The long-awaited transition; embracing the digital transformation
Serving the extreme north of Scotland, County Garage is an independent automobile company that has been established for over 40 years, offering skilled mechanical repairs, services and MOT facilities to its local community and passers-by.
Previously, County Garage worked with a local accounting practitioner, on whose retirement in 2018, the firm was acquired by Bracey’s Accountants, who took the opportunity to introduce new working practices. Before the switch to Bracey’s, County Garage followed more traditional methods and was heavily reliant on paper entries with receipts and invoices boxed up, collected and input manually twice a year. Bracey’s sought to update these traditional methods and introduce County Garage to digital, cloud-based accounting services, which would give them greater control, ownership and business insight.
“As a business, we discussed researching other accountancy firms to work with, but we felt confident that Bracey’s would be the right partner especially with its reputation, service and experience – and we haven’t looked back” comments Gwen Farquhar, Finance Officer at County Garage.
In the last two years, County Garage has embraced the digital world, with Bracey’s supporting the company through a migration to the Xero cloud accounting platform, through which Bracey’s helps manage sales invoices; payroll and pensions; VAT; Tax returns; and end-of-year accounts. Now, Gwen and her team at County Garage have more confidence to go about their day to day job, knowing that Bracey’s will always be on hand, both to lend a helping hand with any questions around the software, but also ultimately making sure the company finances are up to date and accurate in every way.
As Gwen comments, “The move to digital accounting was quite a big step for us, having been used to doing things manually for so long. However, it’s really helped me with running the business – from making sure we’ve got our debtors right, to giving me and the business owners visibility and reassurance. Bracey’s has been there every step of the way alongside us.”
Indeed, as HMRC gradually introduces the Making Tax Digital initiative, with VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold of £85,000 required to keep digital records as of 1st April 2019, and all VAT-registered businesses required to be compliant from April 2022, Gwen has some advice for similar businesses. “I would definitely recommend embracing a digital approach sooner, rather than later,” she says. “In addition, I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have an accounting firm like Bracey’s, who has treated us as a partner throughout the migration.”
She concludes: “We can’t thank Bracey’s enough; they are truly an extension of our small team who has the best interests of our business at heart.”