Member Since: 26th Jan 2012
Stephen Edwards is a business coach, accountant and consultant for accounting practices. Having started Cheltenham Tax Accountants from scratch in 2013 it now runs almost on auto-pilot leaving him with time to work on advisory related services for clients in the form of business coaching and also specialising with business automation and tech. Stephen works with other accounting practices to help them automate parts of their business and free the practice owner from the 'daily grind'.
Business coach and accountant Cheltenham Tax Accountants
2nd Nov 2021
Great article Heather. I have just been through this and can say that your advice here is spot on.
24th Nov 2019
So true, your inbox is not your to do list. All about managing expectations with communication though. I use the mighty 'holding reply'. Also just discovered Sanebox which is a game-changer.
2nd Jan 2019
No to all of them.
I'm growing a business to have the life I want to live. I'm big on life and career/business goals and get that you may need to work to put the time in over xmas sometimes. For all of you who think this is normal though I suggest you read the E Myth Revisited which says that if the business is solely reliant on you to work until you drop, then you don't have a business you have a job!
This is the first phase of being a business owner, working until until you drop. The next phase is to take on staff and the final phase is to run it in a systemised fashion where everyone knows their role.
Not only a job but a job that makes you work over the Christmas period....
If you love accountancy that much then fair enough, I see myself as a business owner first, accountant second. Surely the end goal is to do more of what you love in life, if you can't spend Christmas with love ones then when can you have some downtime?
Of course you don't have to have staff but I'd suggest you need to cherry pick the clients if working alone to give you the work life balance you require.
18th Dec 2018
I'm not promoting them, they are considered as thought leaders for small practices in the UK, they've been online only for 10 years hence the relevance in this discussion....
18th Dec 2018
I think it's a lost opportunity not to revisit your pricing structure overall with MTD. We have used it as a driver to get everyone we do bookkeeping for onto Xero, also using Receipt Bank and moving to at least monthly bookkeeping (tended to do it quarterly to get the VAT done previously). This is seeing our fees increase from 30 to 100% on average with not that much friction! It's not that we are charging for the sake of it but are using it as an opportunity to push clients into out way of working, with our tech, our deadlines etc. This is going to be a game changer for us now, even without MTD we'd be going this route but having that in the background has made it easier to sell.
Having pricing software makes it easy to send a new proposal, we use Goproposal for this (I'm sure there's others out there too). For clients already on Xero and Receipt bank it's not much of a change just the insistence that we need to do it more often (and charge more still).
I'm going to avoid bridging software like the plague, this isn't the direction the industry is going and is only a temporary solution. We may have some really old clients that will struggle to move to proper software but want consistency in our practice rather than various random spreadsheets.
I see VT have finally reacted to MTD, surprised they are still going if I'm honest with all the more modern minded tech out there that was born in the cloud.
14th Dec 2018
People still use Sage !?
Xero is the best cloud software by a long way and most modern firms make it their first choice. QuickBooks is ok, good value, better customer support but a less intuitive product than Xero .
Farnell Clarke are one of the leaders as an online only firm and decided Xero was the way to go a few years ago and I can see why.
We are trying to put all our clients onto Xero. Can’t stand sage , never have, would never recommend it in this day and age .
25th May 2018
So they charge 5-10 times more and now buy up a company that offers a low level product to tag onto their own brand.
Wow , iris are not doing anyone any favours . The only customers who stay with them are the diehard loyal fans who seem to think that iris gives them so much more efficiency. Well the game has changed and some of the others kids on the block have grown up and offer great products that are not only better value but ahead of the curve in many areas .
25th May 2018
So they charge 5-10 times more and now buy up a company that offers a low level product to tag onto their ken brand. Wow , iris are not doing anyone any favours . The only customers who stay with them are the diehard loyal fans who seem to think that iris gives them so much more efficiency. Well the game has changed and some of the others kids on the block have grown up and offer great products that are not only better value but ahead of the curve in many areas .
25th May 2018
I have no issues with their tax software. We use the accounts , tax and companies house modules and they are all great . The practice management is what needs work .
20th May 2018
I access my onedrive files on my Mac just as easy as the PC’s in the office , don’t see any difference