Without Wishing to Sound like the Special One…

by M Tombs
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The strangest thing has happened.

I’ve spent the last 18 months telling the world how different we are; how we’re more interested in helping your business to make money next year than in telling you how much you made last; how we are totally focused on your bottom line.

I now realise I was wrong.

It’s not just what we do that makes us different. It’s what we are. And it took me a while to realise that natural modesty can sometimes fog our attempts to say what we mean.

You see, the reason that TLA Business Services can make such a difference to your business is down to my experience. When you hire our services, you are not just getting your accounts done efficiently and getting the best advice on tax efficiency, business planning and so on. You are also getting direct access to my years of front-line business experience. And without wishing to sound like the Special One, that’s quite a bargain.

You see, I’ve shunned accountancy practices all my life. If I’d spent my years in a dusty office in a dusty accountancy firm, apart from the fact that I would have gone insane, I would know absolutely nothing about running a business. Most accountants leave university, join a practice as a trainee and work their way up the ladder. The closest they get to the shop floor is if they lose their way to the toilet. They can be passionate, but likely as not that passion is focused through a timesheet, on a ledger.

I too did my stint of university studies but not where most accountants go. I earned my MBA through Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt – one of the UK’s top universities for business and industry; and I qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant.

The formal training for most accountants in practice is all about accounting regulations, basic tax, company law and auditing standards; generally everything to do with reporting results and ensuring compliance with the rules. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants however focuses primarily on strategic planning, product costing, working capital control, investment appraisals and other areas which drive results rather than just calculate them.

That’s what turns me on and that’s what makes us different from most accounting practices. I chose to do my time in the cut and thrust of real business. I’ve worked at the sharp end, in the motor trade, in the steel industry, in engineering companies, mining operations and in manufacturing. I’ve worked at all levels from trainee grunt to chairman of an insurance company that grew to be the second largest short-term insurer in South Africa. I know what it’s like to face the day-to-day trials and tribulations of a small family business and how to make a real difference in a multinational corporation.

And that’s what makes TLA Business Services different. It’s not just what we do, but who we are and what value we bring to your business.

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