Tony Stitt Associates

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Tony Stitt Associates'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 Tony Stitt Associates 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

www.tonystitt.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
36 | TONY STITT ASSOCIATES
Principal Tony Stitt
Founded in 2010, Tony Stitt Associates is a chartered
accountants and business advisory firm. Based in Swiss
Cottage, northwest London, Tony Stitt Associates have four
strands to the business: start-up tax and business advice, high
net worth individual tax advice, overseas domicile tax advice and
property development finance and tax advice. Principal Tony
Stitt discusses the political changes affecting his industry, while
explaining his aims for expansion.
My business is built on providing a service with integrity, which not only adds value
to the tax affairs of a client, but also offers full disclosure to HMRC. I manage
Tony Stitt Associates with the regular assistance of three external contractors who
provide the necessary additional expertise. My approach is very hands-on, and I act
as an approachable, focal point for clients. I have a high client retention rate as a
result, having achieved a base of 100 clients as a sole trader.
My journey
After a lengthy career in the City of London, I decided to set up a high-end specialist
practice on my own. In the City, older employees become much more expensive
for firms, and as a result they have high expectations placed on them. In my case,
I increasingly found myself managing others and resolving disputes, instead of
performing the technical work that I enjoyed. Since then, I have built a practice by
myself, using the experience and skills of contractors when required. In eight years, I
have acquired 100 clients and I am now beginning to look at expanding the business.
Expansion will involve taking on an initial portfolio of three non-executive directors
and purchasing another small practice, incorporating its service and some of its staff
into Tony Stitt Associates. I will look to employ new people full time, while taking staff
from the acquired practice and employing them to maintain consistency for clients. My
growth up to this point has largely been a result of referrals and recommendations;
however, I have recently expanded my approach by developing a website and using
a digital advertising agency to help with search engine optimisation. To ensure the
success of future expansion I will look to enhance my presence through further
marketing, including working with a non-executive directors’ search consultant,
and relying on my own high-quality service to build customer bases in new areas.
Quality service
I offer four distinct services to a range of businesses and individuals in the UK
and abroad. First, I provide business and tax advice for start-ups. Start-ups often
need help financing new offices and balancing their books early on, before they
have been able to build up a customer base. I am able to offer business advice
AT A GLANCE
TONY STITT ASSOCIATES
»Principal: Tony Stitt
»Founded in 2010
»Based in south Hampstead/
Swiss Cottage, northwest
London
»Services: Chartered
accountancy and business
advice
Tony Stitt Associates
37TONY STITT ASSOCIATES |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
and facilitate their growth as a result,
while guiding them through complex
and evolving tax regulation. Secondly,
I offer tax advice to high-net-worth
individuals, as well as an inheritance
planning service. High-net-worth
individuals will often pay too much tax,
and my services allow them to optimise
their savings. I also assist clients in
creating a personalised inheritance
plan, which ensures they can leave
relatives as much as possible.
Thirdly, I advise overseas domiciles who
owe tax in the UK. Often, they will
have been investigated by HM Revenue
& Customs and I will help gauge their
level of negligence. Depending on how
deliberate their actions have been, I
will try and determine the penalty they
might face and prepare them for the
investigation. This is the most volatile
area of my business where my client
turnover is highest. Lastly, I offer a
tax service for property development
companies. This service consists
of tax, compliance and regulation
advice, alongside assistance with
fundacquisition.
Political change
The recent government scheme,
Making Tax Digital, will present
a number of challenges and
opportunities moving forward. The
effect is difficult to determine, as it
either will engage business owners
in their accounts further, or it will
become too much work and they
will need to delegate to an external
body. I hope to take advantage of
any potential opportunities to grow
my client base and build a reputation
for easing the transition. In order to
achieve this, I have been working
on an accounting package with an
external IT contractor, which I hope
will prove useful for a number of
businesses. It is likely that Making
Tax Digital will come as a shock
to a number of sole traders and
start-ups, who, when faced with
real-time reporting, will not be able to
keep up with the demands.
The effect of Brexit on my business
is equally unknown. Brexit will affect
EU nationals living in the UK, some of
whom have been less tax compliant.
Those who have not been compliant
may need to pay tax on previously
undeclared earnings in order to
remain in the UK after Brexit. While
this presents an opportunity for me to
expand my client base, the uncertainty
surrounding Brexit also presents
difficulty. Banks are withdrawing their
offices from the UK and I suspect some
of my clients may follow suit. The
uncertainty is not engendering good
faith from EU nationals and the UK is
increasingly being seen as unwelcoming.
The political change that we will see
in the coming years could have both
a positive and negative effect on my
business; however, my strength is the
solid client base of people who have
worked with me for a number of
years. My aim remains clear: building
a practice with scale, and continuing
to offer high-end services to a larger
number of clients. I aim to take a
big-picture approach to the business,
allowing my new staff to take care of
its day-to-day management. By making
prudent decisions during its expansion,
I am confident that I can fulfil the
potential of Tony Stitt Associates.
Helping business fly
Providing a
service with
integrity

www.tonystitt.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Tony Stitt Associates. 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 Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

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.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy