Kate Fisher is a fully qualified Accountant with a great deal of experience and bundles of enthusiasm. She has been running her practice since 1997 and has already built a reputation locally for outstanding customer service.Kate’s practice happens to be in Shakespeare country, so she couldn’t resist directing us to an online article of 2013by Michael Cohn in accounting today.
Q: What is the insight you have for us on William Shakespeare, Kate?
A: I was amazed to read that scholars have recently found evidence that William Shakespeare: “may have been a great dramatist, but he was truly the Bad Bard when it came to paying his taxes.” Apparently, he was a “ruthless business man” and accused by the authorities of tax evasion. He was also a large landowner and grain merchant, who was prosecuted in 1598 for hoarding grain in the midst of a food shortage.
Q: And as an accountant what did you make of that?
A: Ha-ha, honestly, nothing surprises me anymore about some people! The notions people have about how they can “wing” things with the tax system and in business deals, and the way they think an accountant won’t notice, always amazes me. We are trained to intuit these things, and it’s surprising what you can discover just from poring through someone’s accounts. There have always been “chancers”,and it seemsShakespeare was one of them: a tax-evader and a hoarder, honestly! More to the point, I’m very much in admiration of DNS’s zero tolerance for non-compliance and very much appreciate the idea that the Group ethosis to work with the system and not against it.
Q: You are a fully qualified Accountant and already run a successful business, so why invest in a DNS Franchise?
A: The Stratford-upon-Avon/Warwickshire and surrounding areas territory I now have access to as a Franchisee is there waiting for me! There are a high percentage of tech and science companies out there in this area waiting for me and a hugely lucrative tourism industry which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. I predict that many businesses will benefit from my services and my plan is to let them know how.
I now I have access to the “DNS machine” – a fully supportive operational construct that I can exploit and work within, which will help me to locate leads and turn them into new business, but will also benefit my clients enormously. I am ambitious, but there is only so much time in the day, and the costs of marketing and turning warm leads to hot sales and cross sales is something I would have to invest huge amounts of time and money into to reap the rewards. DNS makes all of this part of a very attractive bundle.
Q: On a personal level, you have grown-up children and a spouse who also runs a successful landscaping business, how do they feel about your new venture?
A: My family is very supportive. They know that I’m always professional, very committed to what I do, and thatI make it my business to be knowledgeable and bend over backwards to help my clients. Take my husband’s landscaping business – he’s fully aware that the advice I’ve offered and the way I’ve managed his accounts have helped to make his business a success. It’s the same with our children, they’re grown-up now, but they have a good attitude to their civil duty to pay their taxes, work within the rules, give as well as take, etc. This is something else that attracted me to DNS: As a business of course it needs to make a profit,but attention to the welfare and compliance of its customers is reflected in the carrot-not-the-stick sort of business ethos DNS projects.
Q: You mention that being part of a known “brand” was something that attracted you to DNS Accountants Franchise, can you explain why you think this is important?
A: My practice has been going since 1997 and is well-known locally, but although I get quite a number of word-of-mouth referrals I cannot call myself a “brand”. To me, the brand part is very important: DNS has an obligation to deliver to its Franchisees what it says it will, just as my being part of that “brand”means that I am obliged to provide my clients with what the DNS Accountants Franchise stands for. The ongoing support that the DNS Franchise offeringprovides includes the educative ethos that DNS is well known for, which meansI will have access to information, training and support on industry changes as they happen (nearly daily at present), which I can feed to my clients on a need-to-know basis. As part of a bigger brand, I will also be able to grow my practice faster, but I know that growing your practice, even with cutting-edge technologies, means that you could become overwhelmed at certain times of the year, cut corners, and find yourself in a really tight spot. DNS provides an outsourcing arm, so I can take on more clients responsibly, knowing that I can support them fully by outsourcing the tasks I can’t manage personally or can’t take on because I’m not sufficiently confident to take on certain highly complex tasks myself.
Q: You seem very keen to get going immediately with marketing: do you see this as your primary task in the immediate future?
A: Yes, the lead generation and marketing arm of DNS is a huge benefit – not only to me but also to local businesses and local people. There has been no time like it: businesses really need to have a committed, professional accountant at their side if they’re to survive the pandemic, but also – importantly – to take the opportunities the crisis has offered them in terms of grants and loans and new business openings.
Also, in stark contrast to Shakespeare, I have an idea to build my business with a social-corporate culture tobenefit my clients and my community. There has been some exemplary local initiatives to help the individuals and communities who have suffered the most during the pandemic.
So, while I’d like to expand my business into other surrounding areas and market a more extensive range of products to my existing and new clients, likewise I’d like to help my husband expand his landscaping business into other areas too. I think together we will be able to help our local area with employment opportunities, possibly apprenticeships and training, and I think it might fit very nicely with my plans for building the social-corporate cultureof my own business, his business, with other businesses, and with schools and community hubs. All things are connected: When people look back at the history of the Fisher family, I don’t want them to discover that we were “ruthless” in business or ignored the plight of others. My ethos fits very well with the DNS ethos.