Panayiota Koshias was 2015 winner of the New Practitioner of the Year award at the British Accountancy Awards. Panayiota is the Senior Accountant/Accounts Team Manager at Nordens. She started her career as a junior with a local firm of accountants and after gaining valuable experience moved to Nordens where she has achieved great success.
Panayiota is a member of Britain’s Future Board, an initiative that Michael Page and Page Personnel are running to give award winning high achieving professionals a platform to tackle industry issues, share insight and inspire the next generation. Panayiota and her fellow Board members will share advice and news on the Michael Page and Page Personnel websites throughout 2016.
Please tell us about your career to date
After leaving university with joint honours in accounts and marketing I decided that as much as I love marketing, I felt accounting was a better fit for me. A friend recommended me to a local firm of accountants and after a very quick interview I started there as a junior the following week. I would help with basic bookkeeping, personal tax and VAT returns and help out on the occasional audit too. In 2010 it was time to move on and I met with Mark (Nordens) for a very informal but very inspiring interview where he explained his vision. By the time I had got back home from the interview I had a call from the recruiter to offer me the job and I have been here ever since. It was the best decision I have made and I have been able to progress from a junior to a client manager very quickly.
I was looking after 100 of our clients within the first year I started which was something I struggled with initially as there was a lot of responsibility on my shoulders. However, I got through the tough bits by learning how to prioritise work and build on client relationships which really felt like I was helping them along in their own dreams.
With the success of the firm, the number of clients I looked after grew and grew, so we needed juniors to come in to help with the workload of the client managers – four of us to start with. This meant that we needed to train new juniors, set targets and review their work.
I am now one of two accounts team managers who between us, control and manage the accounting department. I currently have seven employees on my team and look after over 500 clients.
What are your career highlights?
Becoming a client manager, gaining 100 clients within a year of joining Nordens, passing my final exams in June 2013, managing my accounts team and winning practitioner of the year in November 2015.
What initially attracted you to accounting?
I was first introduced to profit and loss and balance sheets from the time of my A-levels and I liked that you were either right or wrong with no in between. Upon going into university I wasn't sure what career path I wanted to go down which is why I chose a joint honours degree. I realised although I loved Marketing, with accounting you can get involved with clients businesses and assist them in changing their business and personal lives for the better, which is really fulfilling. I am very proud of my career and the things I have learned along the way.
What career ambitions are you still to achieve?
To help my team to grow and achieve because the more they achieve the better satisfaction and the more I grow with them.
If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
I don't really know but I always wanted to be an actress growing up and my fiancé would probably call me a drama queen so I guess that would be a good fit!
Meet the other members of Britain’s Future Board.