Tayabali & White

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Tayabali & White'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 Tayabali & White 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, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP


Highlighting best practice
Imran Tayabali
Tayabali & White strive to be the best possible example
of a modern accountancy firm, putting client care, good
advice and technology at the forefront of everything they
do. When equal partners Simon White and Imran Tayabali took
over the firm from Imran’s father in 2007, it was successful:
well respected, it had an enviable client base and generated a
good profit, but the services were predominantly compliance-
based. They realised that to continue that success for another
generation, their team of staff would have to adapt.
We identified two main areas in which our clients wanted more than traditional
services: first, reliable business advice for the multitude of issues that our business
clients face; and secondly, technical tax knowledge for all clients to provide higher-
level thinking and planning. To help achieve this, Imran completed the Cranfield
School of Management Business Growth Programme, which is designed for owner-
managers to articulate and plan the future they want for their business. Creating
our own strict vision helped us guide our clients to theirs. Meanwhile, Simon sat
the examinations for entrance to the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
As well as helping the business, this personal investment also added greatly to our
enjoyment of work. We then undertook a major redevelopment of our business.
We surveyed our clients to understand what they wanted from an accountancy
practice. The results of this have informed the way in which we now do everything.
Above all else, our clients appreciated the high level of service and the personal
nature of our business.
We realigned our branding to reflect the personal nature of the business and set
a goal which was: using our firm should be the accountancy equivalent of using a
private bank. We focused on the following areas:
»Processes: these were reviewed, modified and documented, staff work plans
were created and we are focusing on the turnaround time of client work.
»Communication: this is absolutely critical to the delivery of exceptional client
service. Training was provided on telephone manner, email etiquette and
updating clients.
»Dress code and manner: we offer a high-end service, so clients expect us to be
professional in the way that we dress and deal with them. Everyone is trained to
help clients wherever possible. If a client has a problem, we take it away from
»Front of house: a team is dedicated to dealing with clients on arrival. These staff
know the clients; they know how they like their tea or whether they like to chat
»Equal partners: Imran Tayabali
and Simon White
»Established in 1979
»Based in Cambridge
»Services: Tax, accountancy and
business advice for individuals
and family businesses; and
»No. of employees: 10
»Specialists in acting for
hospital consultants
Tayabali & White
before a meeting or simply sit and
read the paper. These are small
things but make a big difference to
the overall feeling that clients have
when they visit.
»Regularly surveying clients for their
feedback and to spot any trends.
In setting out our stall we aim to attract
“ideal” clients; that is profitable clients
with whom we enjoy working. Our
branding and processes are designed
to attract and retain these ideal clients
as much as they are to discourage
clients with different attitudes.
Tailoring our services
Some work does not suit the service
that we offer. Audits are largely
process driven and the rules on
independence mean that it is difficult
to given meaningful advice to these
clients. Therefore, we decided to
reduce the audit work that we do.
Recently, we have both become
authorised probate practitioners,
adding a much-appreciated ancillary
service to our tax and accountancy
offering to family clients. Probate has
long been the preserve of solicitors,
but accountants are perfectly placed to
help clients in this area: client care and
tax knowledge are crucial attributes –
and that is where we feel we excel.
Investing in staff and
To deliver a high level of service, good
staff are needed. A team of ten, no
member of staff that has joined our
firm has left; two members of staff
have been with the firm for over 20
years. This ensures consistency and
ongoing knowledge of clients and is an
important factor in the client experience.
Delivering great client service is all about
going the extra mile for clients.
We have to stay on top of technology
and use the latest software. We have
been using portal technology for a
number of years. We also created an
app over five years ago which gives
clients an easy and effective way to
answer simple queries or arrange to
meet with us. Each year we spend
a significant amount on IT and IT
support. Having all systems integrated
and gearing up for Making Tax Digital
through the use of Xero and IRIS
Kashflow is an ongoing project.
We take data security extremely
seriously and have invested significantly
to obtain the “Cyber Essentials”
qualification. This demonstrates to
clients how important their data
is to us. Very few other firms have
done this. Our approach seems to be
working. Client retention rates are very
high and survey results are extremely
positive. Profitability is increasing,
too. Crucially, our staff are with us on
this journey and, encouragingly, we
have always been able to secure our
preferred candidate when recruiting.
The accountancy sector
It is increasingly apparent that
technology continues to commoditise
the traditional compliance service that
accountants have provided for many
years, and clients rightly expect more
from us. This will drive accountants not
only to improve their service levels, but
also to deepen their advisory skills and
add new services.
The light that has been shone in
recent years on dubious tax-avoidance
schemes means that no client expects
improbable outcomes. They do
expect good advice, however, which
only comes from a strong grasp of
current tax law and reliefs, the ability
to think laterally and having a good
understanding of them as a person,
their assets and their family. Building
that trust down generations is the
challenge for accountants – and it is
also the most enjoyable part of the job.
Simon White
Clients expect
the ability to
think laterally
and having a
of them as a


This article was sponsored by Tayabali & White. 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