Think Smart Accounts was set up by Jane Capel from her kitchen in 2015. The growing business is now a happy tenant of the Aldershot Enterprise Centre serving clients from across the south of England, from London to the South Coast. The company has thrived since it’s move to Aldershot in April 2022.
A comprehensive service for their clients.
The Accountancy practice provides what Jane calls “A top to bottom service”. If you’re a small business and your finance and admin needs are growing, but you don’t have the budget to employ a management accountant or bookkeeper, they provide an outsourced finance department. The fully UK-based team can work with you either remotely from their offices in Aldershot or visit you at your offices.
The company has two bookkeepers who can carry out the basic admin tasks such as bank reconciliation or processing invoices. However, the team also has the skillset to do more complex management accountancy work. They can provide a tailored service, using the member of staff that is the best fit for the clients’ business and will think in advance about what aspects of their services the client needs. As Jane says,
“We can provide everything a top 50 accountancy firm can do but with a 5-person team based in Aldershot.”
Jane herself is qualified in HR as well as payroll and is also able to deal with most small business & personal tax matters. If a more complex tax matter arises, they can refer to their advisory support network TAG Tax & TAG Marketplace. The company partner with this experienced business consortium and can refer cases to them, for example for pension advice, Legal advice, Independent Financial advice or on share ownership schemes.
“We are a more cost-effective, boutique level accountancy firm with the level of service you would get from the top 50 accountancy firms.”
The move to Aldershot
When Jane started up the company in 2015, Aldershot Enterprise Centre was very new. She had a look round but decided the location wasn’t quite right for them at the time as she felt they needed a location closer to the M3. However, after selecting a similar co-working environment in Fleet, she felt they weren’t getting the service they wanted.
She had another look at the centre and was won over deciding that the benefits outweighed the location issues.
“As you move on in your business, you learn better what your priorities are. I was impressed with the large airy rooms where you can see sky and the subsequent service we received on moving in.”
Initially Lorna couldn’t offer Jane a downstairs room which she needs due to minor mobility issues, but existing tenants Rhino Recovery had expanded so much that they were soon ready to move to a larger room, so Jane took over the large airy ground-floor.
Praise for Aldershot Enterprise Centre
Once they’d decided to move in, it all happened very quickly.
“As soon as we asked the team at Aldershot to do something they sorted it out. They were massively accommodating in letting me move stuff in a couple of days before we took up residence. Everything was ready for us before we moved in. Darren, the IT man from WSX told me exactly what we needed in terms of IT and routers. Nothing is too much trouble for them.”
Now, they enjoy the relaxed working environment that the Aldershot Enterprise Centre offers, as Jane explains,
“It’s such a nice working environment, sunshine floods the office.”
“We also like the fun stuff such as the easter egg hunts. We work so hard and it’s great to get some light relief. It just feels more relaxed here to where we were before.”
This reflects the ethos of the company,
“As accountants, we have to work under particular rules and regulations but are a very approachable and have made our name by being different to other accountants.”
Although only being a tenant since April, Jane can see the potential networking opportunities being at the centre can bring,
“We’ve already had plenty of chats in the corridor, in the café and to the centre staff. I can see there are plenty of networking opportunities within the building. You can see the promise for that, and for me, networking on an informal level is so much better than more formal networking set ups.”
The future for Think Smart Accountants
Since moving into Aldershot Enterprise Centre, Jane’s team has already to grown to five members of staff, with hybrid working in place and she is thinking about taking on one more.
Jane is already looking to the future and one of her plans is to branch out into business coaching – helping small business understand what they need in terms of finances when they are starting up. She already has a couple of clients that they’ve coached from the inception of their businesses and can advise on matters such as whether they should be sole traders or Limited companies.
Jane is also ready to buy another practice, which will come with clients and potentially more staff. She may move into other locations, with some of her staff working remotely. However, because they are so happy there, she is keen to keep some staff at the centre,
“However much we grow, we will be keeping our existing clients and the office at the Aldershot Enterprise Centre certainly for the bookkeeping work, as at this level, hybrid working is possible as we would only need a small office.”
Jane’s top tip
Jane’s advice for small businesses starting out is simple,
“Be organised – start with a clear and defined plan. Make sure you have your business plan in place and have someone trusted and qualified to help you with it. But most of all, don’t be afraid to fail!”