Many of us will have heard the saying “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves” and it’s a phrase that rings true in modern society according to Laura France of Highland Consultants.
Years of professional training and experience with one of the UK’s best known and successful accountancy firms, Ernst & Young, have given Laura a solid grounding in the industry, and motivated her to branch out on her own to offer a more personal, tailored, and effective service.
She said: “I’ve always loved accountancy and identifying ways to make efficiency savings. It still amazes me how making small changes in a business can affect its’ overall profit. I set up Highland Consultants in 2009 because wanted to offer more than just accountancy, and I believe that’s it’s important to provide value for money and a more rounded service than just picking up and dropping off ‘the books’.
“In the past two years I’ve grown the business by offering clients what they need at an affordable price. I’ve taken on three members of staff and to suit demand we generally go to each client’s base to work. We are very much in partnership with our clients; you can’t underestimate the importance of helping the management, regardless of the size of the company, to see where their money is being wisely utilised, and where it is being wasted. We are keen to develop the trouble-shooting side of the business and ensure that our clients maximise their bottom line.”
Highland Consultants is continuing to expand its staff and client base and has relocated to a more accessible office space at Corrie Lodge Business Centre (just off Millburn Road roundabout, Inverness) which also houses local firm Ian Macdonald Insurance and a few other well known local businesses. Highland Consultants has also recently rebranded to reflect its strength and success.
Laura continued: “I’m thrilled that we’re attracting new business because it shows that what we offer is a match with what people really need. We’ve got a wide variety of customers including well known bakery firms, football clubs, restaurants, and building firms; we are very versatile. From an accountancy point of view it’s a straightforward process, if a client can provide us with adequate and accurate information we can find ways to make them savings, to improve their efficiency, to advise them on new legislation, to ensure that their books are in order, and to work as a team member at no additional administrative burden to them.
“We can go on-site one day per week or the required number of hours per month to suit their needs. Because we are like a team member we can build up a strong picture of how that company operates, and, because we also retain objectivity we can see where things might begin to slip for that company unless they make changes. Our flexibility means we are often utilised as a sounding board; we’re trusted, impartial and professional.
“On that note, trust is one of the key factors to our success. We have proved that we are a reputable, value for money organisation. As a small team of professionals we have great rapport with our clients and mutual trust which forms excellent partnerships.
“Occasionally a new client will say that they’re going to hand over all accounting responsibility to us and I always make a point of explaining that if the management of any firm doesn’t know the finer financial details they do not have a clear overview of their firm. It is crucial that we have open and regular communication to ensure that we can all see how truly successful the company is, and at which juncture a change should be implemented.
“It’s incredibly refreshing to be able to work like this and to go into businesses and help make their accounts more accessible. Accountancy doesn’t have to just be tables of ‘figures or projections’, accountancy is where your success becomes reality, where any losses become learning curves, and where future profit can be identified. It plays a critical role in every business and we exist to deliver peace of mind and the real picture to all of our clients. This way of working means clients have the time they need to focus on maintaining and growing their business.
“In addition to in-house accounting solutions we can help your existing staff with their training needs. We have a strong identity and work ethos and we’re always happy to mould this to accommodate client demands. We recognise that bringing in a large firm to deliver training or pick up the books can prove costly. We’re here to offer the same service without the overheads, and with flexible attitudes.”
As part of their refreshing approach to accounts Highland Consultants is happy to give local businesses a free session to identify how they will benefit from working in partnership.
Accountancy is where your success becomes reality, where any losses become learning curves, and where future profit can be identified.
Highland Consultants provides a bespoke tailored service in the following areas:
- Management accounts
- Year end accounts
- Business analysis
- Projections and cashflows
- Business start up services
- Company secretarial services
- Internal systems and procedures audit
- Other office solutions