How Holden Associates uses Countingup to keep client finances on track

30th Oct 2019
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Founded in 2002, Holden Associates is a family-run accountancy practice. The firm is based in Burscough, Lancashire, and works out of a  modern purpose-built office, from where it supports and advises clients, ranging from sole traders to small partnerships to small and medium-sized family-run and owner-managed enterprises throughout the UK. 

Jason Holden, founder and managing director of Holden Associates says: “We work closely with all our clients in order to make the whole accounting process as efficient as possible for them and to provide them with an edge in today’s competitive business environment. 

“As soon as we saw the Countingup app, we immediately saw its potential as a tool to help us achieve these goals,” he added. “The great thing about it is that it solves that age-old problem that all our clients – but especially the smaller ones - have: dealing with completely separate banking and accounting processes. It is often unsatisfactory. 

“Dealing with banks can be costly in time and money terms. They charge fees businesses have to comply with. At the same time, you still have to do the bookkeeping and that’s time-consuming and a chore. It makes perfect sense to combine the two processes in one and that’s why it was a lightbulb moment when we first saw Countingup. 

“We see it as the next logical step. We've gone from everyone having a bank account, and then software on the computer to companies having software in the cloud, to the next stage where the software in the cloud can connect to your bank and download payments and receipts, etc. from it. Having your business banking and accounting all in one has to be the next logical step after that – and that’s exactly what Countingup is offering.”

Another key benefit for Holden Associates was the simplicity and speed of Countingup’s client onboarding process, especially when compared with the incumbent banks. Getting a bank account set up can be laborious for small businesses but with Countingup it is comparatively easy. 

“Setting up an account on Countingup is simple and fast,” said Holden. “We know that because we have set Holden Associates business up on it also. It took less than an hour to do, compared to weeks with many high street banks. That’s attractive to us. We can advise our small business clients just how easy it is to set up a new bank account with Countingup and that helps our whole client engagement process. “

Given all this, Holden Associates was quick to sign up as an accounting partner of Countingup – and has been working closely with it ever since.

Beyond the onboarding process, Countingup also helps small businesses and their accountants to tackle the previously intractable problem of incomplete records more effectively. “It is a particular challenge where you have a small business client whose work means they are out and about all the time.  

“It is sometimes a struggle getting them to record transactions but that can be compounded when you ask them for a receipt and they can’t find it because it is somewhere in the car or the van,” adds Holden. ”With Countingup, you can get round that problem by conducting a transaction, buying stationery in the stationers, for example, taking a picture of the receipt and attaching it to the expense that is already showing up on your bank account. You can then throw the receipt away. It’s a real benefit because they can do all their accounting while they are in the stationers or once they get back to their van rather than having to spend the weekend catching up.

“In the past, we sometimes even had to turn clients away because they were likely to have a problem with incomplete accounts and therefore would have been too expensive for us to service. Now, we can get them to sign up to Countingup and the problem is effectively solved.”

This is an example of how the Countingup app works not just for small businesses but also for the accountants that service them. Countingup is always eager to access the advice and consultancy of partners as it evolves its solutions offering.   

“They regularly ask us: what do you want from Countingup?” says Holden. “What tools do you need to be able to do your job with clients more efficiently? It is very much a collaborative approach.”

Holden believes that in general terms the keynote going forward will be to remember to keep things simple.  “This is primarily an app for small businesses. Why it works so well is that it does not overcomplicate the processes for these organisations. The Countingup app helps small businesses keep track of their financial transactions and maintain better records. That’s critically important for them because it puts them in control. 

“They can see if they are profitable at any time. They know if they are making money on particular jobs or particular product lines. They can see whether the business is on track and what they need to do to get it there. It’s almost like having a bookkeeper in your pocket and that’s hugely powerful.”   

To find out how Countingup can help you and your clients like we've helped Jason and his team click HERE