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 Pink Accounts 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 | PINK ACCOUNTS
Pink Accounting Resources is a specialist provider of accounting
services based in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Founded in 2002,
they have undergone significant growth in the past ten years,
after evolving and expanding their offerings in 2007. They are
now looking to capitalise on this growth, and Managing Director
SueMcAuley discusses how they plan to take the next step, while
also reflecting on a rewarding and satisfying journey.
I founded Pink Accounts as a self-employed bookkeeper in 2002, and I don’t know
if I could have foreseen the progress we have made. We now employ 18 people
and have seen 11 per cent compound annual growth over the last ten years. In
addition, we turn over £1.3 million annually and have the ability to build on this
through strategic expansion.
When considering our progress, I must give a lot of credit to our Tax Director Peter
Evans. Peter’s skills have not only allowed us to expand what we offer to clients, but
his confidence and charisma have also been an asset when pitching for new business.
The Pink Way
At Pink, we do things the Pink Way. Pink represents our brand personality because
it is eye-catching, exciting and different. This is clear throughout our branding,
marketing and office, where we have welcoming pink double doors at the entrance.
We believe the Pink Way makes us memorable and endears us to prospective clients.
Pink is built on a friendly, efficient and reliable service. We develop strong
relationships with our clients, and offer them support and guidance on issues that
often go beyond our brief. Our role is to act as a partner, not a contractor who
does the bare minimum, and we explain finances to our clients in a way that suits
them. If they want to be involved and look at detailed breakdowns, then we are
happy to provide them with that. On the other hand, we can offer a more basic
overview if that suits the client. Nor is the service just about providing a client with
an understanding of their finances; it is also about allowing them to understand their
business. This is why we offer tax and business advice alongside our bookkeeping and
year-end accounts service.
SMEs and start-ups in London have proven to be a profitable client profile, because
we offer the constant personal support they require, which is why around four years
ago we set up a small satellite office in London. This helps us conduct meetings and
appraisals in our own office, which is not only convenient for our clients but is also
cost effective as we still do much of the work in Marlow. With SMEs and start-ups,
we have often built longer-term partnerships, and in some instances we have seen
them grow from teams of one or two into multi-million-pound businesses.
Recruitment company Marlin Green became a client when they set up in 2010. We
provided them with bookkeeping, payroll, management accounts, tax support and
business advice and they now have a multi-million-pound turnover. It is so satisfying
AT A GLANCE
»Tax Director: Peter Evans
»Founded in 2002
»Based in Marlow,
Buckinghamshire, with a
satellite office in London
»Services: Year-end accounts,
taxation and business advice,
bookkeeping, payroll, business
»No. of employees: 18
»Turnover: £1.3 million
27PINK ACCOUNTS |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
to be able to help such a client as they
grow their business – our flexible model
allows such a client to use as much or
as little of our staff time as they require.
Peter joined in 2005, and his tax
background helped us develop a new
range of services. His insight has been
a key influence in initiating our recent
growth and together we were able to
focus on developing targeted business
development plans. Our plans aimed
to offer our new services to a wider
range of clients than before. To respond
to the new clients we acquired, we
brought in a number of highly skilled
We have also started an apprenticeship
scheme in order to help us develop
our next generation of employees.
One student came straight from high
school five years ago, and they are
now fully qualified and fully integrated
into the Pink way. We are looking to
continue the apprenticeship scheme in
the future, as it allows us to develop
qualified accountants who understand
how we work.
From a workforce of 18 employees, we
have a high ratio of qualified accountants,
who are supported by a dedicated
team of bookkeepers. The qualified
accountants act as account managers
for each client, providing clients with
a friendly face who understands their
needs and requirements.
We are always trying to adapt
and improve our systems, creating
efficiencies in the way we work. This
means we are able to continually
expand our client base without
necessarily hiring new people. Our
culture and spacious office allow
employees to relax and work in an
environment that is conducive to
providing a personal and specialised
service. As we expand further we will
make more use of our London office,
but we will keep our Marlow base
because of these very reasons.
Tax legislation is constantly changing,
which is challenging for our staff. They
must be knowledgeable about recent
and ongoing changes, while the current
system is proving to be more complex
than ever. The professionalism and
quality of our service remains at a high
level despite these changes, and we
have been able to guide clients through
periods of change successfully.
GDPR is a challenge facing all
companies, and we have spent a
lot of time and money in ensuring
we are fully compliant. Clients
are so used to us contacting them
electronically, but we have had to
make some adjustments to the way
we communicate. We have helped
clients with GDPR; however, this is part
of a support offering, rather than us
creating a new service they need to pay
for. The Pink Way is about ensuring
clients are comfortable asking us
questions, regardless of whether they
are within our remit.
Moving forward, we hope to build on
the core team and systems we have
in place. Meanwhile, we are currently
putting together a five-year plan,
which hopes to outline our growth
and development goals. We have
the potential to continue growing;
however, we want to achieve this in a
sustainable way that allows us to retain
our personalised service.
We are also very excited about
the technological advances in our
industry. There has been an increased
proliferation of cloud-based software,
which has led us to develop a new
campaign called a “face in the cloud”.
This provides a modern, technological
approach that still appreciates
traditional business values based
on service. After all, Pink is about
people and we do not want to lose
Tax Director Peter Evans
We believe in
with the need
to build strong
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.