[Video] The practice where clients are part of the family

The mission to be a family practice for family businesses is at the heart of Banner and Associates, a thriving practice based in Harrow in north-west London. Founded more than 30 years ago by Sam Banerjee, the business is now led by Sam’s son Ron, who holds the role of Managing Director.

“I spent about 10 years with a larger accountancy firm before joining my dad’s practice in 2012. If anyone has earned their retirement, it’s my dad. But he’s never been one to wait on the sidelines; he still spends much of his time sharing decades of expertise with clients and he takes great pleasure in helping people understand accounting, tax and compliance.”

Focusing on positive client interactions

“For us, accounting is about having positive interactions with all of our prospective and existing clients. We find that we’re actually rewarded well for this approach and most of our existing clients come to us through referrals. We don’t really do much marketing, other than maintaining our website and a small amount of print advertising, which we mainly use to promote our charity partners.

“We see a lot of differences between clients who are just starting out and those that are switching from another accounting firm. For example, we see a lot of young entrepreneurs who tend to expect to have a lot more data available to them.”

“People are hungry for information. We’re definitely seeing a larger demand for real-time data from clients, which cloud accounting enables.”

Migration to the cloud

“While we’d been aware of cloud accounting software for a while, we only recently reached a point where we’ve needed - and wanted - to migrate our clients to the cloud. This was partly due to the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) in April 2019.

“We first met the FreeAgent team at an Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) event and decided that the software was the right option for a great many of our clients.

“Before we migrated these clients to FreeAgent, we had to send them numerous email reminders about their quarterly VAT returns or year-end submissions. With FreeAgent, we can now take stock of where each client is and determine who needs a chaser email based on their FreeAgent accounts.

“FreeAgent’s dashboard provides amazing visibility of our clients’ accounts, making it easier for us to help them where needed. It’s far easier to discuss any aspects of their finances that they’re really worried about and determine how we should be advising them based on their performance.”

Find out more about Banner and Associates here.

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