Looking after the numbers for clients big and small
When it comes to knowing their clients, the numbers really add up at Baines Jewitt.
The Stockton-based chartered accountancy, tax and business advice firm is built on a lineage of more than 100 years and a focus that very much concentrates on client care.
At its heart is a professional and proactive approach coupled with pride in a forwardthinking service that can adapt and shape to serve the needs of a very varied client base both close to home right here on Teesside and further afield.
It numbers among its clients a business owner who features on the Sunday Times Rich List of the wealthiest people in the UK and also acts for a company that advises the government on personal financial policy.
But big hitter or one-man business – it is no matter to the team of chartered accountants, whose mantra is working with rather than for all of their clients.
“Providing the best business advice and the right level of service comes from knowing our clients, knowing their tax situation and using all that information to help them,” says director Trevor Cook.
“Being in business can be lonely at times and sometimes people just want somebody to bounce ideas off – it might not always be financial.
“Our clients include businesses of all shapes and sizes and we have the experience and knowledge to help them. Although we have specialisms, we are not sector-specific. Our clients range from small one-man businesses and family firms up to much larger corporate style situations and household names – but generally speaking, most are owner-managed businesses.
“A lot of our core business is based in the UK but we do have overseas entities too. The majority of our business is conducted across the North-East but we also have clients out of the area – wherever they are, we feel it is important to build a relationship with them and go and see them face to face.
“It is easy just being on the end of a phone but that trust in business comes with knowing someone. That’s why a more personal approach is still so important in business. People do business with people.”
The 40-strong staff, who include chartered accountants, tax consultants, payroll specialists and business advisers, are led by Trevor and his fellow directors Mike Bigley, Jed Lester, Don Adams and Anne Cowley.
As a member of the UK200Group, the UK’s leading association of independent chartered accountants and law firms, Baines Jewitt operates to the highest quality standards. It also means the firm has approved specialist status across a number of sectors, including agriculture, healthcare, property, construction, charities and education.
Services range from audits, annual accounts, assurance, book-keeping, corporate governance and tax services to financial planning, payroll support, pension advice and buying or selling a business.
More recently there has been a greater demand for help with cloud accounting and digital record keeping.
The firm can trace its history back to 1907 with the establishment of Jewitts. Baines Goldston then started out in 1923 and the two operated separately but in next door offices until the partners decided to merge in 2004 under the name Baines Jewitt.
In the early days, between them the firms had a high proportion of farming clients and managed the affairs of many larger family businesses in the Stockton area. Over the years, the client lists grew to include retailing and manufacturing as well as service and professional firms – many now in second- and third-generation ownership.
The company has a long and proud history – but that doesn’t mean its services are rooted in the past. Anything but.
New ways of working are wholeheartedly embraced and knit into the core values Baines Jewitt takes pride in. Accounting software and business apps are part of life in 21st-century commerce and have been well received by clients too.
“Ways of working have changed, technology has changed and our systems continually shape and adapt to meet client needs,” says Trevor.
“Staying ahead of developments is part of our role. We have moved to Xero cloudbased systems for accounting so we can help our clients – this is a big change for some but it works very well and our clients now see it as being very positive.”
Offering business advice to clients is part and parcel of the job at Baines Jewitt.
“There has been a lot of change within our profession. It is our job to give advice to clients and to make sure their systems are up to date.
“Each of our teams is director-led, but we also have that flexibility to move across teams – it is about assigning the right person for the right job. We always look to keep continuity of staff. It works because each person knows their job role and that building relationships between our teams and our clients is key.”
Staying ahead of professional development is also important, with tools like webinars proving extremely useful.
Membership of professional groups, such as the UK200 Group, is also invaluable for sharing best practice, keeping knowledge and skills up to date and offering support on issues from corporate finance to tax within the SME business sector.
“The firm is rooted on Teesside – that’s where its home is and that’s where it will stay,” says Trevor.
Support for the local community has always been an important part of Baines Jewitt life. The company has backed talented Teesside swimmer, Olympian and Commonwealth champion Aimee Wilmott and supported initiatives to help local children from deprived areas experience trips to the theatre. There has also been backing for Teesside Music Society and teams at Stockton Town Football Club and Stockton Cricket Club. Staff also take part in regular fundraising and support for cancer research charity initiatives.
Professionalism, quality of service and integrity have remained watchwords at Baines Jewitt – and coupled with an open and straightforward approach, they will no doubt continue to drive the company forward into the future.
Baines Jewitt: Barrington House, 41-45 Yarm Lane, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 3EA.
Tel: 01642 632032 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: bainesjewitt.co.uk.
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