Client Case Studies
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Name: Mark Lamb
Business: Plus Group
Date: 10 Feb 2021
Plus Group has been a JDA client for over three years. They provide support services to many businesses nationwide and are exclusive partners to St James’s Place Wealth Management.
When Plus Group came to Jon Davies Accountants, they were looking to grow their business, and understand where they are with their finances at any given point.
We caught up with Director Mark Lamb to talk through the experience he has had using Jon Davies Accountants.
Tell us a little bit about what Plus Group does?
Plus Group is seven years old, and we are a Liverpool business. Our business provides financial advisers at St. James’s Place with a mixture of services. These include administration, marketing, paraplanning, social media management, client servicing, and even cashflow modelling support. There are two Directors – me and Scott. We are now 100% remote-based and have a team of 50 up and down the country.
How has Coronavirus affected your business model?
Initially, we were impacted as the world was coming to terms with this new way of working, and that new way of working didn’t happen overnight. There now appears to be a blend between businesses working remotely and in the office. We’ve seen the best of both worlds and, right now, we are exceptionally busy across all areas of our business. One thing that we are finding is that lots of companies are reluctant to commit to fixed-cost employees. If your income fluctuates month-by-month and another lockdown happens, companies want to protect themselves. The benefit for Plus Group is that businesses can outsource to us when they need an extra pair of hands. They can pay on a case-by-case basis without the overheads or fixed costs. This was the first time anybody has experienced a challenge like this. Business models must adapt and change to accommodate for that.
When did you first hear about Jon Davies Accountants?
Around 3 years ago, I received a Video Card through the post. As somebody who loves and appreciates good marketing, it caught my attention. It made me stop and think – your typical accountant doesn’t do this! It was clear that Jon is forward-thinking, and his approach was different. This led me to book a meeting with Jon. At that point, we were not even looking to move accountants.
What were the trigger points for moving from your previous accountants?
We had an accountant that we were introduced to through a connection. They were based a little further out from us – in Preston. They served a purpose whilst we were growing and then we just grew apart. We were growing and they were specialising in other areas. The relationship became rather transactional. We wanted people who understood our business and took a real interest in what we are trying to achieve.
Why do you outsource your accounts to JDA?
The same reason we say to our clients to outsource certain functions to us! It frees them up to be more productive. It’s the same principle really. We probably could figure out how to use Xero, but what’s the point when you guys do it far better than us?
What are the benefits of using Jon Davies Accountants?
You have such a good understanding of what we do and ask genuine questions to find out how we are doing. It’s nice to have that sounding board and help to get the most out of the business and push forward. What I really love is that you remember everything from the previous quarter. I find that fascinating!
What value do you get from Management Accounts?
We had them with the previous accountant, but it was spreadsheets. The way JDA presents information with graphs and diagrams is great. It’s easy to digest, it’s engaging, and it makes so much sense. Scott and I are not conventional in how we operate the business. If every day we’re doing things that push the business forward, then that’s what matters. We don’t number crunch weekly – we keep an eye on what’s coming in and going out. If we do our best and work our hardest every day, we’ll see the trajectory facing north rather than south. I hate numbers. Scott loves numbers but he’s too busy to be focusing on them too much because we are working in the business.
How do you think we make management accounts interesting?
It was hard for people to hold my attention when it comes to accountancy. As a creative business owner, there is so much going on in my brain that sitting and talking about numbers with accountants for 2 hours is difficult. I’m usually checking my phone or checking on multiple things. It’s different with JDA. The way you present information is, first and foremost, what keeps my attention. It’s hard not to be engaged because Jon & Claire take a genuine interest in you. This comes through in all walks of life. Jon & Claire know our characters, and they know what we’re into and what we do outside of work, etc. It really helps when they are trying to talk to us about things that are often not the most exciting things to talk about. They find a way to showcase that keeps everybody engaged. At the end of each meeting, we all come away feeling like we’re doing a good job.
What’s the best thing about Jon Davies Accountants?
We don’t view you as accountants – we view you as business mentors. We know you care about the business and get excited about growth with us. Nothing is ever too much trouble or a problem. It’s hard to pinpoint the best thing, but if I were to choose it would be Jon and Claire and the personable service that they provide. JDA are easy to contact and can make the complex simple and interesting. To find out more about Plus Group, take a look at their website for more information www.plusgroup.org