Archive: AVN Insights

Interview with Tim Davies – John Davies and Co


Hi there, I’m Shane Lukas, and I’m the Managing Director of AVN. The AVN team are excited to announce the release of our new book The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices which is free to download here: Our book has been designed to help businesses find accountants who go the extra mile to help improve the success of the company and make the business more enjoyable to run.

I recently spoke to Tim Davies, the Managing Director of Wrexham based accountancy firm John Davies & Co. John Davies & Co are one of the accountancy firms which feature in The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices.

Interviewing Tim Davies, helped me understand how John Davies & Co stand out and why they are head and shoulders above traditional accountancy practices. Through speaking to Tim Davies, I found out how John Davies & Co use benchmarking and goal setting effectively. Benchmarking helps businesses to compare key criteria against their competitors and work out what they need to do to become more successful. By identifying areas of weakness John Davies & Co can tailor their advice to the individual company and help to make improvements and increase profitability.

During the interview, Tim Davies told me an incredible story of how a client came to him three years ago, with an overdraft of £230,000 and minor profitability for his bakery business. Tim and his team benchmarked the bakery against over 200 competitors, focusing on the gross margin and gross profit. The conclusion from the benchmarking was that the client could increase their prices by 10%.

Naturally afraid of losing customers, the client was reluctant to raise prices. Using innovative software, Tim showed the client how he could afford to lose 5-10% of the customer base and still be profitable. After a year of following Tim’s advice, the client’s overdraft had disappeared, and profits had increased. The success has continued, and the client now has £250,000 in the bank and is making a yearly profit of £225,000. Not only is the business much more successful, but the client’s lifestyle has changed, and he has gone from a stressed out entrepreneur to a relaxed business owner.

Tim and his team at John Davies & Co help clients who have a vision and who want to succeed. It is wonderful to see accountancy firms that want to go the extra mile for their clients, as Tim says; “I want to leave a mark and be able to say that I’ve helped businesses get to where they should get.”

If you want to find out more about John Davies & Co or other firms that go the extra mile for businesses, you can find them in our book, The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices. This book is free to download at

You can watch my interview with Tim Davies, one of the founding partners of John Davies & Co here:

Article Source: Shane Lukas

The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices – Rennie Evans Interview


Hi, I’m Shane Lukas, the Managing Director of AVN and in conjunction with the release of our new book The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices, I have been interviewing some of the UK’s best accountants. These interviews have helped me to gain further insight into what makes their practices so different and why they deserved their place in the book.I recently interviewed Rennie Evans, who is the Managing Director of the Manchester based firm, Prospero Accounting Ltd to find out how his business goes the extra mile for their clients, by helping businesses to become more successful and more enjoyable to run.

During the interview, Rennie shared with me a wonderful story of one of his most successful clients. A grandfather, with his granddaughter in a pushchair, walked into Prospero’s office, without an appointment and asked them to help him and his colleagues start a business. This is a prime example of where most accountants wouldn’t have wanted to help, but Prospero took it upon themselves to help this client every step of the way.

This action has paid off for both the client and Prospero as the business now has a turnover of £10 million, is extremely profitable and has branches across the world. What͛s more interesting about this incredible story is that the client is a chartered certified accountant himself yet still comes to Prospero for advice and regularly acts on their recommendations. This is a wonderful example of how Prospero is helping businesses to grow and achieve success.

What makes Prospero stand out as an accountancy firm is that they are a forward-thinking company that takes advantage of leading technologies which helps their business as much as it helps other businesses. Prospero uses cloud-driven and remote technologies so that their team of accountants can operate from anywhere around the world, Rennie himself has even operated the business from New Zealand. By storing all of the client’s data remotely, it means that their team can work from home or the most favoured approach of working from the client’s business site.

Rennie prefers his team to go out and work from the client’s business site regularly so they can understand how the company is operating and look for any areas of improvement or help to spot any potential issues. As with any accountancy practice, Rennie’s team still have to conform to the necessary evil of accountancy in regards to things such as audit compliance, but they truly do want to help their clients in other ways by offering advice to help businesses improve their cash flow and become more profitable and successful.

If you want to find out more about Rennie and his firm, Prospero, you can find them in our book, The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices. You can also download Prospero’s free book, How To Build A Successful Business To Achieve The Lifestyle You Desire, from

If you would like to watch the interview I conducted with Rennie you can find it here:

Article Source: Shane Lukas

AVN Accountant, Murray Associates, Helps Small Business See Astonishing Growth By Increasing Turnover By £250,000 In Just Seven Months


Glasgow based accountancy practice, Murray Associates has seen extraordinary success for their clients through their innovative mentoring group. The mentoring group helps small business to fast-track their business growth and has been noticeably successful with one client seeing astonishing results: an increase of £250,000 in turnover in just seven months. This story is just one of the many reasons why Murray Associates feature in AVN’s book; The Business Owner’s Guide To The UK’s Best Accountancy Practices.

Standing Out From The Crowd

In a recent interview with Gloria Murray, the founder of Murray Associates, I found out more about the incredible results she has achieved for her clients and exactly why her practice deserves to feature in AVN’s book. AVN, the UK-wide association for accountants, have published a book that is designed to help business owners find an accountant that will help them not only grow their business but also make it more enjoyable to run. The accountants that feature in the book have a proven track record of improving and measuring the numbers that really matter to their clients.

Murray Associates were formed over twenty years ago when Gloria noticed that accountants were not serving their customers as well as they should be. In the interview, Gloria said; I realised there was a need for someone who understood real-life business, not just the theory of it. With ample experience in the service industry, Gloria is not a stereotypical accountant. Gloria sees her role as interpreting the numbers in a way that is meaningful to the clients, to help grow their business and become excellent entrepreneurs.

What Being An AVN Accountants Means

As a long-term member of AVN, Murray Associates utilise the many tools provided to AVN accountants to help businesses achieve success. Gloria uses AVN’s benchmarking tool to help clients to compare their services to the competition. Gloria finds this tool so useful; she provides this service to her clients annually as a review tool. As well as benchmarking, Gloria uses AVN’s Business Potential tool; this helps clients achieve their goals and get to where they want to be, in many cases using this software shows clients that they may have to rethink their business model to get to where they want to be. Further proof that Murray Associates and AVN accountants don’t simply offer standard accounts and management information.

By providing her clients real-life business knowledge, Gloria enjoys working with micro and small businesses who are striving to be the best in their industry. Predominantly in the service sector, Gloria likes to worth with enterprises that have a turnover under £6 million, but who have passion and drive to grow their business.

Find Out More

If you want to discover more about Murray Associates and how Gloria’s practice will go further than standard accountancy practices, they are featured in AVN’s book: The Business Owner’s Guide To The UK’s Best Accountancy Practices. In this book, you can find Murray Associates as well as other accountancy practices that will go further for your business than traditional accountants. Click here: to claim your free copy of the book.

If you would like to watch the interview, click here:

Article Source: Shane Lukas

Goddards Accountants Prove That Cloud-Based Real Time Accounts Can Save Your Business From Imminent Cash Flow Crisis


In a recent interview I conducted with Derek Williamson for Goddards Accountants; I discovered how their accountancy practice utilises innovative cloud-based software to deliver a better service for their clients and how in some cases, they have helped to save businesses from immediate and severe problems, such as a cash flow crisis.

Using The Cloud To Future-Proof Your Business

Goddards Accountants are advocates of leading innovative cloud-based software that helps their accountants and their clients in the here and now as well as future-proofing their business. Derek believes there is no point telling their customers what has happened and when, instead, accountancy practices should seek to focus on the now and do more future planning. By using cloud-based software, Goddard Accountants are able to work with the client on their present-day accounts and be able to plan for the future.

Using cloud-based software has really helped businesses in having more access and more involvement in their business. One of the major success stories that Derek told me was how, through a Skype discussion with his client, he noticed that there was an immediate cash flow problem. With permission from the client, Derek shared the accounts over a cloud-based solution with the client’s bank manager. Derek used the real-time data and projections in discussions with the bank manager, and the result of this was that the client secured an overdraft. Had the client have asked for the overdraft just six weeks later, the bank manager admitted that the request would have been declined.

What Makes An-A Class’ Client?

The story above stresses just how important it is for businesses and accountants to look towards the future of the business, rather than the old-fashioned approach of retrospective analysis. As Derek says; “We believe that the future has got to be in the cloud, and accountants, using the old-fashioned ways are dead in the water.” Goddards Accountants believe that through regular communication with their clients, they can help businesses to save money in the future. In fact, Goddards Accountants call businesses who are concerned about the future their ‘A-class clients’

Using cloud-based software allows the instant sharing of data, which means that discussions with clients, or even bank managers, can happen quickly and efficiently over the web, without time-wasting. In some cases, like the case study above, there is no time to waste in setting up face-to-face meetings, and this is where cloud-based software best comes into play.

Going The Extra Mile With AVN

Goddards Accountants are AVN accountants, which means that these accountancy practices are expected to go the extra mile to help their client’s businesses be more successful and enjoyable to run. AVN provides a wealth of resources to help accountancy practices deliver an even better service for their clients. This makes it easier for Derek and his practice to help clients to prepare for tomorrow with the tools that AVN provides.

The forward-thinking nature of Goddards Accountants means that they have been specially selected to feature in The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices. A free to download book designed to help business owners find an accountancy firm that will go the extra mile for their business and really make a difference.

Download The Free Book Today

If you are interested in finding out more about Goddards Accountants, then download this free, comprehensive guide by visiting

Article Source: Shane Lukas

How Artisan Accounts Help Creative Businesses To Shine


Artisan Accounts are one of the accountancy practices that have been selected to feature in the book The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices. A book written by AVN, the association for forward thinking accountants, is designed to help business owners find an accountant that will go the extra mile for their business and help them in ways that traditional accountants simply won’t.

To find out more about why Artisan Accounts were selected to be featured in the book, I interviewed Alex Redmond, the Director of Artisan Accounts. Alex and his team enjoy working with creative businesses, accompanying them on their business journey by getting to know the business on a deeper level so they can understand exactly what their clients want. Once this has been established, Artisan Accounts work to create actions and goals alongside measuring techniques to help to get the business to where they want to be.

It is important for Alex that he gets to connect with each business on a deeper level and create a great working relationship so that he can work alongside each business, helping them to become more successful and making the business more enjoyable to run.

Going the extra mile is important to Artisan Accounts, during the interview Alex told me a story of one of his clients and what Artisan Accounts had done for them. A designer came to Artisan Accounts in deep financial trouble, an overdraft at its maximum limit and six months of invoices outstanding. Artisan Accounts jumped into action to understand these finances, within a year, Artisan Accounts had got the business back on track, and by the following year, the business was firmly in the black and had a much brighter future.

Artisan Accounts delved deep into the finances for this client, to analyse where was most profitable for the business. B The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practicesy showing the client what was making the most money, they managed to change the client’s mindset and helped to make the business successful. Without going the extra mile for this particular client, the client would have remained in significant financial trouble as well having a complete misunderstanding of what was profitable for their business.

It is examples like these which show why Artisan Accounts deserve their place in The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices for proving that they improve and measure the numbers that really matter for their clients.

Not only does Artisan Accounts go the extra mile, but it’s also a job that they thoroughly enjoy and that makes them happy. By building better relationships with their clients, they find their task much more enjoyable, which in itself helps them to go further for their clients.

If you want to find out more about Artisan Accounts and how they help creative businesses to become more successful and more enjoyable to run you can find them in AVN’s free to download book. Download it now at

If you would like to watch the interview, click here:

Article Source: Shane Lukas

Accountants, be liberated as artists


We know that technology is automating compliance accounts production at an ever increasing rate.  

Does that mean that accountants are automatically going to go out of business? No.  

This is simply a time to repurpose those skills with numbers.  

Let’s take a look at a very different industry at a very different time.  

Until the 19th century if you were an artist, you were in very high demand.  

The only way you could preserve an image of your baby, children, family, grandma was by commissioning an artist to paint or draw a picture for you.  

If you wanted to brighten the house with a nice picture of the landscape you’d buy one from an artist or commission one.  

There were a great many artists, all paid to paint like-for-like – exactly as you see it. 

The invention of the camera was seen as a huge threat to most of those artists.  

Price wise, it was still expensive to approach a photographer who had invested in a camera and it’s related equipment.   But in those early days it was better to pay a premium and stand still for a minute or two than to stay still  for hours for an artist.  

The typical artist, who painted and drew like-for-like images felt that their career in artistry was over.  Their regular income depleted and many retired or found alternative work literally wasting their skills.  

Innovate and become liberated

However, about a 3rd of those artists saw the opportunity to become truly liberated.  

Finally they were free to express themselves.  It was so limiting to paint like-for-like to them. They wanted to do more.  

This was the birth of Impressionism.  Artists were painting images in very different ways.  Ways that portrayed how what they were painting made them feel. 

Their interpretation.  

And the people who bought those painting felt the same way.  They were moved not by the accuracy of the painting but by the way the painting made them feel.  


Each artist differentiated themselves by expressing their personality, their individuality in their paintings.

No longer were all artists the same.  Pricing competitively, undercutting each other to effectively produce the same thing.  Each produced work that would only appeal to a minority – their ideal client.  The ones who ‘got it’.  This meant that their work was better appreciated by those few, rather than trying to please the masses. Better appreciated, better valued, better income. 

It’s time now for accountants to do the same.  

Not all accountants will ‘let go’ of producing compliance work – the equivalent of the like-for-like paintings – that some accountants see as mundane.  

Many though are allowing the technology to liberate them from producing that work and they’re using the outcome, the produced compliance work to breath life into the numbers, taking time to talk to their clients in more detail about those numbers, asking them great questions and providing their interpretation of the numbers to their clients about what those numbers mean and how different the business would be if those numbers were different even by just small amounts.

My Amazon #1 best selling book: What’s next for accountants gives you step by step guidance on embracing business advisory as a core service including key strategies you can explore with clients that will help them grow their businesses.

It’s available on Amazon but you can get a free copy here:…


Article Source: Shane Lukas



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