Having recently attending a networking event and being placed on the same table as another local accountancy practice it made me think of the varying types of practices available. Yes, you have the Big 4; KPMG, Deloitte Touche Tahmatsu, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young who have built up many years of experience and trust; you have the medium sized “local” firms and you have the smaller companies, from one or two employees and sole traders.
What makes all the smaller practices differ? Essentially it is the Practice Principals who set the scene for trading methods and customer service. It is a common saying in the networking fraternity that “people do business with people” and I for one agree. Take the practice that I shared a networking table with; having been fortunate enough to present my two minutes blurb after the other person; it struck me how different we are as practices. It was said that they were a “family” run practice with a few unrelated employees and that they offer the same traditional services as any other practice:
- they will complete your VAT return – by the deadline
- they will produce your employees payslips – by the deadline
- they will complete your annual accounts – by the deadline
- they will complete your business and personal tax returns – by the deadline
And I believed every word that was said. They have a good reputation for meeting the deadlines and conforming to the stereo typical accountants. What also struck me was that they appeared so “in a box” that they all wore a uniform (there were a few people from the same practice dotted around). I tried to draw the person on my table about what makes them stand out and their response also appeared to come from “in a box”………… “we do company accounts by the required deadline”.
Is this enough for SMEs in this market? I have believed for many years that accountants should be as individual as the business’ who use them. It has been said that as a company you should think “outside of the box” to be ahead of the market and for once I agree. As individual as a client is, your service should meet their needs, they shouldn’t fit their business around your practices.
At SeaMount Business Services you get one of the principals as a client manager and they build a relationship with you and your business, they will immerse themselves in your trading methods so that they can understand your needs. Which means that when they are putting your numbers together they know where you have been and where you want to go. Yes, they will meet all the deadlines that are required but you will also get your accounts on a quarterly basis so you can start to keep track of the possible business and personal tax liabilities well before HMRC get to know. That way you can plan some inward investment before your year-end and therefore make some efficient tax savings.
And more than anything, they don’t fit “in a box”, they help you and your business consider things “outside of the box” and they most certainly don’t wear a uniform.
If you want an accountant that is as “out of the box” as your and your business are; contact us here for more information.