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How We Work Well Together

An Efficient Accountancy & Tax Partnership

Maintaining the highest level of service deliverable is of the utmost importance to us.

We know that not being able to get hold of someone, not getting a quick answer to a query, having to chase for information & updates, with promises and deadlines not being delivered are all immensely frustrating……to us, getting righting this forms the foundations of an excellent relationship where we both prosper.

Lessons Learned

Earlier in my career, I watched with horror at the endless list of unreturned phone calls and unanswered emails, clients constantly chasing (sometimes for weeks & months) and the frustration and dissatisfaction that it brought for the client.

It also created a chaotic approach to working life in the accountancy business. Poor planning and communication leads to stress and poorly delivered advice at best, mistakes and monumental balls ups at worst.

Honestly, it was set up to fail.

Planned chaos, where we all ran from fire to fire, desperately hanging on and often failing miserably.

There was no system other than it being a reactive, last-minute, “who shouts loudest” approach that no one enjoyed!

When I set up my own business, I wanted to avoid these failings and build a system where we always aimed to excel in creating the highest level of service possible. Being ahead of the game was the name of the game.

Continual improvement is at the heart of that.

For some time, we resisted the temptation to “formalise” this – it felt far too rigid and very “accountancy”- but it is important to it set out the framework of how we can all work together as efficiently as possible. It also gives us the foundation to continue to improve our service levels in the future.


We have set this out in this flowchart to make it easy to follow.

Let’s explain why we feel it is important to communicate in this way:

  • Availability – The simple fact is that we’re not always available when you call.  Meetings, training, urgent deadline work, walking the dog, taking a day off may mean that we’re not around to take that call.  This leaves you frustrated that you can’t get hold of us and us frustrated that we’ve let you down.  By booking calls in, even as short as 15 minutes, no one feels let down, your time isn’t wasted and things run more smoothly – everybody’s happier.
  • Planning – we like to think we’re an organized bunch at Elevate.  Client work, deadlines, meetings – they’re all booked in in advance so that we are always ahead of the game and never running on Unexpected phone calls (however minor) disrupt that flow and lead to deadlines slipping and client service levels falling – this is something we cannot let happen.  By booking calls in, we’re aware of them in advance and can shuffle things around in the background so we always stay in front.
  • Preparation – our Calendly link gives you the option of giving a brief description of what the call will be about.  This gives us the chance to prepare, giving us thinking time, maybe even finding the answer out before the call to make best use of your time and giving you the answers & solutions quickly.
  • Prioritising – in a past life, working in your typical accountancy practice, we’ve seen first-hand the impact of unplanned phone calls and emails.  Everything is labelled as “urgent”.  There’s a reason why hospitals have a separate A&E department to a minor injuries walk-in department.  Without the separation, a cut finger takes the same priority as a heart attack.  By planning phone calls and separating emails, we can see what is business-critical and act appropriately.

One thing we’re definitely not saying is “please don’t contact us” – absolutely not!  Open and regular communication is encouraged and is key to a close working relationship.

Deadline management

We have set out the deadlines for each of the following services, the information required, when by and what we promise to deliver if we receive that information on time.

We have the ability (with Xero and Dext) to maintain records on a live, ongoing basis but this relies on the information and data we receive from you.

When your records are live, we can spend more time looking forward, planning and adding value rather than nagging & chasing (does anyone really enjoy being nagged and chased?!) and reporting on history.

The aim is to always be in a place where the flow of information is seamless with minimal chasing and maximum efficiency which will give us the vital ability to look forward and make a difference to you and your business.

Quarterly Management Accounts & VAT
Year End Accounts

What we expect of you

Details of new starters and/or leavers to be provided without delay

Holidays, sick leave etc. to be recorded through the employer’s Brightpay portal

Details of any changes to a pay run (changes to gross pay, commissions, overtime, changes to employee details) to be notified a minimum of 5 days before pay day

All correspondence to be emailed to

What you can expect from us

All employees will be provided with their own personal and secure portal through BrightPay where they can access their payslips, P60’s & HR documents and request holidays

All pay runs will be finalised a minimum of 2 days before the pay date

Each employer will be able to access their payroll records through the secure portal to see payslips, payroll reports (to make wages payments) and HMRC liabilities (to make PAYE/NI payments)

What we expect of you

Any information relating to your personal tax position (outside of the work we do for your business) to be provided by the 30th June

This will include:

  • Other employment income and benefits
  • Interest and investment dividends received
  • Capital gains (sales of second homes for example)
  • Details of Child Benefit received
  • Contributions made personally to pension plans
  • Literally anything else that might impact on your personal tax position!

All correspondence to be emailed to

What you can expect from us

Personal tax returns will be in final draft within 2 months of receiving all the information

This gives you up to 8 months notice to plan for your personal tax liabilities

What we expect of you

See bookkeeping service for information we require

Also to be provided:

  • Copy bank statements for all bank accounts showing the balance at the quarter-end date to check your bank matches the balance in Xero
  • Stocktake (where applicable)
  • Copies of any new loan/finance agreements taken out
  • Details of any fixed assets purchases and/or disposals
  • All information to be provided by 5 working days after month/quarter end

All correspondence to be emailed to

What you can expect from us

Management reports available within 30 days of quarter-end where bookkeeping deadlines are met

VAT returns to be finished & filed within 30 days of quarter-end (giving a minimum of 10 days notice of your VAT liability)

Tax planning opportunities are discussed & considered in real-time to maximise your business & personal tax-efficiency

Estimated future business & personal tax liabilities are updated to remove any nasty surprises, giving you plenty of time to plan for your business & personal tax

Where you make use of our rolling forecast service, these are updated so that you always have a minimum of 12-months of forward forecasts, to better plan for the future using live data to give you more accurate projections

What we expect of you

Upload all expenses and purchase invoices onto Dext on a continual basis

Maintain bank feeds in Xero

Raise sales invoices on Xero on a continual basis

All correspondence to be emailed to

What you can expect from us

Reconcile bank account weekly

Identify missing items and discrepancies

Chase missing items on a regular basis

Bookkeeping to be completed by 10 working days after the month-end

What we expect of you

Where monthly/quarterly managements are produced, no more information needs to be provided

Where monthly/quarterly managements are not produced, we need:

  • Year-end bank statements
  • Details of fixed asset acquisitions & disposals
  • Stocktake details
  • Copies of any new finance/loan arrangements

All information is required within 2 months of your year-end

All correspondence to be emailed to

What you can expect from us

Pre year-end tax planning options discussed 2 months before your year-end (and continually if we provide quarterly management reporting

Year-end accounts available in final draft within 2 months of receiving all information

This will give you up to 7 months notice (if you’re a company) or 8 months notice (if you’re a sole trader) to plan for your business’ tax liabilities

For companies we will consider the possibilities of making a Research & Development (R&D) tax credits claim to further reduce your tax liabilities