Running a guest house on the Isle of Islay in Scotland with turnover rising from £60k to £110k we were looking for an accounting system that would help to make our working life a little bit easier and that is exactly what Xero has done for us.
Grant Smith and the staff at Armstrong Watson were so patient explaining how the system worked and how it could benefit our business. Within a few days it felt that we had always used it. It is actually a joy completing the VAT return as with everything in the one place to do this and staff at Armstrong Watson always happy to help with any queries that arise.
Andrew and Alison Jackson, Owners, The Bowmore House
I was first introduced to Xero around 12 months ago. I was starting my own business and looking to make sure everything was kept in order whilst feeling like I was in control of my companies finances. Zero gives me this and so much more. Everything is available to me no matter where I am in the world, I can see how my business is doing within a few seconds. Repetitive tasks like invoicing and filing my expenses are simple and fast. Xero has given me the freedom to spend my time doing what I set out to do, grow my business.
I have peace of mind knowing that everything is filed safely and available to me whenever I need it. Armstrong Watson can see what I can see so I know that experienced help is only ever a few clicks away. I can’t imagine running my business any other way, anything else would feel like a backward step. Grant Smith at Armstrong Watson had me up and running within a matter of minutes. The tutorial was one on one and easy to follow. Xero keep me up to date with any new features, I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Grant Beverley, Director, Beverley Associated Limited
We enjoy a strong and constructive relationship with the Armstrong Watson team. They add value to our business thanks to the breadth of services that they offer, whatever the nature of the advice we need. Armstrong Watson worked with us to restructure the business. They understood exactly what we wanted to do commercially. We can now consolidate and expand our business with the support from experts who understand us, our business and its strategy moving forward.
Richard Haugh, Director, James Haugh (Dumfries) Limited
Sharon has been visiting us as our external financial resource for a couple of years. She settles all of our invoices, manages the monthly management accounts and produces a number of financial statements for us including the VAT return. We have always found her very professional, flexible, and self-motivated.
Above all she has a very happy and pleasant disposition. She is a very able ambassador for Armstrong Watson's external facing staff and we are very pleased to have the opportunity of recording our appreciation.
John Grainger, Managing Director, Invest in Cumbria
Not being from a financial background myself, Armstrong Watson deliver the information I need on a level I can understand. I trust them highly and the service I’ve had from them has been fantastic.
Croxdale Fast Fit, Kevin Parkinson
It’s about having someone who is independent to the business but who has a detailed knowledge of the business. As a business owner it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day running of the business, and lose sight of the bigger picture. The outside perspective really helps us to make the right decisions for the business going forward.
Kai Arter, Badgequo
In developing our business, to provide high speed devices for fibre-optics systems at the limit of technology today, u2t Photonics UK has needed to have a tight rein on the financial management of the company while we are focused on the technical and business challenges.
For financial support at u2t, we have relied on Armstrong Watson to provide sound financial advice but also more practical help where, for example, they have taken tasks on to allow us to get on with our main job. Responses to questions have been dealt with in an accurate and extremely timely manner which is important in a small technology business. At an early stage in the life cycle of a company it is particularly important that the development costs are well managed. Armstrong Watson educated us on the options for managing our tax affairs and ensured we made the most of tax measures which support small and medium sized enterprises. This most especially applies to the use of the tax credit offer from government which allows us to keep tight controls on our R&D costs.
In summary we have been delighted with the support, interaction and responsiveness which we experienced with Armstrong Watson, right from our first engagement with them four years ago.
Steve Clements, Managing Director, U2T Photonics UK Ltd
I contacted Nigel after reading an article in Taxation about EBTs. I liked the simplicity of the idea and how it involved working with the tax system rather than against it. The idea enabled me to reach a favourable EBT settlement with HMRC. I have subsequently used Nigel’s knowledge of R&D tax credits to help a manufacturing business that I am a director of. Once again, I am delighted by the outcome. I am keen for Nigel and Armstrong Watson to play a bigger role with a number of companies I am involved with.
Iain Jenkins, Director, Aquaspira Ltd, Creditflux Ltd, Alpha Haven Ltd
When the company was sold to a private equity firm, Armstrong Watson was instrumental in assisting the purchase; formulating the financial models, cash flow analysis and pro forma profit and loss. The team produced high quality results and provided an invaluable contribution in the post transaction.
The effective sale of the business was made so by having the right people with the right skills who really understood the business and our requirements, in particluar David Richmond. David has an excellent understanding of business finance reporting, his knowledge and the ability to understand different situations provided invaluable in developing the strategic direction of our business. Armstrong Watson are a very professional outfit and without doubt their contribution has made the transaction exceedingly cost effective and we would highly recommend them.
John Williams, Managing Director, Ness Furniture
We engaged Andy Poole and his specialist legal sector team at Armstrong Watson as our accountants in 2012, only the second firm of accountants we have used in our 18 year history. We found that their management of the handover of responsibilities from our previous accountants was very smooth and constructive.
In the first year, we have been very satisfied with the level of specialisation which they bring to our sector. Our previous accountants were a top 10 UK firm, but we do not feel that they were able to offer the same depth of advice. Andy’s knowledge of the legal market shines through in his pro-active advice and they have been very keen to help to improve our business.
They have already suggested and implemented a change in our business structure to better suit our commercial needs. This should result in very significant tax efficiencies, even though we have not noticed any real changes to the way we run our practice on a day to day basis. We get on with running our practice and they get on with supporting us.
We are very happy with our decision to appoint Armstrong Watson and we are sure that they will bring on-going benefits to our business going forward.
John Gaunt, Senior Partner, John Gaunt & Partners