Meet the supplier: Robinson & Co

Meet the Leeds-based accountancy firm that specialises in working with start-ups who value the very latest in cloud-based financial tools

Name: Gary Robinson
Company: Robinson & Co.
Address: 7 Long Meadowgate, Garforth, Leeds, LS25 2BX
Website: www.robinsonandco.co.uk
Key services: Annual accounting and tax planning, bookkeeping and company secretarial services, management accounts and strategic planning, tax and VAT returns and investigation services.
Founded in: 2004

Who are you?

We’re a forward thinking accountancy practice that works with entrepreneurs and start-ups who value the very latest in cloud-based financial tools.

Tell us about your firm. What makes you different from the rest?

If you’re looking for an accountant that does more than simply crunch the numbers, that’s us. We seek to give you the clarity of financial information you need to make important decisions about your business 24/7 and while on the move.

We partner with XERO; one of the world’s leading cloud-based accounting systems and were their first partner in the region (in 2010). Our expertise led us to be appointed as their first ‘GOLD Partner’ in West Yorkshire in 2012. This depth of experience gives you the confidence that we can help you leverage the best possible result from this powerful business platform. Better still it’s easy to make the switch.

Who are the key members of your team?

We’ve got a small but great team on board, with a wealth of experience, with two main client facing personnel.

I’m a Chartered Management Accountant and Partner of the firm. I trained in corporate life at Thorn EMI Electronics and then worked with the likes of Johnson & Johnson and Dell in various financial controller and financial planning roles.

Our assistant accountant Angela Levitt has worked in various accounting and financial service roles prior to joining Robinson and Co in 2008. She has book-keeping (IAB) and insurance qualifications (CII) and is a member of the Association of Accounting Technicians.

What size of business do you work with best?

We’re specialists in working with start-ups and small businesses in all sectors as we understand your need for flexibility and time to concentrate on your business.

Our philosophy is always to do our utmost to provide a friendly, courteous and efficient service; to always exceed your expectations and listen to what YOU are saying. You will find us responsive in our communications with you, will never surprise you with bills you’re not expecting and are honest, truthful and upfront with you at all times.

What services do businesses use you for most?

We can provide a full 360º service, including bookkeeping and company secretarial services as well as the more familiar annual returns, tax and VAT filing, to management accounts and strategic planning.

How much of what you do could businesses do for themselves?

With Robinson & Co you’ll discover the freedom of being able to concentrate on what drives your business forward, confident that the financial controls are in place and that you have a business partner who’s working with you to help your business grow.

What common problems/scenarios does your firm solve?

  1. Struggling to have enough time to manage accounts as well as running a business. We recommend using the cloud-based Xero system so clients have access to their accounts anytime, anywhere and on any device.
  2. Forming a plan for your business is not something you should do just at the beginning. Keeping your financial forecast up to date and measuring how you are doing against it is essential to all businesses. Using some of the most up to date tools we are able to and it’s not as expensive as you might think.
  3. Many businesses at various times of their lives need to raise finance for one reason or another. With our extensive range of contacts we can put you in touch not with just the traditional financing options but also newer, more innovative forms of finance, to help you grow your business.

Tell us about one of your clients and what you’ve done for them:

We pride ourselves on supporting our clients. Creating long term relationships where we can help businesses grow and be there each step of the way to offer guidance and support.

One client we’ve worked with closely recently is setting up a dance school offering formal courses up to post graduate level. We have helped them develop their business plan and put together a detailed financial plan for the first three years. We have also advised them on the particular structure of the trading business as well as advised on detailed VAT issues particular to this sector.

Are you expensive? Tell us more about your pricing structure:

Our aim is for you to pay the least amount of tax payable within the law, to provide pro-active business advice wherever possible and a broad range of financial services that will contribute to your business success. Knowing you can budget for your accountancy fees right from the start and include everything you need.

If you need anything outside of these agreed services you will always know how much it’s going to cost before we start work. Depending on what it is we may be able to add it to your monthly direct debit.

How long have you been based in Leeds?

We’ve been based in Leeds since 2004.

What business resources in Leeds would you recommend?

There are so many fabulous business resources in Leeds, so it’s hard to pick one. There are many sector-specific business support services such as TechNorth and Fashion in Leeds that can help with incubator and retail opportunities, plus business networking groups such as The Yorkshire Mafia and Connect Yorkshire.

What are the top reasons for a start-up business to set up in Leeds?

You should start a business in Leeds because it’s:

  • Innovative
  • Supportive
  • Forward-thinking
  • Offers external-investment

For more advice on starting a business in Leeds, click here.

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