The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Bhanot & Co is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
Bhanot & Co
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
36 | BHANOT & CO
Anil Bhanot, Founder
Anil Bhanot started his career as an actuary, but, after
a short spell in the life assurance industry, changed to
chartered accountancy in 1980 and has never looked back.
After gaining audit experience with large firms, tax experience
with medium-sized practices and managerial experience in
commerce and industry, Anil set up his own practice, Bhanot
& Co, in 1990. He tells
The Parliamentary Review
company and the philosophies that underpin their activities.
My primary drive was to provide good service to the public first, leading
automatically to mutually agreeable fees; it didn’t take long for me to develop the
practice through word of mouth and recommendations. The normal accountancy,
tax and audit services were well complemented by my actuarial experience; this
helped me to add the investment and mortgage business services for clients,
building their personal balance sheets. Finally, my commercial and industry
experience was useful to help clients report not just on historical data, but to look
forward and build their businesses through forecasts and cashflows.
Today’s Bhanot & Co
We have six members of accounting staff, including a practice manager, and we
service the SME sector. We have minimal staff turnover, and we enjoy working
with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds as a result of the diversity that
London offers; our clients are likewise from diverse business and professional
sectors. We screen all clients from the outset with various checks including, of
course, anti-money laundering regulations.
For overseas clients, we generally advise registering a branch of their overseas
company with Companies House, or the formation of a new company altogether
before we take on their work. Furthermore, when a client becomes too big for us,
we recommend that they go to a larger firm, though invariably these clients retain
us for the odd piece of financial advice.
Statutory audits of companies, by virtue of the large minimum thresholds, are
beyond our capacity, but sometimes smaller subsidiaries of large companies have
required audits, which we undertook successfully. We now, however, concentrate
more on what our SME clients see as our real value: providing a comprehensive
accountancy and taxation service along with business advice, and thus these
services remain our core practice area. We have also curtailed investment and
mortgage business this year to concentrate on our core activity of accountancy.
Client relationships are important to us, and our mode of work is to take responsibility
for some of the deadlines clients have to meet. These include company accounts,
various tax returns including VAT returns, payroll and auto-enrolment. Staff are
encouraged to communicate with clients regularly to keep on top of their financial
affairs – avoiding any nasty surprises at the end of the tax year.
AT A GLANCE
BHANOT & CO
»Founder: Anil Bhanot
»Based in Ealing, London
»Established in 1990
»Services: General accountancy
»No. of employees: 6, including
a practice manager
»Anil Bhanot was awarded an
OBE in 2010
Bhanot & Co
37BHANOT & CO |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
Innovation through technology
Technology has enormously helped the
way any accountancy practice works
in the current market, and at Bhanot
& Co we’ve always had the benefit
of an IT consultant. We are excited
by HMRC’s drive toward real-time
information reporting and we are
looking forward to the VAT returns
RTI regime that will be introduced this
April. We will be informing all of our
clients this year of the VAT returns
RTI filing change and work with them
so that their systems are in place in
preparation. Making Tax Digital is
the right way forward. Technology
is bringing great benefits; we have
already seen this with auto-enrolment
on pensions for all employees.
Social media has become a great
means of sharing financial news
directly with the public, which should
help them to make well-informed
decisions. With the current era of
information overload, we believe it
is important to continue to add the
correct data and legislative information
for people to sift through and to
remember what is relevant to them.
Ethics in public practice are very
important to us, as we are advising
and dealing with clients’ financial
affairs, something that sits at the core
of many of our clients’ wellbeing. Our
advice is better tailored to develop
their businesses in the long term even
if there is a hardship in the short
term. We’ve found that clients, even
if they leave due to some changes
in circumstance, come back to us
citing our advice as being beneficial in
Our practice work from 1990 allowed
me the flexibility to provide some free
service where necessary, culminating
in the last decade with my voluntary
role as the general secretary of Hindu
Council UK, a faith-based national
umbrella body. I was humbled at
the end of the decade in 2010 to
be awarded an OBE. I then moved
on to chair various social enterprise
charities, including the Ethnic Minority
Foundation for social justice and the
Peepul Centre in Leicester, which
works to empower local communities
through its theatre for performing arts.
The Peepul Centre is supported by
two bars and a restaurant, conference
rooms for local businesses, both a
ladies’ and mixed gym, a sports hall,
a dance studio and children’s nursery
facilities, all at an affordable cost.
This charitable work added a different
dimension to the traditional practice
work, not least through my experience
of consulting on draft EU directives
and UK legislation that impacted
all communities. As a result of this
experience, we can provide some
additional services free of charge, for
instance, advising on the governance
In our opinion, the future looks
bright. Although the high street may
be undergoing online sales pressure,
British businesses will find a way to
adapt. We have seen the benefits of
the IT revolution relieve accountants of
tedious number-crunching tasks, and
we look forward to the AI revolution to
help bring more of a “substance over
form” audit approach.
The Bhanot & Co
high street may
find a way to
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.
In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.
We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.
With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.
And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.
As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.