Don’t just take our word for it
Creative agencies and accountants both work to help our clients in ways others can’t, using our specialist knowledge and experience. That’s what makes our line of work so exciting.
But how can you be sure we’re up to the challenge?
Further down this page are stories of the clients we’re proudest having served. They’re testament to what we can bring to the table, so continue reading to see how we have helped people in the past.
Matt Bowell | Growing Digital Agency
Brew are a digital marketing agency in the creative hub of the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham.
Looking for help with gaining a better understanding of the performance of their business for decision making on a regular basis. Problems included what was current profitability like and how does that feed into planning for future growth? A better understanding of the cashflow of the business. None of which Brew had the answers for.
Spark were engaged by Brew to look after the full accounting function providing bookkeeping through to monthly reporting and forecasting. Working closely with the directors Spark were able to identify weaknesses within the accounting system and recommend solutions that have improved profitability and cashflow significantly. Meaningful and timely information is produced monthly and reports on profitability and KPI’s that drive the business. Spark have also identified key R&D qualifying projects as a result of working closely with the business that have resulted in large tax savings.
Tim Holmes | Creative Marketing Agency
Sure is a creative marketing agency made up of an experienced blend of creatives, tech heads, wordsmiths, marketeers and strategists.
Expanding business struggling to understand where the profits or cash were within the agency. The directors needed to gain control over this and to develop a system for reporting on this quickly and accruately each month.
Spark reviewed the processes in place and identified issues around invoicing, with the business often struggling to invoice for ongoing projects in a timely manor therefore profits were being tied up in ongoing uninvoiced work. Using the system operated by the client (Workflow Max) Spark were able to generate a detailed list of all ongoing work each month and work with the client to include missing income in monthly reporting. This has resulted in a better invoicing process and improvements to cashflow. Detailed reviews are completed each month of ongoing projects and monthly reporting is prepared and reviewed with Sure. This has led to a greater level of understanding within the business of profitabilty and where this sits on a monthly basis within the business.
Amanda Lowe | PR Agency
Gaining an understanding of the financial performance of the business and having facts to enable the business owners to have confidence when making decisions about the future.
Reporting quickly and efficently each month (within a 7 days of month end) on company performance, using a range of sector specific KPI’s to measure profitability and where relevant benchmarking against the sector. Spark Devloped a system to forecast future performance and understand what was need to hit targets. A rolling forecast was used to predict future results and importantly cashflow on a monthly basis. This allows the directors to make informed decisions as the company has grown and been able to see any potential issues (cashflow, reduction in profits) well ahead of events.
Chris Garrat | Branding Agency
Bert is an award winning, digital focused branding agency with studios in Manchester, London and Madrid.
They provide a roster of international clients with clarity, originality, desirability and consistency, helping them build stronger brands and mutually beneficial relationships with customers at every touch point.
Bert’s previous accountants were not ‘bad accountants’, but they felt they were a very bad fit for their business.
Bert was growing rapidly at the time, £350k to £850k in 2.5 years. This coupled with a hands-off ‘get Xero and manage your accounts yourself’ accountant was a disastrous recipe for an ambitious, rapidly scaling business.
Bert needed leadership, a clear financial plan to support our ambitions, and a hands-on, ‘been-there-and-seen-it’ team.
It was clear Bert had the right tools (Xero, Spotlight, WorkflowMax, ReceiptBank) but they had the wrong team using them. The approach taken by their previous accountants had caused fracture-lines to appear across their business.
It was very hard to for Bert to understand, with real clarity, their real position. As a result, planning and forecasting accurately was impossible.
This made everything, from understanding profitability, recruitment and capital investment decisions, through to managing supplier relationships very, very difficult.
Changing accountants is a big, ballsy decision! Despite knowing things were wrong with the previous set up, making the leap was one of the hardest decisions Bert has ever made.
Bert interviewed 5x leading Xero accountants from across the UK. Spark was an outsider as it came through a referral.
They said “The confidence and reassurance Phil gave after one call effectively made their decision. Bert went through the process in full, and felt their ‘gut’ was right. Spark weren’t the cheapest partner of the set, but Bert believed they offered by far the greatest value for money in terms of the experience, knowledge and hand-on approach offered.
We wouldn’t be in the strong position they find ourselves in today if didn’t have Spark. Spark give us the clarity and confidence we need to grow our business. We don’t make a single significant decision without them.
Spark have helped us to focus on profitability. We understand more clearly that taking on the right work at the right rates is the most important decision when impacting the success of the business. This has resulted in our gross profit increasing by 33% over the past two years. This is down to getting to grips with what the figures presented to us mean and then understanding what to do to improve our performance at the operational level.
We are now firmly committed to setting targets for our business and then updating these targets as we progress through the year. This is part of the Spark service and is invaluable to us in understanding both where we are now and how the decisions we make today impact the business in 6 and 12 months time.
Spark are great communicators, nice people to deal with, patient with us (realise we’re not always easy), no bullshit, know their stuff, get things done, and make the complex seem simple.”
Neil Smith | Auto Electrics
AAS Vehicle Solutions
AAS Vehicle Solutions specialise in supply and fitting of high quality, aftermarket, electrical products to vehicles in the retail and commercial market.
They also provide a fault finding diagnostic service using the latest diagnostic equipment at affordable prices.
As their business developed and started to grow, AAS Vehicle Solutions realised that the support and advice that they were receiving was none existent.
Spark was recommended to AAS Vehicle Solutions by a contact who also used them to Support the finance function within their business.
AAS Vehicle Solutions were aware that they had issues that needed to be resolved within the business but didn’t understand what they were and therefore how to resolve them. Once AAS Vehicle Solutions met with Spark they got to know and understand their business very quickly, they reviewed our finances and made some recommendations that immediately made a difference.
Spark identified that the AAS Vehicle Solutions finance system needed updating so they installed a new much simpler user friendly finance system (Xero) replacing their outdated desktop software, supporting them through this transition so it felt almost seamless. As a result AAS Vehicle Solutions have a clear picture of how the business is performing on a monthly basis. This allowed them to quickly gain an understanding of our profitability and identify unprofitable customers and address this situation quickly. AAS Vehicle Solutions had the confidence to renegotiate their terms with key customers as they understood the value they were offering.
With Spark’s support AAS Vehicle Solutions haven’t stood still though, they have improved their finance and operations systems, introducing software that has allowed them to have more control over their business. This has integrated seamlessly with Xero and has proven to be of great value. By introducing these additional systems with Spark’s help we have been able to show customers where time has been spent and help their customers understand the work they are completing which has allowed AAS Vehicle Solutions to become more profitable.
Spark reviews their finances each month and also our forecast year end position allowing us to make changes to the business where necessary and improve performance. AAS Vehicle Solutions now understand their cash position and see potential problems before they happen.
AAS Vehicle Solutions said : “Spark are also the most friendly firm we have worked with, no question is ever to simple, this combined with the management advice is invaluable. We have been with Spark for five year and we have gone from strength to strength. We would recommend Spark to anyone.”
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