“Accounts don’t keep me awake at night anymore. I didn’t have faith in the information I received before we moved to KPMG… we had no real-time understanding of our financial performance. Now I know someone is monitoring our finances regularly. It’s a shared responsibility; I’m not alone.” – Leyla Tindall, Tindall Perry
Good financial management is a prerequisite when growing a small business. But if it isn’t within your skillset, it can be cause for concern. Read on to learn how the team at recruitment firm Tindall Perry Partnership are finally getting a good night’s sleep thanks to sound accounting.
About the Business
Established in 2010, Tindall Perry Partnership is a specialist recruitment firm providing high calibre executive and finance candidates to businesses throughout North-West England.
In 2014, managing director Leyla Tindall decided it was time to talk to the bank. She wanted to explore her funding options: to understand what steps she could take to increase Tindall Perry’s commercial reach.
“But in order to discuss growth options, you need historical and forecasted financial information at your fingertips,” she explains. “And we didn’t.
“The reality was that we had no real-time understanding of our financial performance,” she continues. “Our old accountants were very reactive. All they’d done was get our accounts together at year-end. They were behind the curve; by the time we got the information, it was out of date.”
To complicate matters, Tindall Perry’s existing accountants hadn’t kept up-to-date records of its client’s management accounts. “This was difficult as we needed to resolve some internal issues, which required us to look at historic data,” Leyla says. “It was very time-consuming going back and picking through all that when it should have been recorded.”
Frustrated at the lack of ready financial data, Leyla started investigating alternative accountants – focusing on companies with a reputation for proactive advice giving.
Having read an article about its Small Business Accounting (SBA) team, she added KPMG to the list. But it was the speed and transparency of their interaction that ultimately led her to join forces with them.
“It was an agile response. When you’re a smaller business, you make decisions at pace, and things happened very quickly with KPMG. I was introduced to a dedicated KPMG accountant, who explained the concept very honestly over the phone: the offering; how much it would cost,” she says. “I liked that there were no hidden extras.”
The Transition to KPMG
KPMG then spent time liaising with Tindall Perry’s previous accountants to obtain the right information for a smooth transition.
“There was a lot of early upfront involvement from the KPMG team – who remain our primary contacts,” Leyla explains. “They also spent time making sure [the cloud-based accounting platform] Xero was set up correctly for our business so, as we went on, the information would become meaningful.”
For Leyla, the advantages of switching to SBA are patent. To use her words:
Real-time insight for improved financial management: “Having Xero is exactly what we needed. I can log on 24/7. Xero maps our business in real-time… and seeing what is happening – being able to manage expenses and cash flow – means I’ve become more financially aware. It’s given us visibility to action cash collection.”
Expert advice at the right price-point: “Everyone I’ve connected with at KPMG has been very professional. I expected that. What has exceeded my expectations is the service. We’ve asked so many questions, simple and complex, and Miriam and Gillian have always responded very quickly, going off to find the right answer if they didn’t have it – all at no extra cost.”
A better eye on the future: “I’ve been able to have meaningful conversations with our new non-executive director about our strategy for the next three years. I can quickly access profit and loss, year-to-date and cash flow information now.”
Leveraging the KPMG name: “We work in finance recruitment, and people are pleasantly surprised when we tell them our accountants are KPMG. There’s a perception that KPMG would be far too big for most smaller businesses, but we’re getting a much better service than we ever had from our previous accounting firm. We’re paying less and they’re doing more.”
With growth still very much on its agenda, Tindall Perry has engaged KPMG to manage its company secretarial services. It has also asked the organisation’s Manchester-based tax team for help to establish its enterprise management incentive (EMI) scheme.
But what has really impressed Leyla is how she can now rest assured her business’ finances are in order. As she puts it: “Accounts don’t keep me awake at night anymore… Now I know someone is monitoring our finances regularly. It’s a shared responsibility; I’m not alone.”
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