In the first of our Competex Pro catch ups, we spoke to Amy Fowler about her role at Competex Pro, what led her to a career in Client Liaison and what advice she would have for a contractor looking to use a payroll umbrella company for the first time.

What is your role at Competex Pro and how long have you been employed there?

I have been with Competex Pro since the company launched in 2017. My role is to welcome new and prospective employees, and I guess hold their hand in the early stages of working with us (where it’s needed). Charles (our Director) and I speak with every new employee to make sure Competex Pro is the best fit for them, and that they fully understand how the process works. It’s important to us to get to know our employees well at this early stage, to give each employment relationship the best start possible.

What led you to a career in Client Liaison?

I’ve worked in customer-facing roles since I got my first job (in hospitality) aged 16! I enjoy looking after people and making them feel welcome and at ease.

I’ve met a lot of contractors since joining Competex’s accounting and tax practice in 2011. For a while, a sister company of ours, the Interim Hub, ran workshops with the IMA (Interim Management Association) introducing hundreds of contractors to careers in interim management. I learned a lot about contracting and played my part in helping people make the leap to working for themselves. This led to me taking on the role of Marketing and Client Liaison at Competex, and subsequently Competex Pro, as I had a detailed understanding of how contractors feel at this transitional stage in their careers and what the main concerns are.

What’s one thing that surprised you about working at Competex Pro?

How simple and easy the process of working through an umbrella company actually is. Because IR35 is quite complex, contractors automatically think working through an umbrella will be as well. For the contractor though, it’s a very simple way of working. Once you sign your employment contract, there are a few documents you need to keep on top of – your timesheets and expense forms – but there’s very little admin to do while actually on assignment. All the admin involved with your employment is taken care of by our in-house team.

What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?

Helping hundreds of interim managers get set up and ready to work through the Interim Hub training programs, and the part that I have played (along with our brilliant team) in launching Competex Pro.

What’s your advice to a contractor using a payroll umbrella company for the first time?

As I mentioned above, the process of using a payroll umbrella company is very simple – it’s not much different from being employed by any other company, except that you are working on assignment with an end-client at their premises (or another location) and you secure your own assignments. It’s important to get clarity on the process (start with our downloadable Guide) as soon as you decide this is the route for you. Once you understand the process, working through an umbrella is a breeze.

And finally, tell us a fun fact about you!

I’ve also been a DJ (in a past life!) and I’m a part time yoga teacher alongside my role at Competex Pro.

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