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.
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | DAVIS GRANT
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
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
AT A GLANCE
»Directors: Barry Chernoff,
Neil Driver, Jay Gandesha and
»Established in 1949
»Based in Ilford, east London,
with clients across the UK and
auditing, business advice and
»No. of employees: Over 30
»Tech sector specialists;
shortlisted for industry awards
27DAVIS GRANT |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
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-
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 paperledgers.
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
the times and
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.