Date posted: 04/03/2022

Using your CA skills to start a successful side hustle

Emily Genoese, co-founder of All For Her Gifts and Provisional CA, shares how her accounting skills have set the foundation for a unique and thriving side hustle.

Like many Melbournians during the 2020 lockdown, Emily Genoese and her business partner Kiara Clemente found themselves with some free time and a desire to help others in need. 

All over the city, social lives and connections had been heavily affected by tight restrictions. 

Seeing the impact this had on the people around them, Emily and Kiara set to work on a way they could make people smile and maybe even make some extra money along the way.  

The pair started All For Her Gifts, a small business offering ready-made and personalised gift boxes that could be delivered to people stuck in lockdown.

“We were in extremely high demand since you couldn’t visit people for their birthdays, or even drop in on a friend.” explains Emily. 

“We had a lot of boxes go out saying ‘Thinking of you’ and ‘Hope you're doing okay’ and it felt really good that we were facilitating those acts of support within the community.” 

In addition to all the goodwill, All For Her Gifts generated $100,000 in a year, a fantastic and rewarding achievement for the young entrepreneurs. 

As an accounting student working towards her CA designation, Emily found her studies and work experience at an accounting firm gave her the confidence and the business intelligence to transform All For Her Gifts from just an idea, to a fully formed and thriving business.

“My background in accounting definitely made it easier as I had a strong understanding of skills like forecasting, cash management and determination of risk, which are all really important for getting a business up and running,” Emily explained. 

“Things like registering for GST and applying for an ABN (Australian Business Number) are second nature to me as it’s what I do day to day. Whereas someone who doesn't have that background might not even know where to begin.”

Emily also credits the CA Program in helping her navigate some of the day-to-day challenges and considerations of running a profitable business. 

“The CA Program has benefited me in a lot of ways because reading all the theory-based content in components such as the tax module, educates you on extremely important touch points like GST, income tax, and depreciation,” she said. 

So, what’s next for All For Her Gifts now that lockdowns are beginning to lift? Emily’s already looking at how the business can keep evolving and adapting to customers' needs.

“Staying relevant and being agile and flexible is something that’s really important to us,” she says. 

 “In the next couple of months, we’ll focus on our customer data and look at what we have to do to stay relevant. This means staying on an e-commerce platform for the next couple of months and looking at what necessary shifts are needed.”

For Emily, running the business has also helped with her accounting work and studies. It has allowed for a better understanding of clients and business owners and fostered a sense of empowerment and self confidence in her budding career. 

Running a business really helps with accounting because when I'm dealing with business owners, I can understand what they're going through. It's a different level of connection
Emily said. 

“It creates more self-confidence, educates you on the process and allows you to gain confidence in your decisions and abilities.” 

We think you'll agree, the future looks bright for this young difference maker. 

Want to hear more about leadership and success? 

Check out this article:  The future leader’s toolkit: Five habits you need to succeed 

Read more