Baranov Associates is Chris and Liz Baranov. We sold our previous £1M Accountancy business, built up over fourteen years to a team of 17, in October 2015, and set up Baranov Associates in November 2017.
We’d sold to do something new, but were persuaded to restart by messages and calls from previous clients, asking us to help them again.
We’d loved building the previous business, and were extremely proud of the reputation and awards for great client service we’d earned. There had been aspects of the business that we didn’t enjoy though.
When we realised that there were other firms out there who wanted to buy the business we’d built, we decided we’d sell, adamant that we were done with accountancy!
After the sale, we spent long enough working for our oldest friends to realise that we didn’t want to be employed. Several months travelling around Europe in our Motorhome over the summer of 2017 gave us time to ponder what to do next.
Over that time, we had quite a few people we’d worked with before contact us to ask if we were coming back, and if so, would we work with them again.
As a result, in November 2017, Baranov Associates was born!
What do Baranov Associates do?
We provide Business Growth Accountancy to businesses of all sizes, together with a range of consultancy services to help owners achieve their dreams.
So many people set up in business with a bubble of excitement as they open their first business cards, work on their website and start to speak to their first customers. Slowly that excitement gets buried beneath the day to day burden of running the growing business, making enough sales to cover more bills and juggling the limited time available to be shared between the business and family commitments…
Too often the excitement from Day One is lost and forgotten as it’s replaced with a feeling of being caught on a treadmill. Add to that the pressure of cash flow and ever increasing legislation, and it’s not a shock that owning a business can lonely and isolating.
With our support, and with the right mindset, it IS possible to rediscover the lost excitement, dust off those original goals and update them for today. Then we work with clients, utilising our 30+ years of experience, to design and implement a strategy to work towards achieving that goal, whatever ‘it’ may be!
And if you’re happy with the status quo? Or are a ‘lifestyle business’ with no plans for growth?
That’s absolutely fine!
We have a lot of clients who just want to know everything’s taken care of, that they’ll be kept up to date as things change, and have someone they can call on for advice. Our ‘Business Growth’ stance means that those clients still get great service and know we’re here for them, whenever they might need us.
Where are you based and where are your clients?
We currently work from Orton in Cumbria for clients across the UK, from the South Coast to North Wales and the North of England, so location isn’t a concern.
We’ve always had clients across the country and are very happy to do so. The tech packages that we’ve always used are familiar to even more people since the Pandemic so location is less of a problem than ever!
When we can, we like to visit our clients to see where they’re based and how they work; this gives us the best foundation to work from. We’re equally happy though to welcome clients to our home office – the kettle is always on!
Orton is a ‘stopping off point’ between our original base in Bedfordshire, while we wait for a new build to be finished in Kirkby Stephen. We’ve relocated to Cumbria to be closer to family, who need our support. Nothing has changed for our existing clients, but we’re enjoying spending less time driving up and down the motorway, and being closer to beautiful areas that we’ve always loved, such as the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, our existing clients are very enthusiastic to visit us in Cumbria, perhaps more than they were in Dunstable! For our part, we’ll be doing plenty of research on local venues to share when they do.
Do Baranov Associates have plans for growth?
No! Our plan is to stay small, with just the two of us.
We like working closely with clients and want to maintain that closeness. We also enjoy the flexibility that comes with be able to work from wherever we have a web connection, so we can still travel. That’s easier without an office or team to consider! Following the sale of our first business, we put ourselves into the position where we don’t need to bring in a huge income, so are able to keep this business small.
Our clients like that they deal with us, and don’t have to repeat themselves to numerous members of a team where there is little communication.
They know they can call us, or email us, and we’ll get back to them promptly.
Similarly, we enjoy getting to know our clients, and keep up to date with their business, rather than be juggling HR and management concerns.
Who do you act for?
We’re a general accountancy firm, albeit with a Growth focus, so we can help anyone who needs accountancy services.
We also offer a range of additional, innovative products and services to help our clients who want to develop their businesses and achieve their goals for growth.
We can provide support at every stage of the business cycle, and for all sizes of business.
Our clients range from individuals who prefer to let us take the strain of preparing their tax return, to larger companies who need monthly management accounts and the full suite of accountancy services, alongside some of our consultancy support.
The majority are owner managed SMEs, who appreciate the importance of a positive approach to managing their business, and who want to build a strong relationship with us and use our experience and expertise to their advantage.
They know that we can help them develop their business, remove the burden of the accounting function and ensure they meet their goals.
We can offer most value when we build a long term relationship with clients. Many of our existing clients first started working with us when we took over our first business back in 2002. We’re now working with the second generation of some of those businesses!
Example clients include:
- Business owners who need any or all of our range of accounting services.
- Business owners who want to grow their business but are unsure of how to go about it, or the implications of doing so.
- Business owners who’d like support to develop relevant management reports to monitor their progress towards their targets, with or without help in identifying them in the first place.
- Business owners facing a ‘crossroads’ in their business, who would like some help in understanding the key considerations of their options.
- Sole traders or limited companies who just want their accounts and personal or business tax returns completed at year end.
Whatever the need, we can offer a tailored solution that meets those requirements, and keep the service under review to ensure that it continues to meet those needs. We believe that’s what ‘bespoke’ and ‘flexible’ means, and businesses need the peace of mind of knowing that is always available.
Turnover ranges from a few thousand pounds a year to the other side of £5M; it’s more important to us that we can work comfortably with a client than their level of turnover.
Industries represented are diverse, ranging from print to transport and hairdressing to financial services; we love the variety!
In the past we’ve been extremely successful in obtaining clearance for corporate restructure and have been involved in share buy-backs, mergers, demergers and group restructuring. We’ve produced cash flows and business plans that have enabled clients to gain finance on numerous occasions, including times when business finance has been hard to obtain, and pride ourselves on our ability to help clients rediscover the passion for their business and regain control.
The primary benefits that all of our clients receive are:
- high quality advice
- a prompt, tailored and personal service, that remains relevant to them and their changing needs
- a warm welcome!
Who DON’T we work with?
Over many years, we’ve learnt that there are some industries that need more support or guidance than others. Equally there are some that offer more challenges to an intentionally small firm like ours.
Consequently we’re careful who we commit to work with, as we want to ensure we’re providing the high levels of service to which we’ve committed.
We’ve therefore taken the decision that we won’t work with trades or construction businesses. In our experience, there are other firms who are better suited to the particular demands of this industry.
The charity sector requires a particular approach, and we don’t have enough demand for this to maintain the level of knowledge required.
To get up and running efficiently and progress rapidly, new start Limited Company Directors need a significant amount of support and guidance. We can offer this, but will build the extra time that is usually required to provide it into our charges, as we want to be transparent and have the time we feel is necessary. A start-up is usually on a tight budget which can make this higher fee level challenging! Consequently, we usually work with businesses who’ve been trading for a couple of years, OR who’ve been in business before and have a greater awareness of the processes and requirements.
In our previous business we held an Audit registration, but we no longer maintain this. There are fewer clients than ever who require an audit, with the threshold for this exceeding £10M turnover, and we decided that maintaining the Certification required too much time to make it worthwhile. Of course, any company can choose to have their accounts audited at a turnover below this threshold. If this was the case, we would sadly have to decline the appointment.
Why appoint Baranov Associates?
Service and strong relationships with our clients have always been fundamental to us; we can be of most value to clients if we can gain a good understanding of their situation and provide the support that they need. We truly engage with our clients and get our ‘buzz’ from seeing them thrive.
There’s more detail on our Services pages about the services we offer, but ultimately we want to understand your goals and aspirations, whether for your business, your lifestyle or for your tax liability. Of course, we’ll also ensure you meet your statutory obligations in good time, and reduce your tax burden as far as possible!
- We work with you, keeping your goals in mind. We want your business to prosper, and we want you to understand how to get (and keep!) the greatest benefits from your hard work and to reach your goals. When things don’t go according to plan, we help work out why, to make sure that the next time they will.
- We include free email and telephone support for all of our clients as we want them to feel able to call us when they need to, rather than to lay awake at three in the morning worrying. Unless we need to carry out specific research, and we will warn you if that’s that case, there is no charge for a call.
- Calls to our business advice lines are free too, offering support and guidance on a range of subjects including HR, Commercial Legal advice and Health & Safety guidance too. We believe our role is to make things as easy as possible for our clients, so have included this along with automatic enrolment into our Fee Protection Scheme, which covers our time costs to defend you from any enquiry or visits from HMRC. We’re also offering a free Premium licence for Receiptbank to all clients, to relieve them of as much of the bookkeeping legwork as possible.
- Despite the bespoke nature of our service and the breadth of experience we can offer, we believe our fees are surprising, rather than shocking. We want to build a long-term relationship with our clients so believe a fair fee is better for everyone involved than a high one that will encourage you to move on after a couple of years. Continuity and consistency are vital in a fast changing business world, for us as well as our clients.
- Chris has more than 35 years experience of accountancy, and Liz has over 20 years, so we’ve seen most situations our clients may find themselves dealing with. We’ve been through many of those challenges with our own businesses, as well as with clients, so have first hand experience of the highs and lows that owning, buying and selling a business can bring.
Don’t just take our word for why you might like to appoint us though; visit our testimonials page to hear from people just like you!
If you’d like to book an appointment for a free initial meeting, you can do that here.
Can I just say we are so pleased that we have moved to Baranov Associates. As we discussed when you visited, we had to find a way to take the stress out of all of the financials and you’re doing that for us! We can see how to use Xero more efficiently and so with us being as on top of it as we can be and with you and Liz we feel a lot more confident about our business being in good shape.
Mrs S James, Sandbanks Capital Partners Limited
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