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How Did I Get Here? Peter Prater, Qtac Solutions

22nd Feb 2005
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Peter Prater
Continuing our How Did I Get Here? series, Peter Prater describes his career from an articled clerk to founding his own business, Qtac Solutions

1. Current job title

Managing Director of Qtac Solutions Ltd

2. Describe your initial training within the profession

Articled Clerk (Trainee Chartered Accountant for those too young to have heard the term) with a small firm in Bath. A very interesting four years, much of it stressful but an excellent grounding for the future. We actually learned to post nominal ledgers, prepare trial balances, and produce accounts without even a calculator let alone a computer.

3. What positions have you held?

On qualifying I moved to Thompson McLintock (later forming part of KPMG) in Bristol, eventually becoming the Senior Manager in the Small Business Department and finally the Senior Manager in charge of Administration for the final period after the merger. The last role was very challenging, doing all the things my FD colleagues in industry were doing - management accounts, computer installations and so on. I then moved on to a small firm as a partner and struggled through the recession of 1990/91. Times were extremely hard - you did not know who was going to go bust next. Many of my friends were hit very hard and lost their businesses and homes. I finally started Qtac in 1994.

4. What advice would you give to someone thinking of entering the profession?

Accountancy was not the first choice for me but when I graduated in 1973 - a year that was, and I believe still is, the highest graduate unemployment on record - 83% did not have jobs to go to. I wanted to be in sales and it took me another 20 years to be doing what I really wanted. My advice is take every opportunity you can, the only way to be in the right place at the right time is to do what it takes to make sure you are there.

5. Is there a significant event you can tell us about which had an impact on your career?

Probably the most significant event was having the idea for the QTAXPro off-line PAYE calculator in 1994 ' the first of its kind.

6. What is your overall view of the finance industry and the people in it?

The Industry has lots of good, solid people who are bound by red tape. This means the majority are no longer able to display any flair, and those that do are treated with great suspicion.

7. Who most inspired you to get where you are today?

W Clement Stone who founded Combined Insurance Company of America with $50 dollars he had borrowed in 1930 to become one of the world's wealthiest men in the seventies. He wrote several quite inspirational books including 'The success system that never fails' focusing on the benefits of a positive mental attitude.

8. What has been your greatest achievement?

Recently we have been granted a Patent for a mailing machine that I invented, watch this space!!

Previous career profiles
All the previous career profiles can also be seen in the special How Did I Get Here? page.

Have you got any useful insights or cautionary tales that could provide useful pointers to aspiring accountants? If you would like to contribute to the 'How Did I Get Here' feature please email our employment correspondent: Dawn-Marie Dart

Career resources
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