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The CEM Team


Clare (Director of CEM)

Clare MannalClare has 20 plus years of experience since graduating from the University of Huddersfield with a Hospitality Management Degree; first in accounts departments in various restaurants across London including Planet Hollywood, Belgo and the Royal Opera House; second in teaching finance to Degree level students while also managing the Higher Education department for a Central London college (during which time she also gained her Teaching Qualification and a Masters with Distinction in Hospitality Business Management). In January 2014 Clare began her ICB qualifications and gained her Practice Licence in the Summer of the same year. In November 2014 Clare won the ICB Luca Award for Student of the Year 2014, having completed all her bookkeeping qualifications in under 6 months. CEM was established in July 2014 and has been growing ever since.

Clare loves nothing more than a great spreadsheet, Xero and a new finance app. Her current motto is 'if you're repeating it, automate it...' In her spare time she volunteers as a Business Advisor for Young Enterprise, sings in the local Choral Society (and is Treasurer!), loves gardening, cooking for her friends and has two ginger moggies called Orlando and Jemima. Orlando rather fancies himself as the IT Manager!


Alex Hughes (Administrator)

Alex HughesAlex spent the first part of her career in Banking in a High Street Bank on a Management Trainee programme and then working for a Financial Institution as a Foreign Exchange Dealer, Corporate Sale Executive and a Money Markets Dealer. 15 years later and Alex was working for a Data Provider as a Sales Executive in the City of London. 3 years after starting a family (she has two girls) she took a career break, but in true “Alex” style, 3 months later, she began working for a local Bespoke Furniture Manufacturer as their Administration Manager, ensuring that they had processes and procedures that ran smoothly covering Sales, Marketing, HRM, Health & Safety, CRM, Finance… the list is endless. Amongst all this Alex took a Degree in Professional and Business Administration at Kingston University, completing it in 2007.

Alex has recently taken the brave step of going full time with her Administration Business and as part of this work, supports CEM and the team doing what she loves - ensuring that the company’s administration runs smoothly and ensuring that Clare can focus on the passion of her business, the numbers. So, you will hear from Alex from time to time regarding any administration housekeeping, so that CEM has all their ducks in a row.

When Alex isn't keeping others' business on the straight and narrow, she is juggling home life with her hubby, 2 Daughters, caring for her elderly parents and making time for her hobbies of keeping fit via Swimming and Pilates and Choir. Alex used to be a Campanologist, loves Italian food and Prosecco; her favourite colour is purple / lilac and she is frequently heard saying 'everything happens for a reason'.

Kimberley Piombini (Bookkeeper)


Kimberley started her working life completing a 4-year BSc Nursing degree and working as a Nurse in Oxford. Before long she recognised the need for something different – a job that required logic, problem solving, a maths minded head… and computers! Kimberley then started her real career life in Banking IT as an Analyst Programmer before moving on to the retail world and becoming Retail Systems Manager for Dunhill Ltd. In these roles she was very much involved in problem solving, client support, learning new technologies, being logical and resourceful and managing projects. After 9 years of working she had a career break to have two children.

Over the last 3 years Kimberley has completed her ICB Advanced Bookkeeping qualifications and achieved the status of certified & licenced bookkeeper in 2018. Having met Clare through local ICB meetings and getting to know each other over several months, it was with great enthusiasm that Kimberley joined the CEM Team in February 2019. Kimberley really enjoys supporting clients, problem solving, and working with numbers. She embraces new technologies, spreadsheets and appreciates processes that promote good practice.

If she gets any spare time between work and children she loves the simple things – a large jigsaw, a good book, some trashy tv, a nice glass of wine…. Or alternatively a crazy, fast, looping rollercoaster!

Joanne Downs (Bookkeeper)


Joanne’s career started in high street fashion before moving into various different sectors to include the construction industry, insurance fraud investigations, car auctions and graphic design. 17 years later these very different sectors have given Joanne a wealth of knowledge and experience, all focusing around managing systems, procedures and people, all requiring excellent communication skills.

Taking a break from full-time work to have a family, Joanne continued to work in part-time roles, during this time Joanne realised she was enjoying the accounting side of business more and more. Making the numbers balance was exciting stuff and she was hooked!

Inspired, Joanne decided to study bookkeeping, so whilst juggling part-time jobs and being a full-time mum to two very energetic young boys, she managed to achieve her ICB Advanced Bookkeeping and SAT qualifications in 2018.

Joanne joined the CEM team, as a certified and licensed bookkeeper, in February 2019 and is very proud to be part of Clare’s vision for the future.

Outside of her love of ‘all things bookkeeping’ Joanne is a keen football fan. She has an interest in fashion and interior design. She also loves to read, travel and enjoys the odd cheeky glass of wine.

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