In this section of the website, we introduce you to one of our firms. Up next is Stead Robinson, run by Director Philip Lofthouse and his team. Read his answers to get to know him and the firm.
What do you like about working for your firm?
“I have a fantastic team around me to make sure clients stay compliant. Doing what we enjoy and are good at for sole traders and small private limited companies. Whether it is accounts preparation, VAT returns, payroll, bookkeeping or tax returns, teamwork makes the dream work. We dot the i’s and cross the t’s (subliminal message in our logo), so you don’t have to.”
What are in your words the strengths of your firm?
“We always help our clients to resolve any accounting issues they have so they stay complaint. We take away any problems they may have by producing timely work they can understand.”
“You need to give people what they want, even if they don’t know what they want, and you have to deliver it in a way they understand.”Philip Lofthouse, Director
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned at your firm?
“You need to give people what they want, even if they don’t know what they want, and you have to deliver it in a way they understand.”
What is the most rewarding experience you have had at your firm so far?
“I used someone to do some work for me. He insisted on cash payment as he didn’t have a bank account. He had no accounts and lived out of his back pocket. I explained at the time that without a financial trail, he wouldn’t be able to get very far. He came to see me as he had a problem obtaining a loan to purchase his dream across the road. I explained that to get on, he needs to be in the system with accounts and pay tax etc. He took my advice, formed a limited company and has never looked back. He bought his dream across the road and lives there. I have been his accountant and friend for over 20 years now, and he is the client I am most proud of. He listened and took my advice.”
What result you achieved for a client are you most proud of?
“One client had not prepared any accounts for 4 years. He then became a sub-contractor and worked for a further 4 years until we tried to reclaim his CIS. He was due around £17K in a refund, but due to him having no accounts for the first 4 years, HMRC made assessments which meant he lost his £17K and still owed them a further £10K. After detailed and protracted negotiations, HMRC agreed to refund him the £17K plus interest and issued no profit/no loss assessments for the first 4 years. Result!”
“If you think of your business as a model, how can we make the pieces fit to build your dream?”Philip Lofthouse, Director
What is your favourite statement that you regularly use when advising your clients?
“If you think of your business as a model, how can we make the pieces fit to build your dream? Do you know what your dream is?”
Which conditions do you think a ‘firm of the future’ should meet?
“Give your clients what they want, keep them compliant, assist them where you can with systems for bookkeeping and accounts that allow them to run their business day to day.”
How do you see the future of your firm from your perspective?
“I can’t go on forever, I need to pass more responsibility to the team, and we have started some way towards this. I will stay around as long as I have my marbles. The adage, “Old accountants never die, they just lose their balance”, becomes more and more relevant.”