Absolute Accountants: One family-run firm takes on the cloud and reaps the rewards
Absolute Accountants has expanded rapidly since the company was formed by husband and wife team Paul and Letitia Hutt in 2014.
Based in Old Hatfield, Hertfordshire, the firm serves around 200 clients ranging in size and turnover. Priding themselves in offering tailored accountancy advice, the firm has established a strong reputation in their local area and beyond. The firm’s client base has grown organically and steadily.
However, as the number of referrals increased, so did the need for a bigger team and Absolute Accountants now has six highly-qualified accountants. Such growth prompted software challenges; they previously used a provider whose systems, although cost-effective, no longer proved fit for purpose.
In early 2018, Paul and Letitia decided to upgrade for a better functioning practice. “We were actively looking to make a move during last year,” Paul says. “What we had was fine for tax but we needed solutions for wider practice management challenges, so the driver for us was to get an integrated practice management system in place.”
The pair went to Accountex at the Excel in London in May with the objective of identifying potential new software providers, but this process wasn’t as easy as they hoped it might be. “We went and spoke with a few providers but couldn’t get any of them to engage with us,” Paul recalls. “It was very frustrating as it was almost as though they didn’t want to deal with a company of our size. That’s how it felt anyway.”
Paul recalls a previous conversation with Thomson Reuters and decided to make contact. “We first spoke with them about two years previously and they were very helpful and we were impressed,” Paul says. “But we were much smaller at the time and the cost was prohibitive, so we carried on as we were. With more clients and team members, we put an enquiry on their website and the next day we got a call. It was a really good conversation and it took off from there.”
My first impressions were that they were very professional, had a great knowledge of their products, and understood the requirements we needed instantly — this gave us confidence.”
Paul describes the early stages of the decision-making process: “We were shown around the system, and this demonstrated what it could do for us. And we knew then that it could work for us.” Absolute Accountants now use Onvio and Digita Virtual Office, using the full Digita suite of products but virtually hosted in the cloud. This allows the team the flexibility to work from home when they need to, while still being able to access all their systems.
Any change of provider can be intimidating but the changeover and team training went smoothly as Paul explains: “The Thomson Reuters teams are all very accessible and easy to communicate with. The Welcome Services people were very clear and structured in terms of the process of the implementation. We knew what they expected of us and everything was diarised well in advance so there weren’t any late surprises.”
The move to Thomson Reuters has assisted Absolute Accountants as more clients come on board, especially as the firm has an ongoing objective to never lose touch with their clients’ business requirements. “We are continuing to grow, and bringing in new business all the time”, Paul states. “Work breeds work and the more clients we have, the more referrals we get — although we don’t want to get so big that we don’t feel in control.”
Absolute Accountants are relatively new to Thomson Reuters but are already seeing the benefits of using Digita software and are happy they made the switch. Paul says:
We got exactly what we wanted in terms of the suite of products. The support is very good and it works for us to know we can pick up the phone and we can talk to people who know what they are talking about. It has all been very positive right from the first phone call.”
Paul emphasises that his decision was the right one: “We are so glad that we are working with Thomson Reuters now and I would totally recommend their systems to other accountants.”
Read more about how Paul and Letitia’s family run practice has thrived since taking on software which enables them and their staff to be more flexible with where and when they undertake their work.