A business lesson from Derek Trotter

Jul 17, 2017



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Category: Business Advice

A business lesson from Derek Trotter

Before you get too excited, we are not endorsing a “No income tax, no VAT, no money-back, no guarantee” philosophy!

In an episode of Only Fools and Horses, Del comes up with the idea of having pre-blessed wine to allow vicars to devote more time to parishioners. It turns out to be a crazy idea aimed at shifting some old Romanian Riesling. However, what Del unwittingly did was complete a time and motion study, a business efficiency technique, so perhaps not so crazy after all.

One of the most precious resources to us all is time and it affects what we can achieve in our personal and professional lives. It is often a limiting factor that owner-managers cite for not being able to realise their goals.

Owning and managing a business now brings a significant amount of legislation and red tape to negotiate, what we refer to as compliance tasks. Health and safety, work place pensions, making tax digital, people with significant control registers, EC sales lists, VAT returns etc. I am sure you are all too familiar with some of these so I won’t recite them all; there isn’t time!

We could debate how useful or irritating some of this is but there is no hiding and it remains a time-consuming necessary evil for most owner-managers. It’s a double whammy because HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) also manage to get a significant boost to their coffers each year with fines and interest from those businesses which fail to comply on time or correctly.

We are pleased to say most of A4G’s clients do not contribute much, if anything, each year to HMRC’s “extras” column. We are often disappointed on behalf of clients that join us from other accounting practices that have been let down with compliance or clients which have valiantly, but unsuccessfully, tried to deal with compliance matters themselves.

Most businesses and individuals naturally want peace of mind when it comes to accounts and tax and at A4G we see this as one of the building blocks that underpins all the services we provide to our clients. You will find lots of crucial information on our website about our value-added services that will help you improve and grow your business but getting the basics right first, completed by the ‘right’ people is an easy way to add value, financial and non-financial.

For example, what if I told you that by completing your own bookkeeping, an everyday compliance task for all businesses, you might not be saving money, you might actually be losing money?

How long do you spend each quarter on bookkeeping? How much money could you earn in all those additional hours? It’s probably more than it would cost to outsource that task and plus you hate doing it! Alternatively, it might just allow you to reduce your working hours and take a much-deserved break.

It is not just bookkeeping. As mentioned above, there are a growing number of compliance tasks to deal with. As an owner-manager, if you are spending more time on compliance and admin than you are on marketing, improving and growing your business, now is the time to make a change for the better.

Our own time and motion study through the continuous development of our systems means that we can complete these compliance tasks efficiently on your behalf and reduce the burden on you. Additionally, we can also advise on how you can systemise and streamline your own processes to find those hours you need to call back a potential customer or appraise a key member of staff.

Would you like an extra few hours per month? If so, please take a few minutes to give us a call. 


Jack ACCA

Jack joined in September 2004 following the completion of his A-levels. After undertaking a number of different roles within the practice from Time Ledger, Administrator to Client Manager, he now helps to ensure the smooth running of our accounts preparation department.

Like many of our trainees he initially completed AAT before becoming a Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA). He is also a xero certified advisor.

When he is not working, Jack takes a keen interest in sports, including supporting a football team that shall not be named!

jack.emerson@a4g-llp.co.uk | 01474 853 856


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