will take you a long way, especially as you really believe in your ethos and your clients will be as enthusiastic about your services as you are.

Personally, I think the biggest threat to Global Warming is the population explosion and the inexorable increase in resource demands of all kinds, from more and more people. Well informed and influential people such as David Attenborough and Chris Packham are not shying away from the facts, but finding a practical solution is possibly the biggest real problem that faces our planet. We hear a lot about what damage cows do to our atmosphere but it is nothing when compared to the damage people do, but who has the right solution?

Good luck with your business Zoe, and stick to your principles as that will ensure your business plan is a success.

Thanks (3)
Replying to Tornado:
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By Hugo Fair
16th Aug 2021 18:29

Kathryn is the person with the niche business; Zoe is the journalist writing about her!

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
Tornado
By Tornado
16th Aug 2021 23:43

Yes indeed.

Concentrating too much on the content and confused the obvious, but the thoughts are still the same.

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Replying to Tornado:
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By YourLocalBookkeeper
02nd Sep 2021 09:29

Thank you for your comments and well wishes.

I totally agree that overpopulation plays a huge part in the climate crisis. It's not un-disputed by scientists that humans have accelerated the changes we now face.
Overpopulation affects everything else. Where do these people live, what do they eat etc - human over consumption and greed is a huge problem.

Quick one on cows - Did you know that the majority of deforestation is create areas to grow crops to feed meat? I'm not sure the exact fact, but if food for human consumption was grown on this land it would feed something like 3 times to world population. The problem isn't eating meat (I am a meat eater) but it is the way in which the meat is raised and the sheer volume we as humans eat that is causing the issue.

If you are interested in learning more, please do follow me on instagram, or I have a few book recommendations I'd be happy to share.

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By Beef curtains
17th Aug 2021 10:22

More total claptrap from another hysterical obsessive. Get it straight, we are NOT all going to die. CO2 does not drive climate temperature, it follows it. CO2 is the primary engine of botanical growth.

As Richard Lindzen, widely acknowledged as the World's foremost climatologist, put it:

"The idea of man made global warming is the worthy successor of Lysenkoism, displaying all the same qualities of quackery, bogus data, political bullying, professional blacklisting, leftist sponsorship, damage to science, and economic thuggery. Something to keep in mind the next time Al Gore flies into some city on his private Gulfstream jet to rail against the rest of us for destroying the planet"; and

" What historians will definitely wonder about in future centuries is how deeply flawed logic, obscured by shrewd and unrelenting propaganda, actually enabled a coalition of powerful special interests to convince nearly everyone in the world that CO2 from human industry was a dangerous, planet-destroying toxin. It will be remembered as the greatest mass delusion in the history of the world - that CO2, crucial to the life of plants, was considered for a time to be a deadly poison"; and.

" Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century's developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age."

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Replying to Beef curtains:
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By Hugo Fair
17th Aug 2021 13:24

I don't personally hold a strident position on either 'side' of the 'warming planet' confrontational opinions espoused by some ... but really ?!?

"Richard Lindzen, widely acknowledged as the World's foremost climatologist" - by whom is he so acknowledged (citing source please ... and I don't care whether that is the FBI or the Flat Earth Society, or points in between)?
Mr. Lindzen has never practiced as (or even claimed to be) a climatologist. He is a retired professor who used to specialise in the dynamics of the middle atmosphere.
So your claim is like saying that a specialist in 'cell division within frog-spawn' is therefore the World's foremost expert in human fertility ... a little overlap but no commonality of expertise (let alone recognition of it).

Oh, and by the way, shock news ... we ARE all going to die (but mostly from other causes because the human body is such a frail vessel prone to debilitation).

Thanks (2)
Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Beef curtains
18th Aug 2021 17:49

Straining to match your proficiency at consulting Google, I found the following:

"Richard S. Lindzen is former Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a position he held from 1983 until his retirement in 2013. [3], [76], [77]

Lindzen’s academic interests lie within the topics of “climate, planetary waves, monsoon meteorology, planetary atmospheres, and hydrodynamic instability,” according to his faculty profile at MIT. [3]"

Perhaps a little more reading, before commenting, might help you. It might also alter your attitude towards so the called climate "crisis".

The remainder of your reply is so puerile as not to justify comment.

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Replying to Beef curtains:
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By Hugo Fair
18th Aug 2021 18:41

So that's what I've been missing all this time ... intelligent discussion.

You're obviously not in listening mode, so it's probably not worth pointing out that "Lindzen's academic interests" does not equate with his academic career and professional skills ... I have interests in many arcane areas without claiming any expertise in them.
More importantly, the areas listed do not add up to 'climatology' in which you claimed him to be the world's foremost expert ... hence my analogy (because yes I had read his MIT bio) about frog-spawn etc. But you seem to find that puerile for some strange reason - which is not my problem.

I somewhat doubt that this dialogue is heading anywhere fruitful, so I wish you well in the fights ahead of you (as I suspect they'll consume a lot of your time).

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Replying to Beef curtains:
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By YourLocalBookkeeper
02nd Sep 2021 09:34

Hi - Thank you for taking time to read and respond.
My understanding is that the IPCC which is a group of recognised climate scientists are now confirmed that "“​​It is unequivocal.” that humans have accelerated the effects of climate change.

Whether you dispute this or not is obviously your choice. I personally believe that if I can create a better, cleaner, and more stable environment for future generations then why wouldn't I try - and if I'm wrong and the climate crisis isn't real, then I haven't lost anything.

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