Harriet Formby MA ACA
ICAEW Chartered Accountant (ACA) , 7 years PQE
PRINCE2® Foundation Certificate in Project Management
Lean Six Sigma, IASSC Certified Yellow Belt
Scrum Master Certified
Distinction: MA Strategic Business & Management, Bath Business School
First Class: BA (Hons) Business & Management, Bath Business School
Level 7 Certification in Executive Coaching & Mentoring, Institute of Leadership Management (ongoing)
Level 5 Award in Management Coaching & Mentoring, Chartered Management Institute
Guest Speaker at the Cambridge Annual Medico-Legal Conference 2013.
Journal article ‘The impact of the Jackson reforms on medicolegal evidence’, Journal of Observational Pain Medicine, Vol 1, No. 3 2014.
Runner Up ‘NACUE’ Student Apprentice Final
Founding President of Enterprise Society.
Financial empowerment to shake things up, bring light to the world, and change the game!
To equip creators & purposeful founders with the financial knowhow & expertise to scale their vision with profits, purpose, healthy cashflows & good vibes!
Curious & Flexible
Always Learning & Growing
Conscious & Collaborative
I aim to make finance feel super approachable and friendly! But you should know I bring also wealth of experience to the table.
With a track record of success as a Chartered Accountant (ACA), CFO and Business Transformation Lead. I am ICAEW qualified, and have a deep understanding and practical expertise in change management, which I have demonstrated through academic publications and speaking engagements in business strategy at Post Graduate level.
I have hands-on experience in providing financial support and advice to growing creative and tech startups, having helped them to develop growth plans, build scalable finance functions, and secure funding.
In addition, I have experience in finance transformation and technical international accounting, having led projects for Fortune 500 companies and private equity-backed groups. And in the M&A space, I have experience through FD roles of integrating acquired businesses into international multinationals. With certifications in Prince 2, Lean Six Sigma, and Agile, I bring both financial and operational knowledge to small businesses.
In 2020, after a successful corporate career, I returned to working with small(er) business owners and creative entrepreneurs to create more meaningful impact. I am particularly passionate about helping creative and neurodiverse founders overcome the unique challenges they face in managing finances and building profitable ventures.
That’s why I’ve made it my mission to help business owners grow confident with, navigate, and thrive with their numbers.
As a Member of the Association of Business Mentors, currently undertaking ILM Level 7 Executive Coaching & Mentoring, I am committed to supporting you to develop your business skills and achieve your full potential.
With a focus on delivering accessible and affordable finance expertise, I am dedicated to supporting ambitious startups, scale-ups, and established businesses. As an outsourced or fractional CFO and mentor to in-house FDs, I provide a personal and relatable service through my Below The Line Finance™ offering.
I am committed to educating creative entrepreneurs on numbers, which is why I developed Get Number Savvy™, a finance training initiative that empowers business owners to confidently manage their finances through online courses and masterclasses.
My signature offering, Mini CFO™, is a unique all-in-one subscription-based solution that combines CFO expertise and accountancy compliance. With everything you need to keep your finances in order and grow your business profitably, Mini CFO™ offers both financial peace of mind and the ability to grow into your dreams.
As a Registered Chartered Accountancy Practice regulated by the ICAEW and a Certified Xero Advisor, your numbers are in good hands.
My recent personal goals have been about developing my own 15 acre small holding bordering ancient woodland with a meandering stream running across the boundary. Recently taken out of arable farming to transform with tree and orchard planting (over 3,000 native trees), introduction of rare breed poultry, Dartmoor ponies, a homebred foal and a haven for rehabilitating and training ex-racehorses. There is quite the herd of horses now … and a very small flock of pet sheep (who think they are dogs).
Despite all the chaos and farm related jobs… this is my WHY! And of course serves as my reminder to be kind to nature, get plenty of fresh air and work in a sustainable way – as I have a little remote office space based here.
A dog walk or ride around the site, listening to bird song and watching the wild deer grazing with Red Kites souring overhead – helps solves many problems… clears the mind and is a favoured way to facilitate thinking and decision making.
One down side of all the outside time is you might catch me talking often of (read complaining about) the weather and the long winters! But the wrath of the English winters is usually worth it for the flexibly and life style.
Here’s a little flavour of Spring at the Meadow.
Also, a surprising insight I suppose is I have never had any interest in maths…
I was always far more interested in the arts, creating ,writing, imagining the stories of the past and the possibilities of the future.
In fact it still surprises me, that I am a Chartered Accountant sometimes!
As it was only when I was a University student and taking an interest in entrepreneurship that I discovered an interesting link that accounting could be useful beyond the necessary filings and taxes. Seriously who knew?
I was so taken with the idea of entrepreneurship at that point, I founded a student enterprise society, had success in a student version of the Apprentice, and got involved in all kinds of grass-roots small business and not for profit networking and initiatives. I started doing a bit of business consulting along with an environmental internship alongside my official learning and working.
Oh and ask me about the time I, and my co-founder, spontaneously pitched to the Vice Chancellor for money to build a radical new global student movement, if we’re ever talking about pitching for finance because that was an interesting endeavour! That ultimately got a little seed funding.
Anyway it was at this time that I discovered the ‘numbers stuff’, wasn’t just some boring school necessity with no real point to it. (I actually quite vocally felt most of my prior education was pointless until I found and loved my degree course experience.)
Until I realised that I could use finance skills to help some amazing, creative founders and business owners to innovate, build their dreams and scale ventures that created positive world-changing impact. Suddenly it seemed worth the effort of the Chartered Accountancy route to pursue this and help more!
I got through the intensity of the exams by immersing myself in really interesting finance work on the more creative, purposeful, forward-looking aspects of accounting and finance, by partnering with some really cool start-ups raising funds and doing epic things. I am sure that if I had been on an accountancy training contract in a big firm doing what I was told in something like audit… I probably wouldn’t have lasted a week! So it was a lucky alignment and opportunity for which I am grateful.
I tell this story so you know that my main interest in finance is not in getting excited about a new tax rule or technical accounting point. My passion is in how I can use my finance skills and expertise to help more purposeful business owners succeed. Because when your ideas can flourish, the world is a better, fairer, more equitable, enriched and beautiful place. And that’s also what drives me to innovate and get creative in my own business offering.
I will come back here to fill in a few more insights soon (like the reason for the main business name Below The Line Finance) – but feel free to ask me anything else if we’re chatting soon!
I offer a complimentary introductory call to explore working together. This is a chance for you to find out more, ask questions and get to know each other – with no pressure.
You can book straight into my diary at a time convenient to you.
And by completing the pre call questionnaire, when we talk I will be up to speed and ready to help so that it’s a really useful session for you.