Davis Grant

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Davis Grant's best practice article

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 Davis Grant is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Highlighting best practice
Directors (from left to right)
Steven Sandford, Neil Driver,
Barry Chernoff, Jay Gandesha
Early adoption of technology on top of a foundation of
accountancy and tax expertise has meant that the clients of
Davis Grant, a four-partner firm, are placed in exceptionally
good stead. The reason for Davis Grant’s success also stems from
that fact that they tackle changes head on, seeing them not as
problems to endure but as opportunities for improvement. Neil
Driver, one of the company’s four directors, tells
what all of this means in practice.
The backdrop of economic and political uncertainty means that SMEs are facing a
challenging time. Given our portfolio of over 1,000 clients across different sectors
and different sizes, we know from intimate experience the concerns of the small and
medium business leader.
Early adoption and innovation
We are calm in our approach to change; after all, disruption and uncertainty are
nothing new. We have 70 years of history and experience to draw from, and in that
time there have been many seismic shifts in the landscape that we’ve weathered: the
introduction of VAT and self-assessment to name but two. Davis Grant has always
adapted to the times and continues to innovate.
Then and now, change is an opportunity to help those in need of advice. This ethos
is clear in recent times, such as, for example, when we moved away from paper files
seven years ago, transitioning our internal systems instead to the cloud.
The importance of clients’ goals
SME business leaders have enough keeping them up at night without worrying about
major changes. While the key driver for the profession will always remain compliance,
our challenge is to make clear that, with good tax advice, the numbers can work for
their businesses.
Furthermore, we pride ourselves on getting to know the person behind the business.
Even as an outsourced accountancy firm, we are intimately involved in a business’s
success and provide commercial tax advice that is proactive, not retrospective.
Often, we also meet business owners who feel they have outgrown the capabilities of
firms concerned with compliance work only. Davis Grant’s clients have the support of
a highly experienced team, with the resources to grow flexibly and on demand. We
excel in providing complex tax advice, pulling from extensive cross-sector experience.
It’s also worth mentioning that accounting in the cloud affords us the opportunity to
provide live alerts, reporting and more effective forecasting. We can increasingly offer
real-time advice and support to help business owners to reach their goals.
The foundation of our technical expertise
Davis Grant has always been an environment where all team members have an ongoing
and real commitment to training and qualifications. As a profession whose regulatory
environment is always changing, demand for new skills is always forthcoming – we must
»Directors: Barry Chernoff,
Neil Driver, Jay Gandesha and
Steven Sandford
»Established in 1949
»Based in Ilford, east London,
with clients across the UK and
»Services: Accountancy,
auditing, business advice and
tax planning
»No. of employees: Over 30
»Tech sector specialists;
shortlisted for industry awards
Davis Grant
therefore continue our commitment to
the continual improvement of skills.
Our success in investing in our team
has been verified by our Gold Status
for Trainee Development awarded by
the ACCA. Alongside this, we also
encourage everyone in the company
to devote some portion of their time
to training and self-improvement.
The resulting low staff turnover and
wide skills base is not just self-serving
aggrandisement; it also results in
tangibly exceptional levels of service, tax
advice and adaptability to the changing
needs and environment.
Testifying our ability
Our team who serve the ‘Silicon
Roundabout’ tech businesses were
shortlisted for Specialist Team of the Year
in national awards in 2017. This recent
success and the growth in our client base
are remarkable, not just in terms of our
ability to innovate and understand the
needs of the modern business owner but
also in terms of the core competencies
and skills we possess – which in this
context really make the difference.
Competitors that set themselves up to
cater exclusively to this growing group of
business owners miss the foundational
principles embedded in our firm – that is,
understanding the goals of the business
and offering advice appropriately.
Research and development tax credits
are a headline-grabbing facility that
have really helped to prove that good
tax advice can make all the difference
to a start-up business’s cash flow. In
the past few years, we have claimed
over £1 million for our clients, often
as a cash injection. At Davis Grant, we
are particularly aware of the critical
importance that early advice on
company structure, shareholding and
investment schemes has on these fast-
moving start-ups.
A balanced approach to tax
Business owners want to be able
concentrate on their challenges without
the ever-present prospect of unwelcome
surprises. It’s therefore important for
us that everyone at Davis Grant takes
their responsibility as a trusted advisor
While providing clear guidance on all
opportunities, we are also clear on
the fact that, above all else, we must
provide the comfort of safety. We
provide peace of mind to our clients,
and advocacy of risky tax schemes and
strategies would be in direct conflict
with this goal. Testifying this approach
is our low incidence of tax enquiries
from HMRC and high success rate in
defending those we do receive.
Facing the future in good
Davis Grant is demonstrably well ahead
of the rest of the profession. According
to surveys, 52 per cent of accountants
have not yet taken steps to prepare for
making tax digital. Davis Grant, however,
is well into its preparations in this
regard. Indeed, we are already working
in the cloud, while 19 per cent of the
profession still work on paperledgers.
As we look back over nearly 70 years
of practice and success, we know that
ever-changing external factors are
nothing new. The real test comes when
deciding how to turn challenges into
opportunities. Davis Grant are working
hard to prepare their business and
clients for the big changes we know are
coming. We are continually preparing
for the future. We started in 1949 and
have every intention of existing for 100
years or more.
Disruption can be an
Davis Grant
has always
adapted to
the times and
continues to


This article was sponsored by Davis Grant. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister