When 24 fingers’ accountant Gem Parekh isn’t number-crunching, she’s number-crunching. Though getting her away from the Excel spreadsheets proved to be a difficult feat, we finally sat down with Gem to talk cleaning, camcorders and why her career choice was easy as Pi.
#1. So, what’s your favourite word?
#2. What gets you up in the morning?
The gym. Yes, I’m that person.
#3. What do you truly, honestly think of social media?
So very complicated.
#4. Kindles or books?
Kindles (confession: I’m not that much of a reader…)
#5. What do you think is the biggest challenge to your industry right now?
Chasing. Chasing for late payments so cash flows don’t suffer as a consequence.
#6. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A film director. My parents bought me a Camcorder for my 21st birthday— I ended up documenting three whole years of university on video.
#7. What led you to your current career?
Children. I wanted to be able to work for myself to allow that leeway to be with my kids. I also live, breathe, eat numbers; I love the intricacy involved in maths and calculations, it’s all too thrilling.
#8. Can you use your favourite word in a sentence?
I love to clean.
#9. Now can you make it rhyme?
I’m a clean machine.
#10. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Simply, follow your dreams.
#11. What’s the best thing anyone’s ever done for you?
My parents allowing me to travel, taking me with them to all sorts of incredible places and letting me see the world.
#12. Tell us, what’s been your ‘career-defining moment’?
The fact that all my clients have been recommended by other people — I feel proud to be a reputable accountant.
#13. If you won a big award of some kind, whom would you thank?
My parents, undoubtedly.
#14. Can you give us a timesaver of the day?
Have everything ready the night before.
#15. Where do you see your industry in 24 months?
More challenging; the government will inevitably introduce more and more changes in accounting practices, which will pose further obstacles to the industry.
#16. Where were you 24 months ago?
Same place, less clients.
#17. What’s an interesting fact about your company?
Since I became self-employed in 2004, I’ve not had to pitch for work. Everything has come by word of mouth!
#18. If you could have a 24-minute Skype chat with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Marilyn Monroe. I’m completely fascinated by her life.
#19. What’s one word you’d want people to describe you with?
#20. Would you mind taking a selfie for us?
Had I known about this before the interview, I probably wouldn’t have agreed to the interview…
#21. What’s your favourite Twitter Handle or social media campaign?
@ScandalABC, my favourite TV show. If you haven’t watched it, you haven’t lived.
#22. What’s one quote that defines your work ethic?
Honesty is key.
#23. What’s been the best part of your day?
It hasn’t happened yet, but the best part of my day will be seeing my kids when they’re back from school. It’s the best part of my day, every day.
#24. Finally, anything to plug?
Do your business accounts need sorting? Fear not, for I am your woman.