It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day clamour of our working lives. Targets, KPIs, deadlines – these are the things that keep many people awake at night, and often distract from the bigger picture. Which is to try to do some good on this planet before we leave it.
The team at EOG Accounting, a solely Xero practice based in North Wales, understands the need to meet business targets, but also to make a positive impact whenever possible.
We speak with Rhys Edwards, founder of EOG Accounting, to learn more.
After studying Business at Chester University and completing his ACCA qualifications, and gaining experience locally, Rhys founded EOG Accounting in 2016.
Now, the practice offers the complete finance function, working with growing businesses as well as a specific focus on supporting the day nurseries sector.
Rhys continues, “Every day we work to our business core values. These are to collaborate, helping business owners achieve their goals; to improve; to lead by example; to be transparent, ensuring accuracy and openness to being wrong; and being positive.”
The beauty of giving
Nothing better encapsulates these values than EOG Accounting’s decision to build the B1G1 (Buy 1 Get 1) concept into the business – linking a KPI business event with an act of giving. “This way,” Rhys says, “every time we achieve a business goal, we positively impact others!”
The results are incredible. Rhys explains:
“Last year we helped fund bookkeeping training for women in Malawi, enabling them to run their own businesses. This year, we have two events: for every personal tax return and VAT return we submit we plant a tree, and for every new customer we onboard we give a “buddy bag” to a child in crisis in the UK; these children are often fleeing violent situations.”
A buddy bag is a backpack for children containing toiletries and underwear but also comfort items such as a teddy bear. “It’s something they can call their own, no matter where they go,” he adds.
The causes that EOG Accounting chooses are all personal to the team, and Rhys says the power of giving, each time they meet a goal, gives them an extra push.
The EOG team is also involved in one-off events for great causes.
Rhys ran the New York Marathon in October 2015 for Cancer Research after losing a close friend to cancer. And, in April 2023, he will run the London Marathon for another fantastic cause – Mind, a charity that provides free mental health information, advice and support to those who need it most.
Rhys says, “With the help of Mind we can get people talking, break the mental health stigma and give people the support they really need.”
This is especially pertinent now, with EOG Accounting noticing the strain that running a business has put on clients.
He adds, “We as accountants also put pressure on ourselves and go through periods of mental strain. If we’re in a position to help a charity like Mind, we should.”
Making the difference
Having used Xero with his previous firm, Rhys was aware of its benefits: “When we started the practice we did a full market review which confirmed my prior belief: Xero was the software for us.”
Now, Xero is empowering EOG Accounting to offer customers affordable advisory services, as well as management accounts, cash flow forecasts and tax advice. Rhys elaborates, “Pre-Xero and cloud software I felt a gap between what customers expected us to deliver and what we, as accountants, could deliver for a reasonable fee. Xero closed that gap.”
Of the features used most by EOG Accounting, Rhys highlights repeating invoices and collecting monthly subscriptions through GoCardless.
He says, “The ability to create your own reporting templates is amazing. We try our best to educate our customers on how they can make the most out of this feature so they can see their bespoke key figures at the click of a button. Moving forward, we plan to use the Xero Tax functions, which will bring huge in-house efficiencies.”
As for that most pressing of concerns – Making Tax Digital (MTD) – the transition to digital tax has been straightforward: “With getting all but a handful of our customers on Xero, MTD has been a breeze.”
And most importantly, according to Rhys, “Beyond all the amazing features and integrations, we felt then and still feel today our values as a business are aligned with Xero’s.”
The future for small business
Rhys mentions small businesses now “have to be able to adapt and pivot at a speed many owners didn’t think they were capable of.”
He offers his tips for small businesses who may be struggling:
“When times are uncertain businesses need to be able to make decisions quickly, and you’re only able to make quick, well thought-out decisions when you can clearly see your current position. To see your finance position accurately, you need your bookkeeping to be always on point. Our biggest tip would be to keep your bookkeeping up to date.”
As for EOG’s hopes for the future, he concludes, “We hope to continue to grow, help as many business owners achieve their goals, and positively impact as many lives as possible.”