Coronavirus has been a strange and stressful time for all of us, but one thing that it has done is bring us altogether. From the amazing work by NHS staff to taking part in the Thursday clap for carers with neighbours we barely ever see, it’s shown once again that people do pull together in a crisis.
So, given we have all been getting to know each other better, we thought it was the ideal time to give you a bit of insight into the woman behind Chimes Accountancy, Marina Legge.
Why did you set up Chimes Accountancy?
There’s nothing worse than when someone uses a word or phrase you don’t understand, and you have to ask what it means! Problem is accountancy is full of technical jargon, which can make it really difficult to get your head around what you should and shouldn’t be doing to keep the tax man happy.
I realised there was a place for an accountancy firm who spoke plain English and didn’t unnecessarily overcomplicate things and so Chimes Accountancy was born.
And for the last 6 years, we’ve been helping small businesses and private individuals with a whole host of accountancy services including bookkeeping, business start-up advice, statutory accounts and self-assessment returns.
What do you love about your job?
Not everyone has the time or inclination to manage their own financial affairs, so I just love doing it for them. That way they can focus on what’s really important to them.
We might be a small team, but we are all dedicated to delivering the highest quality service to our clients in a friendly manner. And if that means working long hours, so be it, although if clients could get stuff to us early, that would be great!
We also love getting to know people and understanding their personal circumstances, as this helps us provide a service that is right for them. However, please remember we’re not trained counsellors, so definitely not the best people to ask for advice on personal issues!
Is there anything you hate?
Chasing people! I have children, so I have enough of that when I’m at home!
I do appreciate that a lot of people are busy running their businesses, but we never ask for anything that isn’t crucial to carry out our work on your behalf. And as much as I wish we were magicians or mind readers without the relevant information we can’t ensure your business remains compliant, and simply won’t be able to meet the various deadlines.
Unfortunately, that often means just one thing – a knock on the door from the taxman!
What’s your biggest bugbear?
I think, like a lot of small businesses, it’s not being paid on time. I know during the coronavirus pandemic things have been really difficult for people, but like any business we have staff and suppliers who are also waiting to be paid, so any delay can have a massive knock-on effect.
A lot of my clients are small businesses and they all agree that this can be a massive issue. I think also it’s about communication. If you can’t pay an invoice, for any reason, then just let the business know. It’s so frustrating when you have to chase the whole time. And you never know, you might be able to come to an arrangement that keeps you both happy.
Also, please don’t ask if we work for free – we aren’t a charity, but do keep our fees as low as possible, as we believe that those who need an accountant should be able to afford a good one.
Do you get asked any surprising questions?
I know we are an accountancy company, so by default work with money, but I am amazed at how many people ask us to lend them money! I’m obviously in the wrong business!
We are more than happy to provide advice on where to get a good business loan, but that’s it!
Do you think the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything?
Yes, it’s reaffirmed how important it is to respect each other and communicate well, something the government seems to have got wrong on a number of occasions!
I know it can be difficult to always get things right, so I always think about – how would I feel if someone treated me that way. That often helps me figure out the right thing to do.