In 2008, Burn & Company were moving their offices and changing their business to a Limited Company. During this important transition period for the business, they became concerned at the level of service, responsiveness and quality of accountancy advice they were receiving from their current accountant. They were aware that the transition to a Limited Company would involve the accounts being made public at Companies House and so were keen to take stock to ensure the accounts were in order.
Mark Burn from Burn & Company had been a regular attendee at the Business Builder Forum events run by Hunter Gee Holroyd since 2006. As a result, Mark Grewer, Nigel Atkinson and the client had built up a strong relationship over a number of years, resulting in Hunter Gee Holroyd being high on the client’s list of Accountancy firms to consider. Hunter Gee Holroyd were appointed as Burn & Company’s accountant in June 2011.
The first Accounts for the Limited Company were prepared by the previous Accountant and the Corporation Tax Return was prepared and submitted to H M Revenue & Customs prior to Hunter Gee Holroyd commencing to act for the business.
When Hunter Gee Holroyd took over the Burn & Company Account and prepared the Accounts for the year ended 31st October 2011, it became apparent to them that there were a number of significant errors contained both within the previous year’s accounts and in the associated Corporation Tax computations and Return form. The most significant error related to an incorrect treatment in work in progress. The other main error was an incorrect calculation on the capital allowance claim. There were other small errors which meant that the taxable profit was overstated by the previous Accountant by £282,021 and the Corporation Tax liability by £61,727.
Hunter Gee Holroyd contacted H M Revenue & Customs and submitted amended Corporation Tax computations. After correspondence and communication with H M Revenue & Customs, they initially issued a tax repayment to the business and then two months later opened an enquiry into the amended Corporation Tax Return form.
The enquiry into the Return not only covered the areas which had been discovered but a more detailed analysis of various items in the Profit & Loss Account. This led to protracted correspondence with H M Revenue & Customs, Burn & Company and the previous Agent to obtain information to respond to the various queries raised. The work involved a more detailed review of the nominal ledgers and treatment of expenditure by the previous Accountant. The correspondence with H M Revenue & Customs continued for an eight month period and this led to various adjustments both in the favour of H M Revenue & Customs and in favour of Burn & Company.
This led to a small reduction in the tax repayment of just £957. Hunter Gee Holroyd managed, however, to argue that a large part of the adjustments related to capital expenditure and whilst there was a small reduction in the tax repayment this would be recouped over future years because of the enhanced capital allowance claim.
One of the key improvements which the client noted when working with Hunter Gee Holroyd was better communication and service. There was also a high level of proactivity in discussing and advising on the accounts which Burn & Company had not experienced before. The unexpected repayment of Corporation Tax early into the business relationship greatly assisted the cash flow of the business.
Nigel Atkinson was also assistive during the recession. He helped to advise the bank on cash flow balances, and issues with clients lengthening payment deadlines. During the recession Burn & Company suffered a reduction in work, in particular from the conveyancing sector. Burn & Company particularly appreciated the communication with the bank which was backed up by Nigel and Hunter Gee Holroyd.
From Mark Burn’s perspective working in professional services is about building relationships with people and building trust over time. He values the importance of an accountancy firm really taking the time to understand the company to be able to provide them with as much information as possible to drive the business. The understanding and the value of the business is something Mark considers to be at the core of the relationship with Hunter Gee Holroyd.
Mark commented that he was apprehensive at the start of the process after being badly let down by the previous accountant. However, this is where the value of the relationship that had been established and developed through the Business Builder Events was important, as Mark was keen to ensure that the move to a different accountant would be the correct move and one with longevity.
Moving forward, working together has been a collaborative affair which has brought feelings of relief, positivity, trust and reassurance to the client. Overall, Burn & Company has grown and they have recently relocated their branch office to bigger and better premises in Easingwold. They have enjoyed modest growth although fee income has been volatile.
Burn & Company values the quality advice and support provided by Hunter Gee Holroyd including the benefits of a strong relationship where no query is ever too small.
Mark Burn believes that the key to the success of the relationship is down to the importance that is dedicated to personal service. The security and safety net of good quality independent advice mean that Burn & Company have a high level of reassurance with their accountancy services, something they once could only have dreamed about.