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Meet Our Team
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Create Balance is a modern, technologically advanced accountancy and tax practice based just outside of Tunbridge Wells on the Eridge Park Estate. 

All our team are fully qualified to ensure you are delivered an exemplary service.

We very much look forward to working with you. 

Danielle, Jane and the Create Balance Team

Danielle Friend FMAAT - CEO and founder of Create Balance Accountants, Tax and Business Partners
Danielle Friend FMAAT
Director

Danielle's journey in the accountancy sector has been marked by dedication, adaptability, and innovation. Starting as an apprentice in Tunbridge Wells back in 1999, she swiftly gained her AAT qualification, signalling the beginning of her professional career. Her pursuit of excellence led her to London, where she honed her skills as an auditor while pursuing the prestigious Chartered Accountancy qualification. In 2003, Danielle made a significant career move, transitioning to the role of Finance Director at a local food company, where she spent nearly a decade. This experience provided her with invaluable insights into financial management for small businesses having very much experienced the ups and downs. In 2013, seizing an opportunity, Danielle ventured into entrepreneurship by founding Friends Financial. This venture not only offered traditional financial services but also pioneered the outsourced Finance Director service, which have since become commonplace in the business advisory sector. This move highlighted Danielle's forward-thinking approach and ability to innovate. The evolution of Friends Financial into Create Balance in 2021 marked another significant milestone. This transformation was not only a rebranding but also a strategic move to accommodate the growing workload and enhance collaboration by moving into a dedicated office space. Danielle's educational journey has been equally impressive. She started as an AAT qualified professional and is currently on the verge of completing her Chartered Accountancy qualification with ICAEW, further solidifying her expertise and credentials in the field. With over 25 years of experience, Danielle has cultivated a deep understanding of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as not-for-profit organisations. Her approach is characterized by a chameleon-like adaptability, allowing her to seamlessly integrate into her clients' organisations and grasp the unique intricacies of each business she serves. Danielle's commitment to her clients and her ability to understand the individuality of each business she works with underscores her reputation as a trusted advisor and integral member of her client’s team. Her journey stands as a testament to the transformative power of dedication, innovation, and continuous learning in the accountancy sector.

Jane Hodge CTA - Director and tax expert
Jane Hodge CTA ATT (Fellow)
Director

Jane's journey into the world of tax may have been unexpected, but her passion and dedication have made her a highly respected Chartered Tax Adviser with over 25 years of experience. Originally aspiring for a career in the fashion industry, Jane's path took an unexpected turn towards tax, where she found her true calling. Her extensive experience spans across various sectors, including accountancy, law practices, and wealth management, providing her with a comprehensive understanding of private client tax. Specialising in personal tax compliance and advisory matters, as well as Trusts and Estates, Jane plays a crucial role in assisting local solicitors with capital gains, estate, and inheritance tax issues, enriching their practices with her expertise. What sets Jane apart is her unwavering commitment to providing exceptional care and service to her clients. Her down-to-earth approach and willingness to communicate in a clear and understandable manner resonate well with her clients, making her a trusted advisor in navigating complex tax matters. Jane's willingness to go above and beyond for her clients, coupled with her extensive knowledge and practical advice, makes her an invaluable asset to anyone seeking guidance in tax matters. Her journey serves as a testament to the fact that sometimes, the most fulfilling career paths are the ones we least expect.

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Hanna Smith
CPA
Client/Practice Manager

Hanna's journey in the field of accountancy is marked by a rich tapestry of experiences across various industries and international landscapes. Beginning her career in one of the world's top accountancy firms, she quickly established herself as a formidable professional with a wealth of expertise. Having worked internationally across industries such as financial services, retail, and construction, Hanna brings a diverse and expansive knowledge base to Create Balance. As our Practice Manager, she plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of our client services on a day-to-day basis. Hanna's specialty lies in international standards and statutory accounting, reflecting her proficiency in navigating complex regulatory frameworks across different jurisdictions. Her broad understanding of general business principles and strong commercial acumen make her an invaluable asset to our team and our clients. With a keen eye for detail, Hanna has been instrumental in establishing and optimizing internal processes, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness within our organization. Her commitment to excellence and continuous improvement drives our team to deliver exceptional service to our clients. Hanna's academic background further reinforces her expertise, holding a BA in Economics and being a qualified accountant with US credentials. Her combination of academic achievement and practical experience solidifies her position as a trusted advisor and integral member of our team. We consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to have Hanna as a colleague, as her contributions and dedication significantly enrich our team and enhance our ability to serve our clients, for which we are very grateful.

Lisa Lawson FMAAT - Accountant
Lisa Lawson FMAAT
Accountant

Lisa's two decades of experience in the finance sector have equipped her with a wealth of knowledge and expertise. As an AAT qualified professional, she recently achieved affiliated status, highlighting her dedication to continuous learning and professional development. Currently pursuing her ACCA qualification, Lisa demonstrates a steadfast commitment to expanding her skill set and furthering her career in finance. Lisa's dedication to her clients is unparalleled. She goes above and beyond to ensure that each client receives the personalized care and attention they deserve. Her commitment to excellence shines through in every interaction, making her a trusted and reliable advisor to her clients. With a specialisation in bookkeeping, Lisa excels in maintaining accurate financial records and providing invaluable support to her clients on a weekly basis. Her expertise extends to VAT matters, where she serves as our appointed aficionado, offering expert guidance and assistance to clients navigating the complexities of VAT compliance. Lisa's passion for her work, coupled with her exceptional skills and dedication to client service, make her an invaluable member of our team. Her commitment to excellence and unwavering support for her clients are qualities that truly set her apart.

Becky Pay FMAAT - Client Manager
Becky Pay FMAAT
Client Manager

Becky's journey within the realm of accountancy began in 2011 as an apprentice under Danielle's mentorship, and since then, she has flourished into a highly qualified and skilled professional. As our Client Manager, Becky plays a pivotal role in overseeing a diverse portfolio of clients with precision and expertise. Having earned her qualification as an Accounts Technician and recently being awarded affiliated status, Becky's commitment to her career and continuous learning is evident. Her dedication reflects not only her personal growth but also her unwavering commitment to providing top-notch service to our clients. Becky's forte lies in her meticulous approach to accounting procedures. With a keen eye for detail, she ensures that every process is executed flawlessly. Her ability to establish, adhere to, and train others on procedures is instrumental in creating efficient and error-free finance departments for organizations of any size. In addition to her prowess in traditional accounting practices, Becky possesses a specialized skill set in data management. As a certified expert in QuickBooks and Xero, she navigates complex data challenges with ease, ensuring that even the most perplexing issues are resolved seamlessly, minimizing disruptions to our clients' day-to-day operations. Becky's versatility, knowledge, and problem-solving abilities make her an exceptional asset to our team. Her contributions not only enhance the efficiency of our operations but also elevate the level of service we provide to our clients. In an environment of talent and innovation, Becky stands out as a shining example of excellence and dedication.

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