Carrie Stokes Spotlight Accounting

Meet Carrie Stokes - Chartered Accountant

Founder/Director of Spotlight Accounting

Carrie has over 25 years of experience in the accounting industry, focussing on providing specialist business and tax advice to SMEs.

Career History

Carrie was fortunate enough to secure an apprenticeship with BDO in Wolverhampton straight after completing her A-Levels. This opportunity marked the beginning of her professional journey, where she began auditing businesses in and around the black country. She obtained her AAT qualified at the age 19 and had completed her exams by the age of 21.

Top 5 Accountancy Practice Experience

Working for a top 5 accountancy practice opened doors to a multitude of opportunities. Carrie served as Acting Director of Finance for a local chamber of commerce and worked in corporate finance on a large deal within the F1 industry. She also embarked on a secondment to London’s Forensic team, handling high profile cases including quantifying VAT fraud for a truck manufacturer, supporting a case involving a prominent celebrity suing a well-known plc, and collaborating with police to quantify the amount of money laundered in a drug racket case.

Following this, Carrie returned to Shropshire, taking a role in industry managing the finance department for a £10 million turnover financial services group. Not only was she the youngest member, but she was the only female member sitting on the operating board (which was a massive achievement at the time).

She later moved to a Gaming Group that was at the forefront of mobile app development. Her first assignment in this role was the relocation of the finance department from Harlow to Wolverhampton, which entailed recruiting an entirely new team.

Her varied career led Carrie to recognise the unique value she could bring, when merging her corporate level experiences with the needs of smaller, owner managed business. So, in 2006, she founded what is now known as Spotlight Accounting Limited.

Carrie is passionate about helping small businesses grow, understanding the aspirations of entrepreneurs and looking at ways to support them on their growth journey.

Highlights of working with clients include travelling to Cyprus, where she played a pivotal role in assisting a client with the sale of their property business. This involved close collaboration with overseas solicitors and accountants. 

Another significant project saw her assume the role of Director of Finance for a domiciliary care company. Her contributions spanned from implementing board-level reporting mechanisms to working with the owners on the eventual sale to a prominent international group, which also included the incorporation of property portfolios.

Early Adoption of Cloud Accounting Software

Spotlight was one of the early adopters of cloud accounting software, as it revolutionised the way Carrie could work with clients. She is always looking for new ways that automation can optimise efficiency and reduce costs for her clients.

One of Carries remarkable attributes is her tenacity, and her relentless pursuit of attention to detail has led to a £30k tax refund for one client due to a missed R&D claim. In a prior position, she also successfully recovered more than £250K of unpaid debts!

Property Tax Expertise

Her main side hustle is property. Alongside her husband Neil, they are just in the process of finishing their 10th project and have a small portfolio of their own. Her expertise in property tax has led her to appear as an accounting expert on Accounting Web.

Online Mentions

Ask Carrie for Advice

Whilst being the director of Spotlight, Carrie is also active on our Youtube channel. Taking time to answer accounting questions that are a little bit different, making sure you can make the most informed decisions for your business.

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