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Case Study: Charlotte's Story
Date: Jun 23, 2022
We were contacted by a successful business owner whose company had grown over the last 4 years. They initially contacted Troy Accounting two years before they became a client of ours but why didn’t they join as a client immediately??
In the first meeting with Troy Accounting the business owner, let’s call her, Charlotte, disclosed to us that she had been using a friend to help her complete her bookkeeping. This had worked so far as the business was still quite small.
She was lucky as her friend was a qualified accountant, but they were fitting in helping Charlotte’s business around their own full-time job which did limit the amount of time they could spend on the work. The work was mainly data entry only for the bookkeeping activities due to the restricted time available.
This meant that as a small business that was now starting to gain pace and grow rapidly Charlotte did not have any external support. She was not only trying to juggle the many tasks to just run the business and survive the growth path but doing all of this with restricted financial information upon which to make the business decisions.
Luckily Charlotte had some personal funds which she could invest in her business to help it grow. She took a tactical decision to purchase a property which was then converted to the correct set-up for her business. The business decision was made without any finance plans in place or any review of any personal tax impacts in the current time frame but more importantly no future personal tax plans.
The property purchase has worked out extremely well as it is allowing the business to grow into the space that is readily available. Charlotte has also learnt a lot from the property conversion and now has the confidence to manage the conversion if she purchased a second property.
But it could have been so different.
Why are we telling this story if Charlotte initially turned down Troy Accounting before coming back to us and signing up to every service that we advised that she needed to run her business with clarity on the finances to allow her to make good business decisions and have total visibility?
Because it is so common for business owners to be so busy with the business that they don’t have the time to invest in the business, but the business desperately needs them to.
Accountancy can be quite a traditional set up where you may only speak to the accountant each quarter if they complete the business’ VAT return, but it could even be every year if you’re juggling your own bookkeeping.
Business owners get to a point when their business is growing that they don’t have a moment to think about anything but survive. They wait and hope for a moment of calm when they can sort everything out but that rarely comes. Sometimes this means that they choose a more traditional accountancy firm, who can be brilliant, but they may not be the right fit for a business on a growth trajectory. The decision is quick, and the regulatory needs are met but the business is not supported, and this is when things can start to fall apart.
It is only when a business owner feels that something needs to change as they just can’t carry on as they are that their perspective changes and they are open to working with accountants like Troy Accounting, where it is a partnership and where it is important that business owners/directors give up some of their time to work with us.
The benefits of doing this, as our clients have said are:
- I get to sleep at night again and I’m not constantly worrying about the business
- I know exactly which direction the business is taking as I’ve worked through all the possibilities and have been able to choose the one that fits the lifestyle that I want to live
- I can now read and understand my business finances and make better business decisions
- I actually have time back to myself as I know that Troy Accounting are taking care of the day-to-day finance tasks and I can call on them with any questions
- The regular time spent with Troy Accounting away from the business (at least 3-hours every quarter) just talking about my aspirations for the business and in my personal life has allowed me to start taking actions towards achieving these
- I would be lost without Troy Accounting and wish I’d made the move to them sooner
It is really tough as a business owner to think about giving up any of your time when you are exhausted from just running the business. It’s difficult to get your brain around how that could possibly help you when you’ll have to go back to all the tasks not yet completed.
With Charlotte, we have helped her by:
- Taking on the responsibility of all day-to-day finance tasks other than uploading the business expenses which her deputy now helps with
- Managing the staff payroll and all related payroll and HR questions. If we don’t know we have experts that we can ask in our trusted network
- Preparing the quarterly VAT return and making sure that Charlotte understands the tax to pay before the deadline
- Updating the cloud-based finance system for the prior two years as the previous accountants used their own system to prepare the accounts but didn’t update the business’ finances with the adjustments (this is the most common thing that we see in a business and means you don’t have all the correct figures on which to base business decisions, or you purely make them on whether you have the cash available)
- Completing an initial review of the business year end position two months after the financial year end so we can provide a list of any further information required and can finalise the work and the corporation tax bill months ahead of the HMRC deadline
- Introducing quarterly meetings at a location away from the business for Charlotte and Troy Accounting to discuss the business and her personal plans
- What’s working and not working in the day to day and what needs to change? We both have responsibilities we need to meet
- Where does Charlotte need us to hold her more accountable so we can help her achieve the business plans?
- What are her primary personal finance goals and how can we start to work towards these and make the business work for her?
- How is the business performing currently and what money can Charlotte take from the business?
- To tackle this list, which is only a sample of all the work we have completed for Charlotte, will feel like a mountain to climb for most business owners.
If you could have all the above for just three hours a month for the bookkeeping activities and an extra three hours every quarter to plan your future, wouldn’t you jump at the chance?
We can change your business and the way you run your business and put things on the right track because we do this with every client, every day. We’re experts in this as this is what we’ve done in large corporate businesses and start-up businesses throughout our careers. We don’t know how to not solve a business problem – it’s in our DNA to make things better for business owners.
We can do the same for you and your business. Give us three hours a month and we can help turn your business around. It’s worth the investment of your time and money. We can give you your life back. So why wouldn’t you?!