should I employ a business coach?

Should business employ a business coach?

Should Business’ Employ a business coach? – Absolutely!

A note from Paul

Over the years I have seen many people that say they are business coaches and I really would not trust them to deliver, especially those that are part of a franchise and just follow set procedures.

A business coach should understand your business, understand you and work to empower you to put your business in the direction that it wants to go.

Our first coach

My first encounter of a coach was about 20 years ago and the lady Gabriel Blackman-Shepperd was a life coach, she helped me to understand issue facing me at the time and my vision of the future, interestingly some of my vision at that time remains today.  Gabriel understood me and worked really hard to focus me.

Coming to present day I have used three business coaches, all of whom have had a significant impact on my business.

Tough Times 

Starting 1 Accounts Online was at a really difficult time, coming off of a terrible experience in my business career & my youngest daughter becoming confined to a wheel chair; I had lost a bit of the original spark I had and needed some guidance on where we were going.

The government had a great scheme in place where they funded a coach and I took on the services of Dominic Bowles who really helped me and my wife Jenni.

Dominic worked hard on the ethos of our business and his advise will always be part of our business regardless of changes.

Dominic helped us get personal and business goals which we smashed!  We also learnt  that family values are so important to Jenni and me and that this had to come through our business as well, something we had lost sight of over the previous couple of years!

Dominic has been back a few times since and we really value his input.

Pricing change

When we first started our Online business we had a specific business model that we identified would not work in the long term and this was based on price.  Price was OK to start with as it was only Jenni and me working from home but to move the business forwards I needed to really understand my pricing.

I signed up to a program with Mark Wickersham who is well known in our industry and via webinars and reading I started to understand pricing, my market place and the real psychology behind price.  This time spent with Mark was really important to us.

Once I had what I wanted I stopped the coaching and I think it is really important to know when you have gained what you need from your coach, but do not be afraid to return to brush up on your knowledge.

Skip to the present 

Our latest coach Heather Townsend has been a really interesting partnership.  I first met Heather at the Practice Excellence Awards where we won best New Practice in the UK, as you can imagine I was on top of the world and thought I knew everything.  Heather said that she would love to work with us and could really help us, at the time I really doubted that!

Six months ago we joined Heathers Millionaire Accountants program and it is really only today that I have seen real value in the process.  Heather no doubt will tell people that I am a really difficult person to recognise my achievements as my growth is never enough, she constantly reminds me that 62% growth last year is really good and yes I suppose it is.

Sitting back today reflecting on Heathers input to our business has been enormous.  With Growth comes pain and my real pain was systems and lack of robust systems to grow with us.  We started setting up Karbon four months ago and Jade (our practice manager and my daughter) has worked relentlessly in getting this right for us.  Karbon have also been a great partner in improving the software.

We have also changed our Tax and Accounting software to TaxCalc and the monthly saving has been over £800 per month, more than covering Heathers fees.

We have introduced daily team meetings, led by Jade and weekly full meetings led by Jade as well, these meetings have really helped to Gel the team together and our apprentices are now flying and having an important and significant impact on our business and our clients businesses.

We are also instigating our monthly management meeting with three of us focusing on driving the business forwards.

I also spend Wednesdays working from home and specifically working on the business, as a business owner this is so important to the business.

All of the above has been so positive on the team, our client service and the bottom line that we are looking forward to Heather and her team working hard to reach the goal we both promised our selves at the start of the process.

Top Tip – 

Chose your coach wisely, give them at least six months to prove themselves and re-evaluate what they deliver to your business.  Heather may not want to be but she is stuck with us for at least another six months and more than likely beyond!


2018 tax reuturns

1 Accounts 2018 Tax Returns

2018 Tax Returns

A note from Paul

This year has been really strange for me in preparing for January and completing over 160 Tax Returns in one month.  A Challenge that I was prepared for and it was 60 less than last year!

Today is 25 January and we have 9 left to do which hopefully will be down to zero by the end of today!

Waking up this morning I thought how on earth did we achieve this and how am I so chilled about it, I have come up with four key reasons that we have achieved our goals.

Building blocks spelling Tax

Practice manager

We employed my daughter Jade as practice manager during this year and next to Jenni, she is probably one of the only people that can sort me out.  Jade said that I was not going to do all the returns on my own this year and that we have to spread them around the team.

Jade has also worked relentlessly on getting our systems into place and her devotion to getting Karbon into a great working tool has been second to none.

Jade split the returns and shared the work load with all of the team.

Jade has seen the stress in past years that I have put myself under and wasn’t going to let it happen this year.  She is also in charge of onboarding and will not let the last minute “don’t want to pay” person take up our time.  Filtering out the clients that just do not work for us has been a real challenge for me to say no, but Jade has done this so well.


Over two years ago we invested our time and faith in the apprentice scheme and  this month I have seen both of our apprentices shine.  They have both gained level 3 of their AAT and have worked hard and learnt a lot this last month.

The rest of our team have all stepped up as well and really worked hard to reach our targets whilst getting on with their normal work load, all managed by Jade using Karbon.

Apprentice Grace
Apprentice James


For anyone that knows me, whilst I preach about systemising your business and put robust systems in place for our clients, I am the best person to mess my own up and go outside the system.

Karbon has been such a great system for us and we can all see our own progress during the month with regards to our work load and Jade has already planned year end accounts to the end of July!

Four months ago we changed our Tax and accounts software and have really tested this new software to the limits, and it hasn’t let us down.

Some people said why not change this in February when demand is not high, however the decision to really use it in anger during our busiest period has worked very well.  It is amazing how quickly a problem gets sorted out and we move on.

Business Coach

Yes we are business advisors and we do coach our clients as well as make there lives easier with great systems because life is too short to do your books.

In my opinion all businesses need a coach and we are no exception, I will write another Blog on our use of coaches and what to look for later; I did not think we needed our latest coach and she also thought we were well sorted by our very public image in our industry, how wrong we both were!

I use Heather Townsend of Accountants Millionaires (I am not one yet!!) and she has guided me in many ways, that until now (6 months later) I hadn’t really appreciated, sorry Heather.

Heather recommended our change in Tax and Accounts software, huge saving In monthly fees over £800 per month!  Insistence of investing in a practice management solution (Karbon).  Guidance on the issues of employing your daughter who is as strong headed and stubborn as me.

The guidance from her team and the ability to allow me to focus and empower my team is exactly what a coach should do.

Now looking forward to growing the business in 2019 and building on our fantastic dedicated team.

1 Accounts New Website

1 Accounts launches new website

1 Accounts opened its doors 5 years ago. As time and technology has moved on, so has 1 Accounts and so to celebrate our 5th birthday we decided to treat ourselves to a new Website! – Whoop!


Over the last 5 years 1 Accounts has grown dramatically. We have moved into a larger office, expanded our client base and gained 5 new staff members. The business has come on leaps and bounds from when Paul & Jenni were running the business from their home. It was clear this growth needed to be reflected in a cool new website.

Click here to see our team


The feedback we have had from our clients over the past year, is that their new online software is giving them their lives back. We are freeing up our clients time so that they can spend more time with their families, increase their handicap or even go on longer holidays. We believe that time is unnecessarily spent doing your accounts when you should be out enjoying life.

Click here to see our clients feedback


Our old website has a heavy focus on Sage One. As our existing clients know we still use Sage, however we have now broadened our horizons and are now Xero Gold Partners. We are looking forward to expanding our expertise so we can offer our clients the best online accounting solution for them.

Click here to see our products


You will notice that our services have changed. We are no longer offering the essential, full and premium service. We felt these names were boring and did not reflect our clients’ needs. We now offer services for a range of Limited Companies according to where they are at in their business journey.  Young Business, Growing Business & Rapid Growth.

Click here to see our services

The last 5 years have been a whirlwind and we can’t wait to see where the next 5 takes us!

I have always enjoyed being an early adopter of technology and saw the potential of cloud based accounting from the very beginning. Starting a new company based solely on a cloud based service was a risk but I am delighted to say that it has paid off.

“We have carved a niche as experts in the online accounting arena and have formed solid relationships with the leading providers of online accounting software – Sage and Xero.

“We are using the technology to do things differently to a traditional accountant. No time sheets, fixed fees paid by monthly direct debit and we use the software to automate the compliance. We can then use the time saved to add value to the client’s business.

“This approach works really well, as can be seen by our growth over the last four years. I am confident that, with our talented team and investment in systems and processes, we will continue to go from strength to strength.”