Our Small Business Star this week is Henry Appiah, founder of market-inspired financial service, Mobile Accountants.
After working as an accountant at Natwest and Lloyds TSB Group, Henry decided to take early redundancy. Armed with an extensive career history working in industry, commerce and retail banking, Henry set-up Mobile Accountants, a chartered management, certified accountancy firm servicing clients across Hertfordshire, Essex and Sussex.
Knowing that compliance work required a lot of time, he realised that providing a service that offered direct support to small and medium-sized businesses was invaluable. Henry launched his flexible accountancy with the aim of enabling business owners to concentrate on their product and marketing, while freeing up the complications of accountancy.
1. It began with understanding our clients didn’t just work 9-to-5
Following our first year of trading we established that a good number of our clients were struggling to see us at offices and a number of appointments were either cancelled or deferred. This inspired us to change our advertising campaign. We distinguished ourselves from other accountants by emphasising the mobility of our accountants and the fact that we don’t just work 9 to 5, but beyond these times to meet appointments.
New and existing clients were pleased with these services and it became obvious to us that a good number of our new clients had contacted us for the specific reason that our services are convenient and flexible to their needs.
2. We recognised there’s been major changes to accounting that our clients need support with
Working as an independent firm, it’s important to keep more up-to-date on compliances, due to the strict post-qualifying education process we undertake. We recognised major changes to accounting in the last decade that small and medium-sized businesses need support with.
It’s really important these businesses know about the changes and can file and process self-assessments, tax returns and accounts correctly, using the right formats. They need to prepare by getting the information and systems in place to ensure they comply on time and meet regular deadlines and avoid penalties.
Increasingly, we noticed that small and medium-sized businesses were replacing the expense of an in-house finance director, with a more cost effective service from an independent firm of accountants. SMEs often resort to outsourcing their tax and accounting compliance needs to an independent firm of accountants due to tight deadlines and the sheer complexity of dealing with tax issues.
3. Our best marketing method is word of mouth
Our mobile accountants cover all business sectors within the economy but the bulk of our clients are in construction, medical services, courier and transportation services and the film and theatre industry.
We mainly reach out to clients through word of mouth but also through Yell, Google and various bespoke advertising.
Our most popular services include construction industry compliance, help with human resources, payroll and bookkeeping, and tax returns, planning and investigation.
4. We’re proud to have helped our clients grow
We’ve offered strategic tax planning advice to dozens of businesses who initially joined us with a turnover of a few thousand pounds. We’re proud to have helped these companies grow into organisations with turnovers of over six million pounds, all in less than seven years.
We’ve also successfully defended a new client whose business was facing HMRC liquidation action – the director’s main residence was in fact at stake – and they’re now trading successfully.
5. Our sole aim is achieving peace of mind for our customers
At Mobile Accountants we continue to help clients and expand our network across the UK.
As a fully automated firm we strive to use and keep up to date with modern technology, including cloud accounting and up market accounting and tax software. We also keep up with the numerous changes to legislation in order to provide effective support to our clients.
Although we haven’t changed our business proposition since the company’s conception, we’ve altered how we do things as we come across new challenges, with the sole aim of achieving customer satisfaction. At the heart of everything we do, ‘our client’s needs are our priority
Find out more about Henry by visiting: www.mobileaccountants.com.
For more advice and insight from business owners, visit our Small Business Stars hub.