Meet the supplier: Torevell Dent

Thinking of starting a business in Bradford? Get to know the Bradford-based accountancy chain which advises micro-businesses and small enterprises...

Name: Mike Torevell
Torevell Dent Ltd
Address: Centre of Excellence, Hope Park, Trevor Foster Way, Bradford BD5 8HH
Key services: Accountancy, tax, bookkeeping, payroll and business mentoring
Founded in: 1986

Who are you?

Also trading under the name of Clarkson & Co., we are a general accountancy practice with branches in Halifax, Bradford and Huddersfield. We specialise in advising micro businesses, small and medium enterprises, family-run businesses and charities.

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

Our partners have worked within the Inland Revenue and also within industry. We have run our own businesses for 30 years and undertake business mentoring with clients. We have more practical experience than most accountants and are well placed to guide start up and fledgling businesses to success.

Who are the key members of your team?

Managing director Mike Torevell FCCA, ACMI, AIBA – Started advising his own portfolio of clients in 1978, and in 1986 he formed an accountancy partnership with Ian Dent (now retired from the practice). Torevell trained in public practice before extending his experience by working in industry as the accountant for a group of companies involved in manufacturing, wholesaling and a motor dealership based in Halifax and Bradford. Torevell can therefore relate to the pressures of running a sizeable business as well as smaller concerns such as his wife’s two hairdressing businesses and his own small retail textile business.

Michael Fox, FCA, FCCA – Joined Torevell Dent in 1992 having worked at senior level in the national accountancy practice of PWC. His technical and audit experience in dealing with larger firm clients boosted Torevell Dent’s overall capability. He too has had a spell on the industrial side of business accountancy and now is the director heading up our Audit Department  and Bradford Office.

Philip H Lister – Our tax director. He began his career with the Inland Revenue before moving to a five partner accountancy firm based in Huddersfield. He joined Torevell Dent in 1991 to use his wide taxation experience and knowledge to set up our dedicated taxation department specialising in personal and corporate tax advice.

Samantha J Sutcliffe, FCCA, MAAT – Joined Torevell Dent in 2003 following a period of time with a large Leeds City firm of accountants dealing with a wide range of clients and audit assignments. Sutcliffe was appointed as a director in 2008 and is responsible for most of the firm’s charity and statutory audits along with a wide range of smaller business accounts advice.

David Jackson – The manager of our Huddersfield office, responsible for advising smaller clients on business and tax matters. As an ex-Inland Revenue man, Jackson has the experience and knowledge to safely steer our clients away from the clutches of HMRC.

What size of business do you work with best?

Our ideal client is a small limited company business with (say) two directors and five employees.

What services do they use you for most?

This type of business will probably require a certain amount of bookkeeping/VAT assistance and payroll services in addition to the preparation of standard annual accounts and company and Directors Tax Return completion.

An ambitious business will also require profit forecasts and suitable advice and/or mentoring with a view to growth and financing (or indeed, survival).

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

Theoretically, a business can deal with all of the matters outlined above without employing an accountant but they could not practically obtain and maintain the knowledge and experience required to ensure that all relevant compliance rules are met, and that the tasks are completed efficiently and on a timely basis.

It would be impossible for a business to review itself, its procedures, processes and results on an impartial basis and it would lose the benefits of the connections and experience which a trained and qualified advisor can contribute.

What common problems/scenarios does your firm solve?

  1. We provide independent assurance to providers of finance with regards to the financial position of the client business by supplying independently prepared information such as profit and cash flow forecasts, management accounts and business plans. Our work and reputation helps clients to obtain their necessary funding.
  2. Many smaller client businesses lack the time and/or inclination to prepare and submit VAT Returns, or just don’t feel confident to do so. We often carry out this work for them.We take the worry and uncertainty away, freeing up clients time so they can earn a living and grow their business.
  3. Many newly self-employed do not know what type of records are required to be kept or the best way to keep them. Nor do they know what deadlines are required to be met or the information required to be submitted.We advise and show new clients what is required, when it’s required and how to do it. We advise on various types of bookkeeping/accounting packages and which may be best suited to them and offer our services should they not want to do the work themselves.

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

One self-taught, clever businessman set up his business supplying homes with a particular product. Although astute, he is dyslexic and he is also a forceful character.

He would get ideas on how to run his business and how to improve his service but when he asked his employees for their opinion and input – everyone agreed with everything he said. He was sure that they were only saying what they thought he wanted to hear.

We began to have regular meetings with him and, being independent, were able to question his ideas and to challenge his basic assumptions.

By focusing his mind on a regular basis he was able to discern the great ideas from the good and not so good ideas. Implementing the better ideas, along with good and regular cash forecasting and management, he sold his business after eight years for over £1m.

He runs a different business now, and we still have regular meetings but on the agenda now is how to pass his business down to his sons.

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

From what we know from our competition we are not the cheapest, nor the most expensive firm of accountants in Bradford and Halifax. We give advance quotes for the work required where possible and allow clients to pay by monthly standing order. We tailor the service to the client’s needs and we price accordingly. The main basis of the price is the anticipated time to do the work and the level of skill required.

All new clients are given a free, no obligation meeting when we first meet and there is no time limit on that meeting. It is important that we and the client are happy to work together and that means getting to know each other and building up trust.

How long have you been based in Bradford?

24 years.

What business resources in Bradford would you recommend?

Bradford has a wealth of office space on offer.

What are the top reasons to start a business in Bradford?

  1. Grants
  2. There are new business start-up networks
  3. Bradford is a new progressive city
  4. Wealth of advisors
  5. Vibrant labour market

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


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