Running a business is rarely a solo effort. Being successful and profitable often means relying on other people for support – whether that be experts inside or outside of the company.
So, what happens when you realise a professional relationship isn’t serving you?
The family at S. Hille Holdings found themselves in exactly this position.
When we met the Scheer family, we learned they had been working with the same accounting firm for over 50 years.
Ivan now manages S. Hille & Co (Holdings) Ltd, having taken over from his father Ian, who took on the need to reform the business in 1983.
Ian’s plan was to divide the redundant property into lettable units, to maximise the income, and therefore converting the family business into an investment company.
Despite the longevity of their accounting contract, Ivan didn’t feel they were getting the direction they needed to meet their personal needs. The long-standing relationship they once had with their accounting firm had fizzled out when their accountant retired, and they were left feeling like a small fish in a big pond.
S.Hille Holding’s properties would be their financial legacy. A generational source of income. Unlike some businesses that have big ambitions to grow, maintaining consistency was the goal here.
A goal we took very seriously.
Changing accountants was a big decision that came with understandable hesitation.
Following a Google search for local accountants, Ivan reached out to Myers Clark.
After being with the same firm for such a long time, it was natural for the family to be cautious of accountants and their promises. The Scheer family were looking for accountants who:
- Were local enough to visit
- Were open and available to talk when they needed it
- Believed in relationship and partnership, rather than a once-a-year transaction
We knew our ethos and approach would be a great match. But we also know trust isn’t immediate, especially for business owners who’ve felt let down in the past. You can find yourself questioning:
- Will this firm be more reliable and responsive in their communication?
- Will I be passed from client manager to client manager without any consistency?
- Will I just be another client in a database or will they care about my business?
- Will they really do what they say they’re going to do?
Over the next six months before officially working with us, the Scheer family got to know the team at Myers Clark through phone calls and in-person meetings.
This one-to-one contact helped expel the common worry that all accountants are the same. Ivan trusted he could call us up and find Priya, Cindy or our director Ian on the other end of the phone. Ivan or his father could come to the office and see a familiar face when they had questions or needed reassurance.
We identified an opportunity to modernise systems and save the family hours every month on bookkeeping.
When the Scheer family came onboard, they were using a desktop-based software which was clunky to operate. One of the first things we did was move them from Sage to QuickBooks. See how adopting cloud accounting software plays a part in your success.
Shortly after setting Ivan up on cloud-based accounting software, their long-standing in-house bookkeeper moved away from the company. If they had still been on Sage, this would have presented a headache for anyone taking over their systems.
Fortunately, the online functionality of QuickBooks Online meant we could train their staff to get to grips with the software, saving Ivan the need to source another in-house finance person.
We spent half a day in person with Laura (S. Hille’s admin support) to give her the confidence to take over the bookkeeping responsibilities in QuickBooks.
This included training on:
- How to post invoices
- How to reconcile the bank
- How to connect the bank
- How to run reports
We always do training live on our client’s data, as opposed to using example data. We find this is the fastest and clearest way for in-house teams to learn and apply.
As part of our support, we charge a monthly fee for Laura to contact us whenever she has a query about the bookkeeping. The beauty of QuickBooks is that we can talk her through issues remotely and in real-time, meaning a swift solution. There is no question too small or too silly.
If you’re finding it difficult to make decisions about your business, bring a trusted confidant into your circle.
Alongside empowering the in-house team at S. Hille Holdings, we act as the financial partner Ivan had hoped to find in his search.
Practically, we take care of:
- The year-end accounts
- VAT returns and management of service charges
- Bookkeeping support and training, when they need it
- Personal tax returns for the whole family
- Payroll payments
Additionally, we act as a sounding board for the family when they’re making key decisions – like how (and when) to pay dividends in the most tax-efficient manner. We’re proud to say that many of the Scheer extended family are now Myers Clark clients!
Even if you’re running a business by yourself, you shouldn’t have to feel alone. A great accountant is more than just a “numbers person”. It’s a relationship-focused partner you can go to for advice, helping you feel confident as you run your SME. If that sounds like what you’ve been looking for, fill in our form and let’s arrange a chat to see if we’d be a good fit.