1. Precise info exactly how I need it
When I need a snapshot of information on a summary for a project such as an awards application, Nick is always happy to provide it – and he doesn’t just give me the minimal, he gives me what will be most useful. In my interview for the award the judges even commented on how useful and concise all summaries of turnover and profit were. That was all Nick.
2. No Juniors
The first accountant I ever sent my books over to that promised to be client focused and proactive sent my end of year accounts back to me via email and a junior called me to ask if they were OK. How do I know? I am not an accountant. None of it made sense to me. I asked another accountant at a networking meeting to have a look to see if they were OK and he picked up on several things including several accruals, the fact I was close to the VAT threshold, and several other things. I was never offered a meeting to discuss or plan anything. So, after feedback to the ‘owner’ that had sold me the service he failed to provide I moved to Wagner Mason who don’t employ juniors; Nick and Emma the Owner/Directors are my only point of contact.
3. No Assumptions
Assumptions make an ‘ASS’ out of ‘U’ and ‘ME’, but an accountant that assumes will more often than not lose you money through bad tax planning. I have had accountants before that simply assumed because my bookkeeper posted something it was where it should be but actually meant something entirely different. By not assuming and asking the right questions Nick was able to keep me on the VAT flat rate scheme meaning I keep 6% of all VAT.
4. Regular Meetings
Nick and I have regular financial summits, as I like to call them, to go over the year and discuss anything that has changed or may be happening. I get agendas, spreadsheets with clear and patient explanations. Aside from this Nick is always at the end of the phone to act as a sounding board or give me advice, usually diligently followed up by some kind of Excel spreadsheet to illustrate his answer.
5. Patience of a Saint
If there is something I don’t understand, even if it is obvious to Nick, he will find ways to explain it to me so I understand it. He doesn’t just repeat it louder and slower. He knows that once I understand it I can work to improve it, whatever it is, and I am so grateful for the time he spends doing this and the restraint he shows when I know he just wants to poke his eyes out.
6. Fixed Fee
I had absolutely no idea that some accountants would bill you for phone calls and advice beyond your end of year compliance stuff. I consider what Wagner Mason does for me a service and I pay a set standing order monthly for it. It’s astounding to think other business people aren’t utilising their accountants to help them achieve their goals and I can’t imagine working any other way. To me he is my Financial Director and for what I pay him monthly, well let’s just say, I win.
7. Total Support
I have passed Nick onto clients working with large reputable Oxford accountants, who were being badly underserviced (and over charged), not just by juniors, but by Directors too busy to bother. They didn’t know their figures, didn’t care about cashflow, didn’t share dividends with spouses, didn’t know what a fixed rate scheme was, not did they meet their accountants quarterly. The list goes on.
As a client of Wagner Mason, all of the above, handy spreadsheets, cashflow support and management accounts all come as standard. You would have thought this level of support was an industry norm. Apparently not.
8. Big Experience for Big Plans
Both Nick and Emma have experience working with huge businesses and dealing with really complicated financial and tax ‘stuff’. It means that, for my micro-business, Nick’s advice comes from a wealth of experience across a range of clients. Nothing is too big for him to handle and it means I can confidently refer him to large companies looking for a decent accountant or part-time FD. I love having him as a contact as ammo, as I know he has transformed every single business I have recommended him too.
9. Cool things to know about
The trivial benefits in kind exemption means that, as a Director, I can buy £300 of gift vouchers in increments of £50 to spend on gifts for myself, or for my employees, that will be tax exempt. How I choose to spend the vouchers is up to me but the new rules from the 2016 Finance Bill make it easier to be more generous to employees (including myself) should I choose to. It’s all these little things that Nick makes sure I take advantage of that make the difference in working with him.
Finally, he has a sense of humour, no really. I can put him in a pink heart and he makes Scooby Doo cashflow analogies.
If you wouldn’t write a ‘Why I love my accountant’ blog, then you really need to call Nick Mason or Emma Wagner on 0800 011 2680 or Nick directly on 07921 106878 to experience what having an accountant in your corner really feels like.