The world of work is changing and 2019 was a big change for us at Insight Finance Solutions. A lot has happened in a year and we love reflecting back on the highs and the lessons of the last year.
If we’ve not met before and you’re stumbling across this blog after having a little nosey at our website first of all let us say a big “hello” and welcome you into the fold at Insight Finance Solutions.
We are a female-led modern and contemporary accountancy advisor service. We blend traditional chartered accountancy expertise with modern day technology, entrepreneurial flair and money mindset coaching. We are a complete unique mixed bag of skills that we believe brings exceptional service to our clients.
We are honest, energetic, flexible, knowledgable and we love to impart our knowledge on clients in a way that helps clear the muddy waters of money, business finances and the rules and regulations around our earnings.
So in the style of a cheesy American round-robin Christmas card, we thought we would take a minute to reflect back on what has been a life changing year in and out of business.
We welcomed new little people and embraced modern parental leave rights
2019 started off with Katie on maternity leave after having baby Rex. Katie returned to work in April to find that pregnancy hormones were well and truly in the air with Helen also expecting.
Baby Sam was due at the end of August and no amount of military planning could prepare Helen, Tom and big brother Ollie for the early arrival of son number two who came a few weeks early in July. (Thank you so much to our valued clients who were so totally flexible and understanding during this unexpected period!).
As a family, Helen and Tom decided to embrace recent UK parental leave changes and Tom was able to take extended paternity leave allowing Helen to return to work within a matter of weeks after Sam’s birth. We have had to find a groove with routine and working from home with a newborn and a toddler. It has so far worked really well and even though it will always be a work in progress juggling motherhood with business, we are really proud of the boundaries we created between each and our productivity levels throughout the year.
…oh we also moved house too!
Which required many hours of guiltily trading free Wifi with the purchase of copious amounts of drinks at the local Costa! Seriously, how long does it take to get a solid internet connection when you move house these days?!
We worked on our marketing and digital presence
Just like our clients hire us to take away the stress of finances and the stuff that doesn’t sit in their zone of genius, we did the same when it came to marketing and creating a new digital presence for our business.
Marketing Insight Finance Solutions has long been a stress for us as business owners. Stick our heads in a spreadsheet rather than spending hours on social media any day! In 2019 we got to work creating our new website, social media presence and creating regular newsletters. I connected with Gemma Ray who has helped us take our ideas and knowledge out of our heads and into our digital presence. We really wanted to convey our fun and energetic side (which isn’t often associated with accountants!) and this has been transformational for us this year.
It has been beneficial having external eyes on our messaging and we have been able to communicate our values and what we stand for throughout our digital presence. We’ve also utilised video to create testimonials (like this one from Wendy here) which was humbling to watch the final video. Having our clients say such brilliant things about us and our impact on their mindset, business and finance was an emotional moment for us. Every day we are proud of the work we do and seeing it on film was spectacular.
We loved coaching our clients
We always have to pinch ourselves when we think about the working relationship we have with our clients. Because we are not like traditional accountants and because we speak to our clients via video or phone call at least once a month we build a rapport, a genuine connection and a working relationship rooted in friendship. When offering mindset coaching alongside accountancy services, it creates an intimate and confidential line of communication. Sometimes clients are revealing money behaviours from their childhood or past business challenges that might have caused upset for years. We are always so moved by our clients who are able to address these challenges from their past, get rid of the mental blocks and go on to create amazing growth both on a business financial level and a personal level too. The shifts are truly spectacular.
We celebrated client wins
So many of our clients make small wins every month on our calls. Whether that comes from feeling confident in their cashflow or getting to grips with their tax return, we get through a lot and we see progress happen on a consistent basis.
In addition to the wins we celebrate as part of our working relationship, many of our clients achieve great things that we love to be a part of. Like Hattersleys winning their wine award and Nicole and Tim celebrating their awards and nominations.
Hattersley Wines win at the International Wine Awards
We went to some awesome industry events
From the Xero roadshow earlier in the year to the mesmerising Practice Ignition conference in Autumn, we have thoroughly enjoyed expanding our knowledge, meeting our peers and learning about new and exciting software that can enhance our service with clients.
Practice Ignition was one such event we adored. In accountancy land it can often be seen as very corporate and a little ‘stiff upper lip’. At Insight Finance Solutions we always want to be honest and transparent. Vulnerability in business is endearing and we talk about our business struggles at the same time as celebrating our wins. What we loved at Practice Ignition was the honesty and integrity of the inspirational speakers who talked about their own business journeys. As business owners we know that growth is never linear. We have dips and troughs, highs and lows and nobody is ever truly an overnight success.
We also loved meeting new partners like Float Cashflow Forecasting and Capitalise. We have already implemented Float into our service for clients (read our review of the software here) and in January we will be talking to Capitalise about their service providing investment opportunities to small businesses from high street banks to angel investors. We are excited to see what the lay of the land is like for finance opportunities for small businesses and look forward to working with Capitalise and sharing that knowledge with our clients as we feel this lower level finance and investment is the missing droplets in the muddy funding puddle.
We also hooked up with Clarity who help accountancy advisors like us to develop our advisory skills using their powerful software and techniques. We always never rest on our laurels and believe in working on our own personal growth in a consistent manner.
Our biggest business takeaway of the year – have structure and be proactive
We may be in the Chinese year of the pig in 2019 and going into the 2020 year of the rat but 2019 has been the year of the swan for us at Insight Finance Solutions. We’ve glided along with confidence and created some fantastic stand out moments but under the surface there’s been some furious paddling going on to get us there! Babies, new homes, new routines and structures could’ve forced us to feel like our feet were anchored this year but we have been open with our clients, clear in our communication and we’ve worked really hard to create set structured routines to succeed in 2019. We have helped clients recoup overpaid tax, get tax fines reimbursed, been a part of growing businesses and most of all taught our clients the importance of being proactive rather than reactive.
2020 feels like we are gearing up to be the year of the Tiger and we can’t wait to pounce on our goals, increase our portfolio of clients, continue to adopt intuitive tech to help streamline finances and add to our coaching programmes for business owners.
If you would like to do something different in 2020 when it comes to your business finances and accountancy or bookkeeping services then reach out. We help businesses of all sizes and we are always happy to have a chat in confidence about you, your business challenges and how we can become your trusted advisors making finances stress free.