If at first you don’t succeed….

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awards300Steve Collings tells us how his faith in his own abilities ensured he got his first book published, and as a result, how it feels to work on the editorial board of one of the world’s largest publishing houses.

It takes a certain kind of person to persevere in getting what they strongly feel is an important book to be published, that they’ve spent long hours writing, whilst co-directing a successful business, liaising with clients and mentoring employees on a daily basis, travelling around the country advising authoritative bodies and training both young and experienced minds on the same important topic; how to understand and achieve high standards in your field of work.

Steve Collings is an award winning accountant and Audit & Technical Partner at Sale based independent firm of chartered certified accountants, Leavitt Walmsley Associates Ltd. Not yet 40 years of age, Steve has achieved a great deal during his career so far, and his passion for attaining such high standards in his work drives his determination for teaching others how to strive for the same.

In particular, Steve has a real knack for understanding and subsequently communicating in layman’s terms International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and it was the conversion of the most recent amendments to these standards that he, and many of his industry peers, felt was so necessary to get published, so Steve wrote his first book The Core Aspects of International Financial Reporting Standards and International Accounting Standards. But unfortunately, with no agent or first-hand knowledge of where to start, the book was rejected by over ten specialist publishers, even after going down the self-publishing route.

However, Steve believed there was potential that a book of this nature needed to be published so he persevered with it until eventually he got a deal. In the autumn of 2010 Steve was finally approached by one of the world’s largest publishers John Wiley & Sons (Wiley), to write The Interpretation and Application of International Standards on Auditing. “Seeing my book on the accounting shelves of the major bookstores was euphoric!” Steve comments. “When I was told the sales figures after the first three months, I was so glad that I trusted my instincts to keep going until my words were printed on those published pages.”

Since that epic moment in Steve’s life, he has gone on to author a further four books, including two books for the world-famous For Dummies series, also printed by Wiley. The publisher has recently recruited Steve as one of two UK representatives on their editorial board for a forthcoming IFRS website which will be a worldwide IFRS resource including primary materials, news, articles and forums, with representatives from over 25 countries contributing content to what is expected to become a leading online resource for accounting professionals.

Stephen Mullaly, executive commissioning editor at Wiley, refers to Steve as “…not only one of our key authors, but also a renowned expert in the IFRS field…”

Steve’s writing success was a key reason for the judges at the inaugural British Accountancy Awards recognising Steve as 2011’s Accounting Technician of the Year, commenting “Not only did Steve excel above and beyond the call of duty in his day job, but he’s also managed to write highly successful books. He is clearly a dedicated man who worked tirelessly to raise the standards and professionalism of his part of the industry.”

On asking him what advice he would give to any budding authors out there, struggling to get their work published, a very humble Steve Collings concludes “Believe in your abilities and never, ever accept that something is impossible if you don’t think it is. I had faith in my work and I feel in life you make your own destiny. It is such an honour to be working with such a prestigious publisher but I’ve now been known to turn book deals down if I do not consider the idea to be commercial.”


Category: Books

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