As we look to celebrate Mother's Day this Sunday, Joel Fraser, accounting technician at Fraser+ Accountants, gives an insight into what it's like to work with your Mum.
“Mum has been working for herself as a chartered accountant since we were little, basically for as long as I can remember. When we were young it was great as she was always able to be around when we needed her. After leaving school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do career wise and started studying at the University of Glasgow but after a while I found it wasn’t for me and decided to call it quits.
“Three years ago Mum and I were talking and we discussed the possibility of me studying to become a chartered accountant, with the aim ultimately to take over her business when she retired. So, we started the ball rolling, changed the company name to ‘Fraser+ Accountants’ and I joined in September 2014. I have been studying at AAT to become an accounting technician, alongside working with mum in the office in Perth three days a week.
“On the whole working with Mum has been good. Maybe a bit weird and unusual at first, but I think now we’ve found a good balance. It helps that we don’t live together. I live in Glasgow and commute in to do my days of work in Perth, whilst she lives in Perth (with her sheep called Marmite). The biggest advantage of working with Mum is how well we know each other – Mum can play to my strengths, whilst trying to improve my weaknesses. There are disadvantages through – I know all her annoying mannerisms, such as her habit of never finishing sentences, not listening to me if she’s reading an email and licking yoghurt lids!!
“We do row on occasion; mostly this is to do with treating each other like family instead of having a working relationship. I guess this is always the challenge with family members working alongside each other! We have a pretty easy relationship and working together hasn’t changed this; it just means we talk about work outside the office sometimes. To be honest, I think it all depends on the character of the person, as to whether family members can work together or not. I couldn’t work with other members of my family, but Mum is fine. We’ve also just taken on another staff member, which helps the dynamics in the office and perhaps helps to ease any tension we might have.
“We’ve achieved a lot together over the last year or so. Being a finalist in the QuickBooks’ 2016 Firm of the Future competition was a definite highlight. Having her speak alongside the likes of Dragon’s Den entrepreneur James Caan at a QuickBooks event earlier this month was an occasion neither of us are likely to forget in a hurry! I was really proud of her, particularly as I knew how nervous she was. Mum is a really hard worker, and I admire this quality in her and everything she’s achieved. I’m going to make sure she doesn’t work this Sunday on Mother’s Day however and my sister and I will probably take her out for dinner, with work mobile phones firmly switched off!”