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Alumni feature: Kim Mawer, Chartered Accountant

14 March 2022  |  Jill Lundberg  |  Posted in: ,

During National Apprenticeship Week we were delighted to reconnect with Kim Mawer, alumna, who is a Chartered Account with Walter Dawson & Son. Kim started her career as a chef, in 1999, but changed her path in 2007 to move into the world of finance. Kim tells us about her somewhat unconventional route to becoming an accountant and the wide range of skills, qualifications and experience she has developed along the way.


I completed my GCSEs at Richmond School but decided not to do A-levels, I’d had enough of classroom learning at that point so took up the opportunity to start a modern apprenticeship as a chef at The CB Inn. The course at Darlington College was a Level 2 NVQ in Catering & Hospitality where I attended one day per week and worked the rest.

I then went on to complete a HND in Hospitality Management which broadened the scope and my skill set, including event management, marketing, and business management.

By this time I was a qualified chef but was also assisting in the running of the CB and getting involved in the office side of business. It was a great place to develop my skills as a chef, with a varied and challenging menu working with high-quality ingredients and also to learn the ropes of running a business.

Figures had always been my strong point, so I started a Level 3 AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) course one day a week at Skipton College and then Level 4 to gain full membership.

I broadened my business acumen by co-owning Sam’s Coffee Shop in Leyburn for three years, at the same time as being at the CB. This not only gave me more hands-on experience of business management but also heightened my organisation and time-management skills, as there was never a moment to spare!

In 2007, I made the decision to pursue a career in accountancy and changed jobs to work at the Leyburn branch of Walter Dawson, working on accounts preparation and bookkeeping. In January 2010, I started the ACCA course (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) by distance learning, completing this in September 2014 to gain membership. I subsequently completed the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales) pathway to membership route to become a Chartered Accountant.

I have worked up the ladder at Walter Dawson to have my own client portfolio. I was promoted again to take over the management of our Northallerton office when Walter Dawson acquired this in March 2019.

Whilst I really enjoyed working in the hospitality business and loved cooking and creating delicious recipes, my interest in figures and business was something that I realised I wanted to pursue.

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