T 0191 378 0308 | E switch@switchaccountants.co.uk | A Offices in Newcastle, Durham and Tees Valley

How We’re Different – And How It Helps You

If you are looking for an accountant who puts you and your needs first, is always available to help and support you and adds real, tangible value to your business, over and above core accounting functions, then we can help you.

In simple terms, we take a different approach to other accountants. Yes, we prepare compliant year end accounts and tax returns; and take care of support functions such as payroll, VAT, reporting and bookkeeping.

But ALL accountants do this. However, most accountants’ services start and end here. But with us, this is only part of our service. We do so much more for our clients, all as part of our standard Switch service.

This is what sets up apart from other accountants.  We take a genuinely practical, hands-on approach to helping your business – be that to act as an impartial sounding board, to help you overcome business problems or to work with you to take your business to the next level.

We typically help our clients in the following ways:

  • Identify & Solve Business Problems – whatever issues you’re facing, we can help you to quickly resolve them
  • Resolve Cash Flow Issues – we have countless strategies to keep cash flowing through your business
  • Grow Profit Margins – for too many businesses, profits are lower than they could be; let us change that for you
  • Control & Cut Costs – we’ll identify ways for you to reduce expenditure without reducing quality or service
  • Enhanced Credit Control –learn how to get paid faster without going to court or losing customers
  • Improve Team Performance – based on experience, we’ll show you how to get the very most from your staff
  • Develop Operational Systems – we can help you to make your business more efficient and enjoyable to run
  • Financial Health Checks – discover how to make your money work harder and how to keep more for yourself
  • Benchmark Against Competition – compare your results against your competitors; then we’ll help you to beat them
  • Improve Sales Performance – practical, low cost ways to win new customers, get more referrals and make more sales

Of course, before we’ve met we can’t tell you exactly how we would help YOUR business – as our solutions are 100% tailor-made.  But whatever your challenges, we’re here to help.

We start by listening to you and learning about your business – your ambitions, your current situation, what’s going well, what’s frustrating you, and of course your ideas.

Based on this, and using both our experience of successfully running real-world businesses and reflecting on helping hundreds of business owners in an advisory capacity, we’ll devise the most effective solutions for you. And then, and crucially, work with you to implement these solutions over the long-term.

Of course, some business owners need, want or prefer more help than others. For this reason, we are flexible in the way that we help and support our clients.

For some clients, it’s enough just knowing that an impartial, supportive and trusted business expert is in their corner, and can be called upon when they have queries, want to discuss an idea or need to resolve an immediate business problem. For such clients, our support generally consists of the occasional meetings and then being available via telephone and e-mail when they need us.

Other clients, usually business owners who want to take their business to a whole new level, we offer tailored business growth programmes, which will typically involve more structured help on a more in-depth basis.

But for you, the reality is that we will work with you to determine what level of support you need and then provide this. We believe this is the type of long-term service you deserve from your accountant.

More widely, you will find that we are approachable, are always positive, speak in plain English and believe above everything else, we are here to help you, not belittle, baffle or ignore you. We know from clients that the latter is their common experience with other accountants.

In summary, our whole practice is based around always putting you and your needs first. We are here to help you all year round, not just once a year. We’re always available to answer any questions or advise on any topics via telephone, e-mails or meetings throughout the year. This isn’t limited to just your accounts or tax affairs but a full range business topics.

The video below explains more about our practice and how we help businesses like yours.



There’s More – Our 10-Point Service Guarantee

Service matters. We believe that you should receive a first rate service from your accountant. After all, isn’t this what you pay for? That’s why we guarantee to provide all of the below services to each and every client. ALL of these services are fully inclusive of your fee; you pay no more as we’re committed to delivering the very best service possible to you and your business.

Simply click on the ‘plus’ button below to read more about that particular guarantee.

1) Fixed Fees Agreed In Advance

We will provide you with a 100% fixed fee agreement in advance. This will include the full cost of us doing everything you need us to do for you; we won’t neglect to mention something and later tell you that you need to pay for that too.

Only when you agree to this we will begin work for you, meaning that there are never any nasty surprises, unwanted charges, hourly bills or unexpected overruns. Instead, you know in advance exactly how much your services will cost.

What’s more, with this agreed package, we will never increase this fee more than inflation for your entire duration as a client with us on that package. Of course this gives you peace of mind.

And be careful, as some provides have been known to offer a lower fee in the first year as a ‘loss leader’, only to increase this a year later. As the above pledge demonstrates, we will never do this.

2) Unlimited E-Mail & Telephone Support

We will never charge you for ongoing support provided via telephone and e-mail during the year. In fact, we positively encourage you to contact us and discuss anything that is affecting your business.

We do this because we believe that you should be supported throughout the year by your accountant. For this reason, you will have a direct, private number and e-mail for your accountant.

Meaning that your accountant will be accessible, approachable and available to help and support you. We respond to emails throughout the day and if your accountant is in a meeting when you call, they will return the call within a few hours.

Remember, our accountants are not bean counters but dynamic, confident and plain-speaking business people, who take a genuine interest in you and your business. Meaning that you’ll get prompt advice from an expert who cares about you and your business.

3) Meetings When You Want Them

From time to time you need more support than can be provided via telephone calls or e-mail conversations. At times you need a face-to-face meeting with your accountant to discuss an important business topic.

We understand. For this reason, we offer meetings with your accountant when you want them. We don’t screen these or charge any extra for this service; as we believe that when you need our help, we should give it! These can also take place at our offices or your premises, whatever you prefer.

Remember, we are committed to creating long-term relationships with clients. Hence when you first join us as a client, we will schedule a New Client Orientation meeting with your accountant so that they can get to know you and your business more.

This means that we begin our relationship by listening to you and learning about your business, including exploring your ambitious, your ideas, your frustrations and your problems. Because the more we know about you and your business, the better we can help you.

4) Bespoke Tax Plan, Updated Yearly

We know that you expect your accountant to help you to pay as little tax as is legally possible. For this reason, we take tax planning very seriously and have devised a full tax planning service for clients.

Fully inclusive of your fixed fee, your accountant alongside our tax mitigation team will create a tailored tax plan for you and your business, taking account of your unique circumstances.

We will implement this tax plan, and then update it every year to ensure that it is as effectively as it can be and also accounts for both changes in your business and in tax law in general.

This includes a Month 9 proactive tax review, meaning that we can double check everything before the end of your tax year, meaning that if any changes need to be made they can be before it’s too late.

5) No Penalties or Fines

We still hear stories on a regular basis of people incurring none or late submission penalties and fines from HMRC and Companies House, despite engaging an accountant to take care of this for them.

We find this completely unacceptable and we will ensure that you never receive a penalty or fine for none or late submission while a client of ours. Or if you do (you won’t of course!) we’ll pay it for you.

All we ask you to do is submit all required accounting records to us in time for us to prepare these. All you need to do is ‘drop off’ these records and we’ll do the rest and make the deadline.

We also make this very easy for you by our Switch Alert service, which emails or texts (whichever you prefer) you to remind you of your accounts deadlines and also reminds you to pay your tax bill on time. It really couldn’t be any easier!

6) We'll Deal With HMRC

We appreciate that you don’t find dealing with HMRC or Companies House much fun. No doubt you don’t have the time and you also find their jargon difficult to understand. It’s not a good situation to be in.

That’s why we will deal with HMRC and Companies House for you. That’s right, we’ll deal with any enquiries via telephone or email on your behalf, so that you don’t have to.

All you do is appoint us as your Agent via a simply one-off process that takes about 2 minutes. Then from that moment onwards we will deal with HMRC and Companies House for you.

Also, if you receive any letters or phone calls from HMRC, simply refer these on to us and we will take care of this for you. We are the accounts and tax experts, so let us deal with them; freeing you up to get on with running your business.

7) Switch Business BuilderTM Membership

A few years ago, we conducted a survey of clients who told us that it’s hard to stay on top with all the developments in the world of business, especially the online world, as it changes so fast.

Clients also told us that they don’t know to ask us about certain things as they don’t actually know that they existed. For example, if you don’t know that a strategy or technology exists, you won’t ask us about it.

To overcome this, we developed the Switch Business BuilderTM, a unique service in which we pick key topics every month and cover these in Written Articles, Tutorial Videos and live Webinars and Seminars. Allowing you to stay up-to-date and discover new ideas.

We know provide this hugely popular service to clients via our Monthly Bulletin which is sent to you atomically and entirely free of charge (this service is sold separately to none-accounting clients for £47 per month as a stand-alone product).

8) Switch ScoreboardTM & Competition Tracker Reports

Knowledge is power. Therefore it is essential that you, as the leader of the business, have all the important knowledge and information about your business available. Because without this information you lack power; power that is invaluable to improving your business.

That’s why we have developed a unique Scoreboard that gives you all of this precious information about your business. Best of all, we ‘plug this in’ to your business and conduct the analysis for you – meaning that you don’t have to worry about doing it – providing the scoreboard in a one page summary.

This affords you priceless information both in terms of what you are doing right, and how you could push home this advantage, and what you are doing wrong, and how to reverse your fortunes. Crucially, we will give you concrete, tailored recommendations for improvement; not merely a scoreboard.

Finally, another part of the Scoreboard is a Competition Tracker, allowing you to compare yourself against other businesses in your sector. Use this information to build on strengths, overcome weaknesses, exploit opportunities and defend against potential threats.

9) Regular Business Development Sessions

Not all accountants are the same. Yes, the set of accounts that accountants produce may look the same. But from these accounts, a great accountant will glean invaluable insights into your business and translate this into practical advice such as how to grow your profits, improve cash flow and pay less tax.

We describe this as helping you to unlock the hidden potential in your business. This is what we do for each and every one of our clients. At the very least once a year (when we sign off your accounts) and usually more often, we will sit down with your for a robust Business Development Session.

At this session, we’ll review the business both in terms of the accounts and what you say about how things are going. Based on this, we’ll give you practical, action-oriented ways to overcome problems and grow and develop your business.

Our clients tell us that they get a huge amount out of these sessions. We’re told that we’re positive, supportive and enthusiastic – but also that we’re realistic and plain-speaking, meaning that we’ll tell you the truth, not just what you want to hear.

And if you want us to, we can give you a bit of a kick in the right direction every now and then, to keep you on track (we know sometimes that you’ve got all the right ideas, you just need some help keeping focused and motivated).

But whatever you need to overcome business problems, exploit new opportunities and grow your business, we can help you to achieve your goals during regular Business Development Sessions with your accountant.

10) Full Access To Our Marketing HotlineTM

Due to popular demand, we have recently launched our very own Marketing HotlineTM service, which is available to all of our clients as part of their package.

We have a team of in-house marketing specialists – whose key role is to run our own internal marketing in addition to delivering parts of our business growth programmes and services – and we made them available to every client to pick their brains and benefit from their experience and expertise.

Simply telephone or email with your question and it will be expertly answered. Or perhaps you are short of ideas but know that you should be doing some marketing; in which case, set up a marketing review, again free of charge.

The team can also help to improve your brand or to help you to make more sales. Their expertise extends across the whole marketing spectrum from traditional marketing (such as advertising, PR, telemarketing, direct mail, events, etc) to modern online and digital marketing (such as websites, Google marketing, social media, e-mail marketing, online advertising, etc).

So if you have any questions, would like help putting together a campaign or simply need some inspiration (with all things branding, marketing and sales), clients need only to contact the team and they will provide as much help, support and guidance – often including resources such as fill-in-the-blank templates – as they possibly can, all included in your fixed fee.



About Your Accountant

For all new clients at the present time, Clare Thompson will be your accountant.  Clare is our Senior Partner and in addition to practice leadership she works directly with clients to provide both accountancy and business development services.

Clare is something of a rarity in the accountancy world, as in addition to her time in practice as a senior accountant, she has spent over a decade in the private sector running successful businesses.

This means that Clare knows what it is like to run a multi-million pounds business and employ dozens of people in the real world.

As a result, Clare and her talented team can combine professional experience and chartered accountancy qualifications with real world, practical business experience, providing invaluable support to you and your business on all aspects of your business.

Academically, Clare is a Chartered Management Accountant holding the prestigious ACMA, CGMA qualification and two degrees, a BA (Hons) in Finance and an LLB (Hons) in Law, from the University of Newcastle.

In addition, Clare is a noted business author and keynote speaker, and has published pioneering business research with Durham University.

You can read her full profile here.


An Unrivalled Accountancy Service

In summary, we provide an unrivalled accountancy service for owner managed businesses.

With us, taking care of your accounts and tax affairs is only the beginning.

We’ll provide the highest possible service with numerous extras designed to help you get the very most from your business.

You’ll work with an accountant who has actually run businesses in the real world, who will always be available to help and support you throughout the year.

This includes helping you to resolve short-term business problems and plan for growth in the long-term.

All provided for one fixed fee with no hidden extras.

That’s why we believe that now is the time for you to Switch Accountants.


How To Find Out More

If you would like to discuss anything you have read on this page or if you would like to discuss how we can help you and your business, then please get in touch.

You can do this by completing the form below (scroll down to the end of the page and look on the right hand side), calling us during office hours on 0845 658 6949 or sending an e-mail to switch@switchaccountants.co.uk

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