Accounting has become an integral part of all types of businesses as the saying goes, “Behind every good businessman, there is a great accountant.” Still, most large accounting firms are built in such a way that they are more attractive to large businesses and the personal touch required by sole traders & partnerships is lacking. Top Choice Accountants (TCA) is bringing in highly committed and motivated people for small to medium size businesses to provide the services specially curtailed for them with the personalized touch they aspire for.
Bridging the Gap: Best Practices for Growth
Robert Carpenter, Chief Executive Director started TCA in 2015, which in Aug 2020 became a limited company. Clearing his CIMA – Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in 1980, and becoming an associate member in May 1981. He has held 4 PAYE positions before 1981, mainly working as the Chief Accountant, ever since he has been at the helm of running Accountancy Practices. It was while working with large firms he observed that sole traders and partnerships were not looked after well, which laid the foundation of TCA and this is what inspires Robert. He says, “I, therefore, continue to strive to be the best practice in delivering value for money services to this group” and also describes the company as a “Professional Accountancy at its highest level, with an emphasis on communication, accuracy & timelines.”
In the UK alone there are more than 5.9 million self-employed workers, who work in a wide spectrum of businesses, trades, and professions, they constitute the target market for TCA. With a highly skilled team of very experienced women mainly working with the latest update of Sage software, they work alongside the client explaining the accountancy results and advising on improvements. TCA provides business plans complete with a cash flow forecast covering the forthcoming coming year, they also help in raising finance from two established lenders. For many clients, management accounts are by far the most important document as this enables information to be audited for future decisions. TCA produces these for clients on a monthly or quarterly basis. Furthermore, they present these accounts in a clear and timely fashion and then take time to interpret the figures alongside the client, so strategic decisions can be made on the performance and accurate information. Their standards are kept at such a high mark that they even give a free initial no-obligation meeting at the client’s premises. In the highly competitive sector of Taxation and Accountancy, several competitors continue to set examples of what can be achieved, which has helped TCA to raise the bar. As Robert shares, “Many still used outdated methods such as insisting on a shop presence, in practice, we have found during shutdowns due to cost, the home office concept works equally as well.” Their expertise in filling accounting and tax returns for sole traders and partnerships to ensure legally minimizable taxable positions is probably their biggest strength and USP.
“We sold our first franchise in August 2021, and there is a 5-year plan in place to sell 34 more in England, Scotland & Wales.”
Story of Success: Franchising the Idea
Initially based out of Devon, TCA has expanded to Doncaster. The company has seen tremendous growth and can see a market with huge potential, they are slowly becoming poised to become game-changers. As a leader, Robert believes that there should be a continuance of a culture that motivates individuals and partnerships to continue to grow by ensuring good management systems with strong terms of business. This has prompted them to award franchises. He says, “We sold our first franchise in August 2021, and there is a 5-year plan in place to sell 34 more in England, Scotland & Wales.” As he points out, the one sure thing in Accounting Profession is that HMRC will always require tax returns. Since the latest pushfor digitalization, the new “Making Tax Digital” has made accounting even more time-consuming. It has further led to an increase in fees by more than 15% on average, which makes it even more prudent to invest in this industry.
TCA provides franchisees with a lower-risk route into self-employment and with Robert’s vast knowledge and experiences any potential franchisee would gain immensely from considerable training, mentoring & team support. Applicants to become a franchisee must be at least part qualified accountants with a plan to finish their examination and they should be well organized with a positive attitude to cope up with the vigor of running their own business. TCA initially provides 3 days of training with Robert and their team of experts which is followed with on-going daily support, timely bulletins on the latest legislation and relevant Government, HMRC, National Insurance and Press releases through Zoom, email & telephone, and advice on how to obtain an average of at least 12 leads per week.
Making a Difference: Testimonials & Feedback
Robert shares, “Our first franchisee is more than happy with her purchase. Bibi already has 10 clients in 4 weeks. We have many very satisfied clients.” With a positive response, TCA has been given “Certificate of Excellence” by Bark.com, where they hold 5 Star ratings based on over 30 client testimonials. Previously, Robert made it a point to visit with all of his clients personally during the year, but Covid changed that, which has worked in their favor. TCA is now even more profitable as a result of people spending more time at their home/office. Learning and adapting are probably the most important tools for running a business, and customer feedback or testimonials forms the basis for continuous improvement, keeping that in mind TCA has also started requesting reviews on “TrustPilot” and the few which have come in clearly show the amazing ethos that TCA upholds.
As Anne Howe, Central Stores Stogumber shares, “When Rob came on board from Top Choice Accountants, he took time to familiarize himself with our business setup. By asking relevant questions and discussing a business plan, we had a positive workable financial plan for the next year we could work with. We not only gained an accountant but with his business experience and support team, we gained a valuable voice in our management team” she explains, “Rob has always been available to us to ask questions and update us on appropriate support i.e., during Covid pandemic.” While her previous encounters had been less fruitful, “Our past experiences with accountants had dented our confidence in the profession, high prices, and low service.” But she was in for a pleasant surprise, she continues, “With Top Choice Accountants we found our business to be in safe hands enabling us to make the necessary changes to bring our business experience in line with our expectations.” She further adds, “We would have no hesitation in recommending Top Choice Accountants as an example of a comprehensive personal service that delivers on time when it counts.”
This kind of praise and acknowledgment comes by ensuring a professional, comprehensive, and friendly service for every client. That’s why many clients have been using their services for over ten years. Presently Robert is busy with his next project with a firm that supplies calorie-controlled meals to gym customers. The business started in their client’s home kitchen, now they are reviewing bigger premises. TCA has been able to advise on reducing rates and increasing profits which have certainly impressed their client. As Robert sums it all up, “We plan to take on more clients directly after writing winning plans.”