Archive for the 'Staff and Practice News' Category

Come and Meet us at Sheffex

Well no sooner have we calmed down from one brilliant Yorkshire business conference (Buy Yorkshire at The Royal Armouries in Leeds), we are gearing up to attend the next one – Sheffex, in Sheffield on June 2nd.

Whilst it’s the first time we have exhibited down in Sheffield, we are no stranger to the Sheffield business community.  Ashley was once a prospective partner with Haines Watts in Sheffield, and since setting up his own practice over 20 years ago in Holmfirth, Sheffield addresses have always had a very prominent presence on his client list.

Next Monday, four of The Balance Team will be manning our stand – Ashley Barrowclough (Partner and business owner), Rachel Graham (Client Manager), Josh Kilner (Trainee Accountant) and Austen Barrowclough (Marketing Assistant).  They will be looking forward to telling you more about Balance and how we might be able to work with you and help your business grow.

In addition to that, we of course have the obligatory cupcakes (couldn’t resist) and a really exciting competition, which centres around The Tour de France. The prize is a trip for two to Paris later this year and can only be entered by visiting our stand on the day.

So if you are planning on coming to Sheffex please be sure to call by our stand (number 9); we would love to meet you and help your day to be a success.

Compiled by Deb Bradley, Client Manager.

Friday Favourites – Favourite Current TV Programme

Today we ask the Balance Team what is their favourite current TV programme.

Ashley              The Sapranos (Box set)

Austen             Breaking Bad (catching up)

Carolyn            Gogglebox

Chris                Family Guy

Claudia            Gogglebox

Deb                  The Trip To Italy

Jacob               Modern Family

Jane                 Holby City

Jo                     Call Centre

Josh                 Celebrity Juice

Karen               The Mentalist

Linda               Coronation Street

Malcolm          Coronation Street

Phil                  Derek

Rachel             Gogglebox

Compiled by Deb Bradley

New Placement Student

Here at Balance we are continuosly looking for talented staff members from universities. Daniel Morris, currently studying Accounting and Finance at Newcastle University is our latest placement student. Daniel will be beginning his third and final year in September. Daniel wanted to gain some invaluable experience of the workplace and he feels Balance are ideal as they are a modern accountancy firm who’s activities are broad and seem to do accountancy but with a difference and stand out compared to most accountancy companies in the UK.  The opportunity Balance have given me should enable me to be better prepared to adapt to the workplace once I leave University in a years time, as I should enter with a greater insight into what the profession actually involves aswell as giving me the chance to apply the theory I have been taught. Hopefully it will develop my understanding and knowledge of the fundamental and critical aspects of accounting, while also introducing new areas I am not as familiar with yet. I will also gain a greater understanding of the day to day activities of a modern accountant.

If nothing else then by the end of my time here I will definitely understand the meaning of a hard days work and the joys of using public transport, as my day involves a 5 hour round trip including 4 separate trains and 4 buses, meaning I leave my home around half 6 in the morning and don’t arrive home until after 7. So far this has been a reality check when compared to the much less strenuous life of a univeristy student.

This article was compiled by Austen Barrowclough, Marketing Assistant at Balance Accountants.

New Additions To The Team At Balance

There have been several new staff arrivals at Balance Accountants in July. The latest addition to the team is Austen Barrowclough who joins us for a year long placement from the University of Huddersfield.

Austen is currently studying Sports Promotion and Marketing at the University but he has quite a chequered past having tried his hand at building, surveying, personal training as well as playing professional and international rugby league for Serbia.

Austen scoring a try against Russia

At Balance he will play an integral role in developing and implementing our  2013/14 marketing strategy and we are hoping that his knowledge of marketing will help bring a new dimension to the Balance Team.

This article was compiled by Ashley Barrowclough, partner at Balance Accountants.

No Excuse For Not Paying Us Now!

Here at Balance we now have online credit/debit card payment facilities. It was a long, slow and sometimes painful process to get the system set up but now that it is in place it works very easily. If anyone wants to pay us by credit/debit card then all we need is:

  • Name and Address
  • Type of card (mastercard/visa etc)
  • Name on card
  • Card number
  • Expiry date
  • Security number on back of card

The new payment facility is already proving popular with clients and in a world where cheque payments are becoming increasingly rare, we expect that payment by credit/debit card will continue to grow.

PS “A man had his credit card stolen, but he decided not to report it. The thief was spending less than his wife did.”

This article was compiled by Ashley Barrowclough, partner at Balance Accountants.

Spring Has Sprung

By the third week of April it was really beginning to feel like spring had finally arrived. The primroses and daffodils put on a great display and the colour of the flowering currant was electric. Even the snowdrops that had looked a little sorry for themselves after the snow had melted put on one last show before going to seed.


Flowering Currant

The cold spell has probably delayed the seasonal growth in the garden by about 3 weeks, and although no major damage has been done to the shrubs and plants by the weather, the same cannot be said for the blue tits that had been visiting the garden every day. Since the snow fell we have had no sight of them and it is possible that they did not survive.

Things on the gardening front have been busy with plenty to catch up on as the soil starts to warm. The onion sets have finally been planted out, the leeks, spring onions and parsnip seeds have all been directly sown in the vegetable beds. Meanwhile, in the greenhouse , the peas and mangetout have been growing well and it has only been this last week that they have been planted out into their final positions, albeit with some protection from the weather and the birds. Climbing beans have also been sown into module cell trays in the green house and annual flower seeds of cosmos, rudbeckia and verbena bonariensis, as well as some celeriac have been sown in seed trays indoors. These are all now growing away quite well.


Over the May Day bank holiday we had a few days away and on our return we found that the shrubs and plants had really come on leaps and bounds. The garden was starting to fill out as the warm weather encouraged the plants to put on some growth, the garden was looking green and fresh. In our absence the cherry tree had started to blossom and the erythroniums, brunnera and clematis were all in full flower.

The tomatoes, peppers and courgettes are growing well and these are now gradually being acclimatised to the greenhouse conditions during the day. A dip in the temperatures over the next few days has been forecast so it may be another few days or so before they can remain in the greenhouse on a more permanent basis, and slightly longer still before the courgettes are planted into their final positions outdoors. That’s British weather for you, it can change at the drop of a hat, and as a gardener it keeps you on your toes.

This article was compiled by Karen Ashton, Client Manager at Balance Accountants.

Balance Accountants Take Silver at the National Design Awards

It’s official—Balance Accountants are now an award winning firm!!!!!

At a glittering awards ceremony in London, Balance Accountants walked away with a silver award from the Design Business Association (DBA). The award was presented in the “Brand Identity” category and is in recognition of the remarkable transformation that we made from Rogers & Co to Balance Accountants.

On the night, in front of a large audience, we were pitted against industry giants like Cadbury, Carlsberg and Marks & Spencer. It was a little bit daunting but up there on the big screen our entry looked as good as any of the “Big Boys”.

In design circles, the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards are amongst the most prestigious and authoritative awards around so to receive any award is a great achievement but to get a silver is a tremendous accolade for the firm and it’s staff who put so much effort into the rebranding process and made it such a success.

The silver trophy comes in two halves so that one half can be kept by Balance and the other by our design Agency partners, Engine Room.

Ashley, back at the office, with the DBA silver trophy

This article was compiled by Ashley Barrowclough, Partner at Balance Accountants.

How To Grow Your Sunflower

If you’re one of the lovely people that we met at the Buy Yorkshire conference then you will now be the proud owner of 2 Russian Giant Sunflower seeds. We really hope that you take a little time to plant these seeds and see the wonders that can be achieved when you and Balance work together to make something flourish!

Below are step-by-step instructions about how to grow your sunflower seeds into beautiful fully grown sunflowers:

  1. Take a small garden pot (roughly a 7.5cm pot would be ideal) and fill the pot with compost to within 1cm of the rim.

Fill pot with compost

2. Poke a hole into the soil and place the seed into the hole.

Place seed in hole

3. Cover the seed with compost and fill the remaining space in the plant pot with soil.

4. Water the plant thoroughly so that the soil is damp all the way through. This effect can be achieved by standing the flower pot  in water for a few minutes as the soil will absorb the water.

Water the seed

Balance Top Tip: Help your seed to flourish by cutting a pop bottle in half and making a mini greenhouse for your seed.

Make a mini greenhouse if desired

It only takes 4 steps to have a seed ready for germination. Germination usually takes around 21 days but your patience will be rewarded. If you plant the seeds outside after all chance of frost has passed then the sunflower can grow to 2.4-3m (which is 8-10ft) tall!

There are lots of reasons why we love the sunflower; it is not just a bright and cheerful colour but also a great symbol for your business. The sunflower loves to be nurtured and its head follows the path of the sun throughout the day. It grows stronger for the care and attention it receives. With this love and care it can flourish and grow taller than all the other plants in the flowerbed. Once grown a single sunflower can produce up to 2000 seeds which is a great reward for the hard work you put in to help it grow.

We hope that you will send us pictures of the lovely sunflowers that you grow. It can be a great family fun project or a relaxing pastime in the garden sunshine. Please send any pictures to: and the best pictures will be displayed on our Facebook page and on the blog.

To learn more about why we like sunflowers so much, read our article here.

This article was compiled by Fiona McNally, AAT Trainee at Balance Accountants.

Come and See Us at Buy Yorkshire 2013

We’re showing ourselves off again at the Buy Yorkshire (formerly Yorkshire Mafia) 2013 Conference.

The venue is Leeds Royal Armouries, the dates are 24th and 25th April,and if you come along you will see us in the main Hall on stand 143.

Buy Yorkshire 2013

We’re really rather excited this year as we are turning up with some new ‘giveaways’ for visitors to our stand – will they be received with the enthusiasm that we are hoping for?  We certainly hope the concept behind the ‘giveaways’ will taken on board as it really is what we, Balance Accountants, are all about.

On Wednesday 24th the stand will be manned by the highly competent and informative Malcolm Jacobs (Production Manager), Linda Jacobs (Client Manager) and Fiona McNally (AAT Trainee).  If you visit on Thursday you will have the pleasure of meeting with Deborah Bradley (Client Manager) and Carolyn Smith (our new and amazing Receptionist).  We are all looking forward to meeting the good and great of Yorkshire’s business community – come and say “Hello”.

This article was compiled by Deborah Bradley, Client Manager at Balance Accountants.

The Snow Came And So Did The Birds

Apparently it has been the coldest March since 1962 with the highest snowfall since 1979. With a garden that has been white over for the latter half of March you will find it of no surprise that very little gardening has been done. The whole garden became one giant blanket of white, first the snowdrops disappeared, then the daffodils, the lavender, the dogwoods, in fact everything was covered. It soon became apparent that I wouldn’t be getting much done outside for a while.

When the weather is not at its best and the ground is covered with snow or a hard frost I tend to put food out for the birds on the garden steps. March was no exception to this rule, only difference being I could not see the steps in question. I actually had to dig myself a walkway in which to reach the foot of the garden. I was by no means going to attempt to get to the bird table as I probably would have needed waders or similar to make my way through the snow. We got the usual birds coming to feed as well as one or two guests. One morning we had a thrush eating suet mix with the blackbirds. There have also been a couple of pied wagtails and one or two finches. The strangest thing that I saw in the garden recently was the blackbirds flying at the fatball feeder. After several attempts they even managed to grab hold for long enough to get a beak full. I think that along with the apple and dried fruit, they had acquired a taste for suet mix. The feeder that was lower down for them to reach was covered by the snow never to be seen again.

Last month I mentioned that the blue tits were visiting our bird box on a daily basis. They continued to do this right up to when the snow arrived. Apparently the reason why they have been pecking at the box is to check that it is secure enough against predators and to hold the nest, although if they keep this up I am not sure how much of it will be left. We haven’t seen the blue tits for a couple of weeks, hopefully as the weather becomes milder they will return.

Meanwhile, the onion sets that were due for planting out in the kitchen garden have been planted into cell trays. I would also normally direct sow the seed for leek in March, but found that I have had to sow these into a pot instead. Both of these have been left in the greenhouse and will be planted out once the plants and conditions both suit. As for the parsnips that I started off indoors, mainly to check the seed was still viable, I have missed the time slot in which it needed to be sown outside. I have started another batch, so hopefully by the time these start to show signs of growth the snow will have melted and the soil will be warm enough for these to be sown.

At Shepley Woods

Outside the snow has mostly melted and the plants are beginning to reappear. There is still plenty that needs to be done and any set back in sowing will soon be caught up once the weather improves. Unfortunately, as the snow disappears we may be left with one or two casualties in the garden due to the weight of snow of evergreen shrubs or branches, or those slightly frost tender specimens that have found the prolonged cold spell just too much. Looking on the bright side though, you can always use it as an excuse to go and buy something new from the local garden centre or nursery.

This article was compiled by Karen Ashton, Client Manager at Balance Accountants.

Download the latest Balance Business Bitesize now!

Enter your e-mail and name now to learn how you can do the above