The corporate world often hides its true struggles, but Julie Wilkinson’s story is an extraordinary testament to resilience and success amid adversity. Born in Peterborough to a father working as a BT engineer and a part-time stay-at-home mother, Julie seemed destined for an average life. However, fate had grander plans. Tragedy struck at 14 when Julie lost her cherished mother to a sudden heart attack. Despite a month-long intensive care battle, her mother couldn’t be revived, leaving Julie devastated. Coping with unbearable grief, she embarked on a one-year travel journey at age 18, seeking solace from the loss. Returning at 19, with no real academic studies, she took refuge with her sister (who was living in their family home) and later in shared accommodation. Yet, within the chaos and lack of early stability, a determined spirit lay dormant, ready to unveil an exceptional talent for numbers.
After her travels, Julie worked mainly in Purchase Ledger roles and after being made redundant, she then worked as an assistant underwriter, only to be made redundant again within a few months. Julie eventually came to a crossroads where she had a difficult decision to make. She was offered a trainee mortgage underwriter position and a purchase ledger role at the same time. The underwriter role seemed to have more long-term prospects but as Julie was just embarking on buying her own house at the age of 21, she took the job with the higher salary and went for the purchase ledger role.
Juggling two jobs to pay her initial mortgage, Julie pursued an apprenticeship, swiftly earned an AAT qualification and eventually became a Chartered Management Accountant by the age of 29, an accomplishment rare for someone without a university degree. Her expertise reshaped the company’s mindset. Throughout her time, she encountered bullying from a resentful manager due to her exceptional skills. Seeking new challenges, she transitioned to the 250M retail group, where she swiftly earned five influential promotions in as many years.
Having found success in her entrepreneurial endeavours, particularly in a CV company, Julie realised her passion lay in establishing her own financial business. Drawing from her extensive experience in various finance roles within major corporations, she founded Wilkinson Accounting Solutions, identifying an innovative market gap.
Leading her team, including a global CFO, Julie orchestrated numerous acquisitions, transforming struggling companies into thriving entities. Wilkinson Accounting Solutions, stands tall as a market leader, while Julie is recognized as a top women’s acquisition specialist worldwide. A sought-after public speaker renowned for her talks on acquisition-driven growth, personal development, and transitioning from corporate life to entrepreneurship, her podcast ‘Build & Exit’ features influential M&A and business industry figures, garnering significant engagement and acclaim.