PGR Chartered Accountants is celebrating two significant milestones in 2023 – 20 years in business and appointment as “Strategic Partners” to global accounting software giant Quickbooks. The accountancy sector is awash with chatter about digital transformation and the adoption of cloud accounting technologies, all of which are alleged to make the role of an accountant redundant in a few years. Peter Greene, managing partner has a different perspective and argues that accountants will always be needed but that the skills required to provide an effective service to the business sector are changing. The use of digital accounting tools such as Quickbooks is rapidly reducing the monotony of routine bookkeeping but challenging accountants to think much more analytically and provide useful advice and support to their clients, rather than just bookkeeping / payroll and compliance led accounting services.

PGR is also looking to the future with the appointment of two new partners, each with a specialist expertise in the key areas of interest for our clients. In partnership with Quickbooks software, we are transforming how we provide our services using digital / cloud based tools, to support clients in real time, reducing the time and effort to maintain records and prepare financial statements at year end. Jonathan McNeill, a Chartered Accountant and Quickbooks certified “ProAdvisor” will lead our team for audit and accounting services, providing “Accounting Intelligence” thereby leveraging the power of “AI” for the benefit of our own business and also for our clients’ businesses.

Over the years, PGR’s effective use of technology to simplify routine accounting processes in their clients’ businesses has enabled them to focus on more important areas such as strategy, business structures and tax planning. At a time when the taxation obligations of business owners has never been more complex, this has proved to be a successful strategy, and the firm’s second partner appointment reflects an investment in specialist taxation skills designed to keep clients ahead of the curve. Leanne Hillock, chartered tax advisor and STEP practitioner will lead the firm’s tax practice offering the complementary professional taxation services essential to assisting owner managed businesses to maximise the value and income from their efforts.

In 2022, PGR were selected by Intuit, the owners of QuickBooks software as an exclusive “Strategic partner” for Northern Ireland which puts the firm right at the heart of developing digital technologies useful to SME’s and owner managed businesses. QuickBooks software is already embracing aspects of AI – (we like to call it Accounting Intelligence) to make keeping records easier for businesses and help to deal with the ongoing challenges of the HMRC initiative – Making Tax Digital

Managing Partner, Peter Greene said, “I am delighted to announce that I will be joined by Jonathan McNeill and Leanne Hillock as new partners in the business going forward. Both Jonathan and Leanne have been part of our team for the last couple of years and together we hope to continue to improve the quality of our service offering to clients, whilst at the same time expand the firm with new clients.” Our aim is to make the transition to digital for our clients a smooth and hassle-free process. Once implemented, a successful cloud accounting solution will reduce the burden of performing those mundane monthly reconciliations, streamline processes, and ensure compliance and timely delivery of information to key stakeholders and HM Revenue and Customs. By efficiently completing the compliance activities efficiently using Cloud technologies, we can focus on helping and advising on key business decisions and tax planning opportunities.

Jonathan is a Chartered Accountant with over 10 years of practice experience and training in larger firms. “I am looking forward to the challenge of advancing the firm in this digital accounting age. Having embraced digital as a firm we continue to support our clients with the transition to the cloud. It is an exciting time to be an accountant with the opportunities ahead in tech and AI.”

PGR’s taxation expertise is targeted at the owner managed SME sector and has developed significantly in recent years as changes to the tax landscape are being introduced with increasing frequency. Many business owners find it challenging to keep up to date with the latest legislation and with complying with HMRC’s increasingly rigid return filing requirements arising from the Making Tax Digital initiative. Quickbooks is an ideal software to assist with achieving compliance with payroll, VAT and CIS obligations, but the firm’s real focus is on longer term strategic tax planning such as business structuring, R&D tax credits, the effective use of family companies and LLP’s to increase business value and maximise the efficiency of profit extraction.

Peter Greene advises that “Leanne will expand our capacity further in this area, through her interest and expertise in tax efficient shares schemes, business structuring, as well as IHT and succession planning which allows the firm to provide more complex tax analysis and planning, and help our clients maximise the efficiency of their business structures”. Leanne states “Since joining PGR I have supported a number of our clients with different types of tax planning to ensure their businesses are arranged efficiently for the future. However, not all clients are in the same place on the technology curve, and we are also widely supporting those at an earlier part of the journey who have encountered issues with simply remaining compliant with monthly and quarterly filings. The new penalty regimes are challenging unless businesses are properly organised, and our team of technicians and Quickbooks experienced staff and routinely helping our new clients with day-to-day issues.”

If you are looking for assistance on the journey to more efficient accounting and tax services, PGR have the capacity to help and can be contacted at 028 9078 8880.