Is Your Accountant As Good As They Should Be And How Would You Know If They Weren’t??

Ray Stewart Bookkeeping, Business Leave a Comment

After more than 34 years working as an accountant, it is clearer to me more now than ever that many accountants are letting clients down in spectacular fashion.

Unfortunately, you may never know and you may never find out unless a good friend strongly recommends you have another expert look over your figures and points things out that have gone awry.

I recently took on a new partnership client and they had been using an accountant recommended to them for the last 3 years. When an existing client of mine was talking to them about accountants, tax bills and general service given by expert advisors, a number of alarm bells started to ring in the ears of this partnership.

Why is that?  My client was talking about the presentation of their accounts and how the bank manager clearly understood them when it was time to review the overdraft.  “What’s a balance sheet?” asked the senior partner.  “Our turnover is about the same but why do you pay so little tax in comparison?” asked the junior partner.  Many other questions followed…  “Why won’t our bank manager talk to our accountant and why won’t he give us the backing we are asking for, and need?”,  “Why did our accountant rush around to our homes last January 31st to get us to sign another tax return as she had lost our original ones?”,  “What is filing online?”,  “Does your accountant really speak to you in plain english and actually answer a question immediately in terms you understand?”,  “Can you really call your accountant on his private mobile if you need a quick answer?”.

Once the partners plucked up the courage, and I know it is not something easy for a business owner to face up to, to call me and let me review their last 3 years accounts and tax returns, they quickly realized just how bad things were.

For example, the senior partner had been doing the bookkeeping himself on a number of excel spreadsheets.  The accountant had never explained the dangers of doing this from a defence against the inevitable tax investigation point of view, nor of the massive benefits the business would gain if the books were done properly.  He had a spreadsheet for each heading of expenditure and one for sales. The accountant would just use the total of these and prepare a statement of profit and loss. No balance sheet had ever been prepared, no balancing of the spreadsheets to the bank account had ever been done to make sure all expenditure was in there, no-one was tying up the cash movements.  Cash taken from the “hole-in-the-wall” was ignored, even though the partners used it to put fuel in the coaches, etc….

The accountant had not even asked them about their personal expenses, for instance the drive from their home to the yard which was a 24 mile round trip for each of them, 6 days a week.  They each bought spares and other items for the business from their own drawings and never thought to record it anywhere.  They had never been led through a detailed examination of their business; the records; the potential opportunities for growth; the savings that could be realized.

This story is not just hearsay or made up. It is very real and very recent. Please ring me if you would like the name and address of the business and I will put you in touch with pleasure.

So, what was the result of my doing the most recent year for them?  Tax savings in excess of £10,000 and establishment of a solid bookkeeping system that now lets them track the monthly profit and loss, accurately, and which makes the VAT return a one mouse click event.  We also held detailed discussions about the future of the business and how to stop the senior partner rushing round in ever decreasing circles.  The opportunity to get the extra 2 operator licences for 2 coaches that were taxed, MOT’d but kept in reserve in case of need.  These will soon be active and earning the business money and no longer just sucking it away whilst parked up.  Awareness of how to claim back every penny they spend of their own money on the business and how to claim the government approved mileage rates for using their own cars for business travel.  Generally giving the partners back control of their lives, awareness of how the business is running, and a plan for how the business is to progress.

This brings me to why I am writing to you today.

I am sick and tired of coming across businesses that are simply not getting the service and quality of care from their accountant that they have every right to expect.

The worst cases I have come across tend to be businesses of about the size of yours, as in the coach business I outlined above.  It tends to happen because when you start out, the choice of accountant is generally made by plucking one quickly out the phone book when, at the last moment, you realize the Tax Office needs those tax forms when the ad’s start to appear on the TV around Christmas. Or you speak to another small business owner for a name of their accountant.

Unfortunately, the choice is rarely one made at leisure, more like “can you sort this out for me today? yes – ok” and then no need for change appears necessary until someone, such as an existing client of mine, starts talking to you a couple of years later.

Knowing this, I am writing this to ask you to accept a challenge. A totally FREE and no obligation challenge.

I am offering you the chance to have me, with my 34 years experience, go in-depth into your last set of accounts, tax computations and tax returns.

I promise to give you a full, detailed report, into my findings of tax saving opportunities that I may find, of improvements into your bookkeeping that may be highlighted, of simple suggestions for growth and expansion for your consideration, and any other matters that I feel need bringing to your attention – completely free of charge – within just 3 weeks.

There is no obligation on you at all.  I would just love the chance to prove to you either that your accountant is doing a fantastic job and you are fortunate indeed for having them, or that you should give my report to your accountant and ask them openly why they haven’t done this, suggested that, or cost you more tax than necessary.

I am doing this for FREE because I want as many businesses in the position you are in to make sure they are getting the best quality service possible, and if not, a chance to be made aware of it without it costing any money at all.

Yes, I would welcome you as a client as a result of my review and report, but you have no obligation to me at all.

Once you have read and digested my report you have two options:-

1. Receive the report, act on it, benefit from it – which I sincerely hope you will anyway – but never have any more contact from me and carry on with your existing accountant. Or…..

2. Receive the report and contact me for a one hour chat, either at my home, or in your office, whichever suits you better, and I will gift you another hour completely free, to go into much more depth than my initial report and chat about any aspect of your business that you want.

Whichever option you choose, although I would really love you to choose the meeting option, you still have no obligation what-so-ever to me for my time spent on the report, or the meeting.

You really have nothing to lose, but possible a huge potential of tax savings and growth possibilities to gain by accepting my challenge.

I will do the review myself.  I will not pass your personal information onto another living soul.  It will be just between you and me.

If you would like to take advantage of my challenge, please ring my office as soon as possible on 0800 047 0731.  I will collect the information personally from you at work or at home, or you can bring it round to my home by arrangement, and I will immediately get to work on it.

Let me reiterate.  This is a limited time offer just for you as my research has shown you to be in the demographic that I have experienced is the worst treated by accountants.  It is totally FREE, no obligation of any kind to you, offer.  It will remain totally private between you and me.  If the report shows your accountant is doing a good job, show it to them and give them some praise for doing their best work for you.  If the report shows opportunities that haven’t been spotted by your accountant, show them and ask why they are not giving you the best possible service.

I really look forward to hearing from you shortly.


p.s.  Remember, this gift cannot be offered for long, just over the summer whilst I have a little free time as most clients are on holidays.  So ring me Today on 0800 047 0731.

Ray Stewart
I am a qualified Certified Practising Accountant having passed my final exams way back in 1981. I actually can’t believe that was 37 years ago!! Anyway, I am now in my 60’s and I have been running my own business since May 1983. And before you ask, no, I have never regretted a moment of it! Part of the membership requirements of my professional body now dictate that I spend quite a lot of time on “CPD” - continuing professional education (one of their better ideas) - and over the last two years I decided to study business growth and marketing. I have learnt such a lot and that knowledge has radically changed my old “accountants” approach to business. It has made such a difference to the way I work and operate I feel that I just have to pass on this knowledge. It is simply too powerful to hold back!! - but I will try and do it in simple terms rather than expecting you to spend hours, as I had to, working through the difficult language that trainers seem to use to pass on their concepts. I hope you find the blog a useful resource and interesting place to visit as the months pass. I will do my best to keep up the flow - but if there are any topics you would like me to cover, then please let me know. Ray Stewart
Ray Stewart
Ray Stewart

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