Written Testimonials

Libby Berg, Iceberg Accounting

My working life is so incredibly packed out and I wasn’t relishing being away from my desk for 3 whole days, especially for an unknown outcome. In the end it was actually great to be away and focus on my business and its potential without any distractions.

I really enjoyed getting together with other local accountants and there were lots of structured resources you can take away with you. The teaching approach of the team was also well structured and gave me lots of ideas I could apply to my clients. I put client experience at the heart of my business and it was useful to gain some tips on how I could take this forward.

Nadeem Raja, Citiline Accountants

The AVN Masterclass was 3 days well spent. The environment was nice, the team were friendly and I learnt far more than I thought I would. I spent my time making loads of notes, picking up tips on customer service and finding out about new technology.

I particularly relished the opportunities for group working and to find out how I can improve my business in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. There was plenty of chance to ask questions along the way and overall I’m glad I attended.

Kayode Olaoye, Uthman Kay

At the AVN Masterclass I felt welcomed by the team and the place itself was really nice and relaxed. It was great to meet other accountants in a more informal setting and learn all about their challenges and processes. It was also good to find out about the technology that’s now available and it gave me the inspiration I needed.

Tahira Siddiqui, S Syedain & Co

I decided to sign myself up along with my colleague as we wanted to start the process of learning about AVN whilst also getting one on one support. We knew beforehand that it would be 3 days out of the office but decided it would be worth it for the chance to network and learn something new.

The days were packed with useful information and I would definitely say the course was good value for money. I would recommend it to any accountants who want to set up a system for improvement or change and not to be put off by the course length as it really was worth it.

Kate Baines, Beacon Accountancy & Tax

The AVN Masterclass is brilliant. I really liked the way we were encouraged to discuss ideas in groups and it gave me the chance to really think about my goals and how to achieve them. It gave me the opportunity to get away from the phones and concentrate on my core business values and what I could do to make my business more efficient and profitable going forward. Highly recommended.

Sally Sales, Chappell Associates

The thing that stood out most for me at the AVN Masterclass was how much I enjoyed speaking to like-minded accountants and discovering what works for others. It was nice to devote some dedicated time to improving our business and I came away with a renewed sense of enthusiasm. It was good to find out what our company is doing well and where there are areas for improvement.

Prashant Yadav, Oasis Accountants

I’m an accountant at a really busy little firm and my time is incredibly precious. I was worried that 3 days out of the office would mean I miss too many client meetings and with loads to do I was more than a little hesitant. But after the first few minutes my fears were allayed – the content was professionally delivered and interesting and I ended up learning far more than expected.

In the end it was well worth taking the time out to understand what my firm is doing well and where improvements can be made. The team were very knowledgeable and offered practical and effective solutions that encouraged you to think outside the box.

I would recommend the AVN Masterclass to anyone who knows they need to grow and develop but isn’t sure where to start. I was excited to get back to work and tell my colleagues what I’d learnt – there was certainly plenty to absorb and digest.

Sue Harvey, Blend Accountants

I was asked to go on the AVN Masterclass by my boss and as I’m not actually a trained accountant (I’m an assistant) I was really concerned that I’d be out of my depth. But despite my concerns it was actually all really well explained and logical and I felt I could contribute despite my lack of background knowledge.

The course was quite busy but it was a great opportunity to meet other people and find out about their day-to-day lives. The session leaders were really knowledgeable and enthusiastic and it soon became clear why my boss was so keen on AVN. It was good to see the different approaches people take and I’m glad I went along.

Emily Young, Chappell Associates

I am a newly qualified accountant and only joined my company a few months ago, so I was really looking forward to meeting some new faces and learning about systems and software.

The AVN Masterclass is an interesting course overall and certainly held my attention. A particularly useful part was learning about the pricing system and the importance of planning and developing different business areas. As a junior member of our team it was also helpful in boosting my confidence with speaking to clients and learning how to approach them.

Muhammad Zahid, S Syedain & Co

My first thought was “3 days! Ouch” but actually it didn’t end up being a problem as they were 3 packed days and the content was really interesting. In fact it was nice to be away from the office for a while and spend some time networking with others.

The key thing I learned was about the different uses for the software and the possibilities for its development. It was also useful to find out the challenges that other accountants face and how they attract and retain clients.

Amelia Shepherd, Blend Accountants

Right from the first few minutes everyone was relaxed and friendly and I felt like I could ask any questions I wanted to without feeling silly. I actually got quite a buzz out of it and it was great to meet other people (I’m usually very shy!) and learn how they do things. It made me feel really positive about my career and my future in general.

This was my chance to fully understand things for myself rather than finding out information second-hand from the people I work with. Plus there was loads of tea and sweets, far more than I have at home!

To anyone thinking of taking the leap and booking this course I would definitely recommend it. It really has helped me think about my career and my life in general and there’s no hard sell.

Peter Watkins, Blue Penguin

I signed up for the AVN Masterclass with a less than open mind, and was strongly concerned it would be a 3-day hard sell of a membership programme. This was actually a very interesting, highly useful course with information I can readily put to good use in my small practice. I felt like I was in a first-class hotel too and the attention to detail by the AVN team was second to none.

A range of aspects were covered including pricing, systems and software and it was a good opportunity to network with colleagues from other practices. Despite my concerns about being out of the office for 3 days, it actually meant I could completely concentrate with no distractions.

To anyone thinking about going on this course I say go for it. Even if you’ve been in practice for years, there’s always something new to learn especially when it comes to reducing workload and stress.

Chris Brown, Brown & Co

Originally I wasn’t too sure about going on this course as 3 full days out of the office is quite a big ask. I was concerned it might be a bit of a hard sell with the intention of them getting you to sign up for other stuff and I didn’t want it to be a waste of time. This certainly wasn’t the case though.

Once I got there and the course got going it soon became apparent that the content was of a high standard and I enjoyed learning about various aspects of business improvement, such as pricing, systems and gearing. The course turned out to be excellent value for money and there were plenty of the team on hand to answer any questions and offer guidance. They were highly knowledgeable and answered questions accurately and concisely. It was also good to take inspiration from other people on the course from other companies, especially when it came to their successes and challenges.

Neil Rogers, S J Perry Ltd

I found the AVN Masterclass really useful and thought provoking. As an established accountant I wasn’t sure I would learn anything new but how wrong I was! I particularly appreciated the tools and advisory resources on offer that help you bridge any gaps in your knowledge.

The team that ran the course were very friendly and approachable and they clearly knew their stuff. They were very resourceful too and could tailor the support they offered to suit your needs. If you have any questions along the way they are very happy to answer them. Overall I would definitely recommend this course to anyone thinking of enrolling.

Blend Accountants – 2 Partner Firm, Morecombe

I just wanted to say how much I appreciated doing the webinar with you, the brilliant video you sent me almost immediately after we’d finished, and the gift you sent me the very next day. To be honest, that all pretty much made my week and left me feeling truly valued (the contents of the hamper were pretty much demolished by myself, my team and some of our best clients within a couple of days). I have some before pictures which I will put on the Facebook group at some point.

I owe a lot to you and the team at AVN for giving a massive boost to both myself and the business. Once our latest two quotes for £5k a piece convert (which both have confirmed they will), our GRF will now be up by over 30% since we joined AVN (and our profits up by much more), However, more than that, it’s shocking that when I see clients I’m picking up far more that they want to be looked after and are willing to pay appropriately for that privilege. For example, just today I met with a client who we were originally charging roughly £1,000 pa for a set of accounts, a VAT return and a personal tax return. As his main stress point was MTD coming and him and his wife spending more time bickering at weekends we already knew that he was likely to want us to take over his bookkeeping. What I didn’t realise that he would stick on the 4 star service after anchoring on the 5 star service. This ended up with his fees increasing to just over £5,000 pa which is insane.

 I will be at the Masterclass with (at least) the two new team members.

Starfish Accounting – 2 Partner Firm, Maidenhead

 “Before joining AVN we were having difficulties with growing the business profitably with the right kind of clients and client work. This resulted in the team working long hours without seeing the financial rewards, which was making things stressful regarding meeting fixed costs each month. It was also a surprise for us to realise how difficult it was to make enough money to pay ourselves. I felt like I wasn’t contributing enough towards my household and was working a lot of evenings and felt that potentially we may not have been able to keep operating as a business if we continued this way. Big changes were needed”.

“By working with our dedicated Practice Growth Expert we were advised and supported towards identifying our ideal client and ditching our ‘D’s’ along with putting in place direct debits and increasing our fees. This all helped to create a fundamental change in attitude within the business, and I now feel that we have the capability to offer more business advisory services. Personally, we are also now looking at being able to move home, which simply wasn’t an option a couple of years ago”.

“Since working with AVN, we have more clients–better clients, more money and less stress. This just makes me feel awesome!”

MDH – Sole Practice, Surrey

“Hello, I’m Michael Hemme of MDH. Before joining AVN I was facing a challenge with my overall blueprint of how I wanted my Practice to be. I was struggling with finding a balance between growing my business and my home life and I felt like this was going to have a potential long term effect on my lack of quality time with my family which was making me feel guilty.

 

Working with AVN and my dedicated Practice Growth Expert has helped me to overcome numerous challenges and the team have helped me in so many various ways which has not increased my confidence in my abilities personally but has also contributed towards my Practice and the way we operate.”

Murray Associates – 2 Partner Firm, Lockwinnoch

“Hi I’m Denise Lavelle of Murray Associates. Before joining AVN we were having difficulties with not having enough time to get back to our basics and understand the practice again due to our volume of work. This was leaving us feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work we had and ultimately was increasing the stress levels within the business. 

 

By working with our dedicated Practice Growth Expert, we were advised to review our client base and amend our level of contact with each depending on the package they were paying for, to help us use our time more effectively, along with increasing our prices as we had not done this in over 3 years. This resulted in increased revenue income into the business.

 

The support I received from AVN helped me to focus on the costs and time of each client and reevaluate what we needed to concentrate on. Personally, this has made me feel more confident in my ability to say no or charge for a service that I wouldn’t have before and in terms of the business our turnover has increased by 15% and we now have more time to deal with more complex work rather than clients that are not paying for our services.”

Blend Accountants – Sole Practice, Morecambe

“Hi my name is Phil Tarbun of Blend Accountants. Before joining AVN I was experiencing challenges with a lack of time in my Practice to be able to focus on the things I needed to, and this was affecting my day to day life, both at work and at home, due to my short temper from the stress. This was having such an affect on me that I felt if things did not change I would have to look at selling my business in the long term and this was making me feel defeated and resigned. 
After joining AVN and working with my dedicated Practice Growth Expert utilising software such as TimesUp, I not only began to gain confidence in myself but also in my business services and charges. The support and training I received also helped towards me creating a more systemised approach to my meetings and processes and from seeing the results of this, my wife and I are now spear heading this solution within the Practice as ‘Systems Champions’ and I’m getting team members to create systems for their own roles which are then approved when agreed with everyone involved. This has led to me to having “the most relaxed January ever”.
I believe that working with AVN has given me the capability to create a systematic set of solutions that really allows me how to make an impact on their clients lives. This in turn has also changed my life so far as over the last few months we have won £25k of new fees and had a £10k increase in fees for 10 existing clients. All of this so far has made me feel “epic!”

The FD Studio – Sole Practice, Surrey

“Hello, I’m Nigel Gilroy of The FD Studio. Prior to joining AVN I was struggling to get a clear picture of how I wanted to run my business moving forwards. I needed to find a way of shifting from a ‘one-man band’ to an organisation and move into consulting from compliance. 

 

I genuinely believed that I could make these changes without any support but I admit that I was not aware of some of the basic premises to be able to do this. Doing this alone made me feel that I would have just faded away quietly when I chose to retire however now I feel reenergised and seek to go out with a bang! 

 

By working with AVN and my dedicated Practice Growth Expert I worked on outsourcing parts of the business that I could whilst working on building a team around me. I also put time into creating a niche with a view to becoming a key person of influence. This meant putting aside time to study my niche for their pains in order to create hooks to get their attention and then identifying the team required to address the delivery of this service. 

 

Working with AVN has been beneficial in many ways, especially in my home life due to feeling more positive and also with business as they have allowed me to maintain a professional accountancy focus. I know feel more confidence in myself and the direction of my Practice.”

Hilton Jones – 2 Partner Firm, Oldham

“Hi, I’m Jim Hilton-Jones from Hilton Jones. Before joining AVN we were massively underpricing for our services and having trouble with constantly having to chase debtors. This was causing a great deal of stress as we never had enough money in the bank to pay ongoing costs and the poor service levels we were providing resulted in the loss of clients. This not only was causing stress within the business but was also filtering over to my home life too.

 

This was making me feel frustrated and worried as I felt we would be enslaved to our business, constantly chasing down cash and unable to develop the time to work ‘on’ the business to be able to grow it. By working with AVN we were able to identify some quick fixes that were established and dealt with such as putting in place a 10% increase across the board, having Partners & Directors delegate their workloads to other team members to free up more of their time and establishing debtors procedures.

 

This resulted in work loads lessening, having more money in the bank and ultimately I have more freedom for family time and a lot less stress. I now also feel like I have the ability to charge more and deliver more value as I am now completely comfortable explaining to a client what we can deliver and what the fee will be. Overall I feel hugely optimistic and positive.”

M.C.A – Sole Practice, Bradford

“Hello, I’m Shahbaz Munir of M.C.A. Before joining AVN I was having trouble growing my business and increasing prices along with adding value to my clients. I was also struggling with delegating jobs to others. I was spending more time working ‘in’ the business than working ‘on’ it and this was resulting in my having less time to spend with my family or have any holidays. 
I didn’t want to admit that I needed to delegate more or that I was charging fees that were too low but by not changing these things I was concerned that my business would only grow a limited amount, that I was losing out on fees and that the long hours were going to affect my health. All of these things were leaving me feeling sad and depressed.
By working with AVN I was able to gain clarity on what I enjoyed doing, I was able to create a better pricing structure and I was actually able to take some time off for some holidays. I also feel I am now capable of having more direction, focus and belief in my abilities.”

Phipps Henson McAllister – Multi Partner Firm, Banbury

“Hi I’m Ross Phipps of Phipps Henson McAllister. Before joining AVN I was having difficulties with defining a vision for my practice as I did not know where ! was going, or where I wanted to be. I was also facing challenges internally with multiple senior team members. 

 

These factors were affecting my happiness and stress levels and as a result, I was becoming unhappy. 

 

Working with my Practice Growth Expert at AVN, I was advised to take some time to set down my goals, vision and actions to enable me to have a clearer plan of how to achieve the Practice that I really wanted. These steps are now being regularly reviewed and shared with my team to ensure everyone works together to achieve them. 

 

I believe that the experience and advice I have received from AVN so far has helped me to grow in confidence to deploy master changes within the Practice. A successful example of this was introducing direct debits (without standing orders) that have now changed my debtors day total from approximately 1.8 months to –0.1 months.”

James Stanley & Co – Sole Practice, Birmingham

“My name is Andrew James, from James Stanley & Co. I was finding that there wasn’t enough focus happening on finances and billing within the Practice and this was resulting in a lack of profitability and cash-flow issues, meaning that we were restricted in what we could take as remuneration and invest into the business. These challenges potentially could have a long-term impact on team member retention, lack of growth and payment issues. 

 

By working with my Practice Growth Expert I received help and support which enabled me to reduce these challenges by improving our pricing which in turn has allowed us to become more profitable. This was done in part by using TimesUp when pitching for prospective clients. As a result I now feel less stressed and more content with life. 

 

I believe that AVN has shown me how to price, how to involve the team and they have given me the confidence and skills to better market and deliver to clients. I do believe that working with AVN has helped us transform into a different business.”

BAS Associates – Sole Practice, Berkhamsted

“Hello, my name is Roger Smith from BAS Associates. Before joining AVN I felt that my mindset was not in the right place in order for me to plan for the future and provide good value pricing. These challenges were affecting my day to day life as I felt I was not achieving my best margins and was attracting some poor quality clients. This was making me feel that I was putting in a lot of hard work for not enough reward.

 

By talking with Emma and Andrea, two of AVN’s Practice Growth Experts, and working my way through the Clarity roadmap I felt I was able to overcome these challenges as I was able to focus on specific goals and take manageable steps to making changes. 

 

I believe that the support AVN has given me has enabled me to focus more on business development, both my own and my clients and I feel much more positive with the direction the Practice is going.”

Seed Accounting Solutions – Sole Practice, Middlesex

“Hi, I’m Tamsyn Jefferson-Harvey of Seed Accounting Solutions. Before joining AVN I was experiencing issues with time management and fees; in particular how to charge the right fee and changing legacy low payers. These matters were causing me some frustration at the lack of direction and also the lack of personal finances which my family was suffering from as a result.

 

I needed to change my historic pricing and get over the emotional side of things as I felt that continuing in this current way was not going to help me achieve what I set out to or give me the ability to have the freedom to choose what I spent my time on. I was also worried about heading for financial disaster. All of these things combined were making me feel stressed and worried, and “a bit rubbish about my ability to run a business”.

 

Through working with AVN and my dedicated Practice Growth Expert, I began asking for testimonials and referrals and also began setting clear exceptions and agreements with my clients.  This was done by sitting down with them when they first signed up to ascertain who does what, and when so that everyone was on the same page.

 

I feel that the help from AVN has made me feel less emotional when making decisions relating to clients which has allowed me to communicate with them more effectively. This has resulted in additional ad hoc revenue that wouldn’t have historically been charged for along with an increase in sole trader revenue as 13 of my clients have moved to monthly fees. All in all, I now feel like things are moving forwards and upwards with the Practice.”

DP Accounting – Sole Practice, Chesterfield 

“My name is David Potter of DP Accounting Limited. I was having difficulties with facing up to the realities of my Practice before joining AVN; one difficulty in particular being that my financials did not support the number of team members I had. This was greatly affecting my happiness both at work and at home. I also had the additional stress of having a family member within the team who was having a negative effect on the business. All of this combined was making me feel as though the Practice would fail. 

 

By working with AVN, I received one to one support from my Practice Growth Expert who has helped me to gain a clearer view of my situation and worked with me to put steps in place to make the changes I needed to be able to make progress with the business. I feel that this support has given me the capabilities to run open and honest team meetings so that everyone is working towards the same goal. This support also helped me make the very difficult decision to let go the family member who was having a negative impact on the business.”