Clerkin Group

Clerkin Group Limited
Online Accounting Case Study

The challenge

With several different divisions and a growing team of employees and sub-contractors to manage the Clerkin Group was a large and complex business.  Adding to the complexity was the fact that the accounts were being run on Excel spreadsheets, under the advice of the previous accountants.  These accountants believed that a spreadsheet was good enough, despite a debtors list taking nearly two days to compile!

The inability to access financial information quickly and easily made it very difficult for the directors and the management team to make timely, well informed decisions.  The lack of current information was stunting the company’s growth potential and preventing the directors from realising their ambitions for Clerkin Group.

How 1 Accounts helped

1 Accounts was engaged as the company accountants in 2015.  Originally the cloud based Sage One accounting software was installed to manage the accounts. At the time 1 Accounts believed that the software would be able to grow with the business.  The process was straightforward.  The Excel files were converted to CSV files and the supplier and customer data were transferred ready to import to Sage One, the final step was the import of the Trial Balance.  1 Accounts provided unlimited training and assisted with the production of the quarterly management accounts.

As Clerkin increased their headcount it soon became apparent that they were outgrowing Sage One.  The employee numbers were greater than the 25 employee cap imposed by Sage on Sage One.  The decision was taken to move the accounts from Sage One to Xero. This transition was carried out at 1 Accounts expense.  It involved a manual process of CSV file download and uploads which 1 Accounts managed to complete quickly for all of the companies in the group.

The Finance Director, Tracy Grace, received training on the new Xero software.  Subcontractors play an important role in the Clerkin Group operation.  Managing Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) obligations for subcontractors manually can be time consuming and it is easy to make mistakes.  1 Accounts helped Tracy with the use of the CIS module in Xero and setting up of employees using Xero payroll, which has no cap on numbers! 

Once the Xero software had been installed and was running efficiently Paul was asked to sit on the Clerkin Group board as a Non-Executive Director.

The outcome

Paul attends monthly meetings with the directors to discuss the business finances and monthly management accounts that 1 Accounts produce from Xero and Futrli.

The 1 Accounts team provide continuous ongoing support to Tracy and her team. 

The Clerkin Group has grown rapidly over the last three years and now have robust financial systems in place to manage the business effectively.

In December 2017, after 54 years, the company relocated from Hundon to a 1.85 acre site in Hollands Road, Haverhill. Significant investment has been made in transforming the offices and warehousing to provide a new headquarters and depot for Clerkin Group.

Paul and the team have helped us to transform our financial management system. It is a pleasure dealing with 1 Accounts.  They all communicate in a language we understand and are always there to help us. There is no accountant speak or jargon, they keep it plain and simple.”

Tracy Grace
Finance Director,
Clerkin Civils