JAXX Accountancy

Inform Direct Is Trusted Choice For New Accountancy Practice

JAXX Accountancy

JAXX Accountancy Airdrie, north Lanarkshire

Setting up a new accountancy practice can be a daunting experience and that’s why it’s important to choose software you can rely on. Jacquelyn Walmsley did just that when she decided to use Inform Direct for company secretarial after setting up JAXX Accountancy.

  • Comprehensive cosec service
  • Efficient and time-saving solutions
  • Easy to use and very intuitive

Located in Airdrie, north Lanarkshire, the firm has a growing portfolio of SMEs spanning different sectors and located mainly in central Scotland, with a few in England.

Setting up

After qualifying, Jacquelyn worked in other practices, latterly in a senior management role with her own team. Making the decision to set up on her own was based on wanting direct contact with clients, doing the work she loved and having greater flexibility in terms of decision-making.

She says:

“I first met the Inform Direct team at Accountex North although I had used the software in my previous role. So when it came to setting up on my own, for me it was a ‘given’ that I would use it too. Essentially I wanted to offer a comprehensive cosec service to my clients, whatever they might need me to do. I figured that I could deliver this reliably by incorporating software I could trust, that adds value to a business of any size, from day one. This would also leave me free to focus on all the many other tasks on my desk and avoid the effort and disruption of data migration later on.

“I opted for the one-month free trial to see how it would work alongside my other systems on a day-to-day basis – I use Xero and TaxCalc – which is a great way to road-test all the different functions. It worked seamlessly and we now have over 30 companies on the platform and adding more as we grow.”

Jacquelyn already uses a wide range of features within Inform Direct, including forming new companies, confirmation statements, processing dividends and creating dividend vouchers, producing share certificates, changing registered office and officer addresses, appointing new officers, share allotment and transfer and filing dormant accounts.

Achieving software benefits

As her team expands, Jacquelyn plans to ensure others can use Inform Direct too. She has always found it really easy to use and very intuitive. The simple interface and tailored reminders mean she doesn’t miss deadlines and can complete any company secretarial work quickly and correctly, benefits which continue to be very important with so much going on. Fully compliant documentation can be prepared for clients at the touch of a button and an expert team is always delighted to help.

Jacquelyn has wider aims for her practice:

“One of my objectives is to modernise the traditional image of the accountancy profession and I see harnessing trusted software – including Inform Direct – as an important part of this”, she says. “Many people still think you connect with your accountant once a year when you meet to discuss the annual accounts but it doesn’t need to be like that.

Business partner

Jacquelyn continues:

“I want to work more as a business partner with my clients, using technology effectively, building relationships and having an ongoing dialogue. This will enable me to play a positive role in their business and contribute to decisions, as well as being approachable should they need advice or help at any time.

“The personalised service I want to provide to my clients is similar to the way Inform Direct supports me, as a software provider delivering efficient and time-saving solutions as I grow the business.

“It’s still early days for me but the advice I’d give to anyone looking to go it alone is to ensure you have software you can trust right from the start which will save you time and offer reassurance. It’s also important to reach out to other accountants and support each other through a network, so you can share challenges and solutions.”

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HW Martin

Intelligent and intuitive software specifically designed for today's practices

HW Martin

HW Martin Crediton, Devon

A desire for more modern ways of working was the catalyst for making the move to cloud-based software for an established accountancy practice based in Crediton, Devon.

  • Everything needed under one roof
  • Intuitive navigation & validation save time
  • Enhanced ability to offer more to clients

HW Martin, founded by Harold Martin and run by Matthews Phillips as Partner, historically used an umbrella software package to manage its range of services for clients.

Within this, the original company secretarial module lacked the features and ease of use they wanted and although it had been updated in recent years, this had resulted in disjointed functionality which didn’t meet current practice requirements.

Next-generation software

John Sweeney, Tax Office Manager, says:

“The Covid pandemic accelerated changes to the way we work. We needed to move away from our team accessing everything on computers in the office and provide easy remote access for staff working from home.

“Cosec was a priority in terms of finding an alternative web-based provider. We couldn’t do everything we wanted to in our previous software. That meant we often had no choice but to go directly to Companies House – or were tempted to do so anyway because the software was so time-consuming to use!

“After researching the market, we found Inform Direct. The free trial they offer is a winner, meaning we could check out the software without cost or commitment. It enabled us to see exactly how it would work in our practice, in real-time, and using our own data.

“Straightaway I could see that this was next-generation software which had been created from the ground up, with all the features under one roof for the cosec service we need today.”


The practice makes active use of a huge range of Inform Direct features. That includes confirmation statements, fully integrated company formations, officer and PSC changes and company accounts. Alongside basic share transactions such as transfers and allotments, the team also process dividend payments and now have the confidence to undertake more complex share reorganisation transactions.

Designed for accountants

John continues:

“We found it really intuitive to navigate, with everything specifically designed to make life easier for accountants. Intelligent validation and messaging along the way help all our staff complete tasks quickly, correct first time.

“Client data is easily re-used throughout Inform Direct, removing a need for re-entry and saving huge amounts of time. Seamless, two-way integration with Companies House means everything is current, with automatic updates when due dates change or clients make their own filings.

“Compliant document templates – such as minutes, resolutions and certificates – give real added value to clients. They are automatically pre-populated and look professionally-produced too. We create about 1,000 documents a year in this way, each instantly at the touch of a button.”

A better way of working

HW Martin manages around 200 companies, across a range of sectors, on the platform. Inform Direct helped to bulk import these from a csv file using data from Companies House, so they were up and running very quickly.

John concludes:

“Inform Direct is just so much better. It makes carrying out the cosec tasks we need much more enjoyable, with the added reassurance that it’s all accurate. The fact it’s cheaper than our previous software is a fantastic bonus.

“The support of the Inform Direct team, who are experts in company secretarial practice, has also been invaluable when we have had more complicated client situations to navigate.

“Since subscribing, we really haven’t looked back and it has paved the way to our introduction of other ‘best in class’ cloud-based options for different practice functions which are now also working really well for us.”

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Rivington Accounts

Cosec software is an essential tool throughout the business lifecycle

Rivington Accounts

Rivington Accounts Lancashire

It was at an industry exhibition that the Founder of a growing Lancashire firm of accountants met the team from Inform Direct and saw a demonstration of its award-winning company secretarial software.

  • Flexible throughout client lifecycle
  • Time-saving
  • Free trial available

Martin Horton, Founder of Rivington Accounts based in Chorley, who set up the practice says: “This was the first time I had come across a package that could help our firm comply with company secretarial requirements on behalf of our clients – throughout the business lifecycle.

“After seeing the Inform Direct team demonstrate the software, we agreed to the no obligation free trial and quickly saw the benefits it could deliver to our practice. We had no problem taking this to the next stage and signing up as a client!

Cosec through business lifecycle

Martin says:

“As a practice of ten people, we provide a broad range of accountancy services to clients: bookkeeping, payroll, management reporting support and compliance including company secretarial.

“We look after all sizes of business too, from SMEs to much larger companies, some of which are located in our area and some in other parts of the UK.

“Recently we introduced a new way of categorising our client base in order to target relevant advice, deliver support and provide added value. We identified seven stages of the business lifecycle: Starting, Running, Struggling, Growing, Buying, Selling and Retiring.

“In focusing on these points in the journey, we also found that Inform Direct’s cosec services support every stage – from forming a company through to officer and shareholder changes – and ensuring everything is correctly captured to meet Companies House requirements.

“The software makes it really quick to process standard transactions such as confirmation statements, share transfers and dividend payments. We also value the fact it will support any client scenario that arises. Recently, for example, we’ve satisfied mortgages, managed dividend waivers and processed share splits, capital reductions and other bespoke changes to share capital.


Martin continues:

Previously we had managed company secretarial work in-house with spreadsheets and workflow management packages.

“Using Inform Direct not only saves time but also provides reassurance at a glance that we are keeping to deadlines and we appreciate the direct link it provides with Companies House. It’s also very intuitive and easy to use, making company secretarial work much more straightforward.

“When we first signed up, getting started went without any problems, but having the knowledgeable support team at Inform Direct has always been very helpful if we need additional assistance.

Added value

Martin adds:

“From a client’s perspective it also makes us appear more professional as a practice, with printed documents that look good and are so easy to produce from the templates provided. We create over 1,000 compliant documents a year at the touch of a button.

“Several years on, we continue to find Inform Direct a great piece of software and one we use every day in our practice for clients at all stages of their business journey.”

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AEH Accountancy Ltd

Inform Direct Provides Perfect Complement To Practice’s Existing Software

AEH Accountancy Ltd

AEH Accountancy Ltd Warwickshire

The founder and senior partner of a new Midlands accountancy practice attended the Accountex North exhibition in Manchester – looking for the right blend of software to take the business forward.

  • Enables a comprehensive cosec offering
  • Fantastic time-savings
  • Inform Direct works well alongside IRIS

Tony Humphreys from AEH Accountancy Ltd has worked in the profession for many years and had recently set up his own firm, serving a client base of SMEs and medical practitioners.

With IRIS as the practice’s core software, Tony is one of a growing number of accountants who have chosen Inform Direct for company secretarial work, finding it integrates perfectly alongside the IRIS modules used on a daily basis.

Offer a comprehensive company secretarial service

Tony says:

“I had come across Inform Direct in a previous practice but it had not been utilised fully and so I had not appreciated the breadth of its capabilities.

“We wanted to offer a comprehensive cosec service for our clients. As a dedicated tool, Inform Direct enables us to deliver all the features clients need, now and as we grow our business. As well as Companies House filing, it updates our clients’ statutory registers and produces a huge range of documents. That helps us to offer so much more than in the past without extra effort.

“We also use the system for new company formations. There’s a great range of options and it’s cost-effective too, removing the need for a company formations agent or advance purchase of a tranche of credits.

Work faster with dedicated software

Tony adds:

“Inform Direct is a purpose-built, specialist system dedicated to company secretarial work, which makes it so much faster. We save a lot of time.

“Completing a dozen confirmation statements takes us under ten minutes – as opposed to more than an hour with our previous process. Undertaking a share split or other bespoke transaction is amazingly straightforward. For the first time, it makes those tasks easy for us to complete with just a few clicks.

“It’s so easy to use, meaning your staff can pick up and use Inform Direct, helping you to delegate company secretarial work. It’s easy to onboard new staff without detailed company secretarial training and there’s no charge for additional users. A recent employee induction lasted about ten minutes – it’s that easy.”

Integrate seamlessly

Tony continues:

“Inform Direct made it easy to get set up, with all our client details imported directly from the records at Companies House. In no time at all circa 200 clients were uploaded onto the dashboard, efficiently and with minimum input required. It also became a useful data checking exercise for us because we were able to discover details that were incorrect or missing.”


Throughout Inform Direct, details of people and addresses can be re-used. This pre-population saves time and reduces the risk of introducing errors by retyping. Seamless, two-way integration with Companies House means records remain up to date and if a client chooses to make filings directly, Inform Direct will pick that up.

Tony concludes:

“We use most IRIS modules in the practice, and they work really well for us. Inform Direct works brilliantly alongside those, helping us to offer greater value to our clients. The software is backed up with fantastic support from company secretarial experts.

“In summary, Inform Direct is a breath of fresh air and we are seeing real benefits of having it as part of our toolkit within the practice.”

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Malone Accounting

Inform Direct delivers automated CoSec solution for Northern Ireland Accountants

Malone Accounting

Malone Accounting Northern Ireland

The growing challenge of keeping on top of client filing deadlines in a busy and expanding accountancy practice propelled a Northern Ireland firm to turn to Inform Direct for help.

  • The best technology for the job
  • Enabling an even better service to clients
  • Cost-effective

Malone Accounting, which has offices in Newry and Newcastle, realised that its manual method for recording key filing dates in the form of an Excel spreadsheet was not the optimum solution for keeping track of every client’s details.

Established more than 40 years ago, the family firm started by Aidan’s father now has three of the next generation working in it – Aidan, Brendan and Grainne. From the very early days the ethos has always been to embrace the best technology on the market to handle specific areas of its work, including CoSec in 2015.

Currently Malone Accounting has around 150 of its SME clients on Inform Direct and is seeing benefits across the board.

Automated solution

Director Aidan Malone says:

“As our practice grew we were aware that in order to fulfil our company secretarial responsibilities, we needed to take action. The spreadsheet system and dealing directly with Companies House were becoming onerous and we needed a more automated way to handle this aspect of our service.

“We could see straight away that Inform Direct provided a much better solution, both in terms of being easier to manage and also giving reassurance that we weren’t missing anything. It’s also very cost-effective when you consider the time we save inputting changes which means we can focus on other aspects of our service.

“With the need to only enter client data once, all the details are there which means that when you create fresh documents, they are pre-populated which saves time and reduces the risk of inputting errors.

Greater visibility

Aidan continues:

“Managing deadlines is so much easier than using the Companies House system and with the green/amber/red colour coding in Inform Direct, we have much greater visibility in terms of approaching due dates for clients’ accounts and confirmation statements.

“We find all the compliant document templates really helpful. Not only are they so quick to produce – confirmation statements and share certificates can be created in literally one minute – they look really professional too.”


The practice has also embraced continuing enhancements to the software including the ability to file micro-entity accounts with Companies House, which ensures that they are submitted in a fully compliant format and can be tailored for presentation to shareholders.

There are currently nine people in the Malone team and all use the software, in addition to one or two clients who have their own access to make changes.

Getting started was also very quick and easy: with support from the Inform Direct team, all client data was loaded onto the system from an Excel spreadsheet and by retrieving other details directly from Companies House.

Process reviews

Aidan concludes:

“We firmly believe as a practice that you need to review processes each year and if necessary make changes to ensure you are providing the best possible service for clients in the most efficient way. As a cloud-based practice we do this and Inform Direct fits well into our ethos of harnessing the best technology we can to help us do our job.

“I frequently recommend Inform Direct to other accountants, encouraging them to try it out so they can see for themselves that it is way better than anything else on the market and enables you to deliver a truly professional CoSec service.”

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Child & Child

Company Secretarial Software Streamlines Systems For Welsh Accountancy Practice

Child & Child

Child & Child Wales

Any new piece of software must meet exacting standards for one Welsh accountancy practice – and to pass this test, Inform Direct had to provide real, practical benefits which would enable it to deliver an even better service to clients.

  • Streamlined data entry
  • Holistic view of clients
  • Brilliant customer service

Child & Child, a family-run firm headed up by father and daughter, John and Rachel Child, has a team of ten and offices in Abertillery, Monmouth and London. It was using manual processes and filing directly at Companies House to fulfil company secretarial requirements for clients – until Senior Manager Dave James, who joined the practice in 2019, suggested they consider changing to Inform Direct.

Trialling the software

Dave James says:

“It’s so easy to continue using an existing system and not even consider other options. If the existing process seems to work, you assume there’s nothing noticeably better out there for you. The idea of making a transition – when you want to focus on building the business and looking after clients – instinctively feels too time-consuming, involving moving data and training staff on a new system.

“I knew it may not be easy to convince the partners to switch, because they’re rightly focused on ensuring everything we do is about providing an efficient service for our clients. So, as part of a wider project to look at cloud-based systems for various areas of our business, I spent time trialling Inform Direct and considering how it might help us, before talking to the partners about the benefits it could provide.”


Accountants can take advantage of all the features of Inform Direct as part of a one month free trial so they can see how it could work for their practice – and the software can be used to complete work for clients during the trial. Although it’s easy to pick up and start using, training and support are always free of charge.

Saving time, creating value

Dave continues:

“Straightaway the partners could see the advantages it offered in terms of saving time, ensuring accuracy and providing reassurance that we were fulfilling statutory requirements.

“They were particularly impressed by only needing to enter client data once, avoiding duplication and potential errors. For example, transfers we record are automatically included in the appropriate confirmation statement, so there’s no risk of omission.

“A holistic view of all our clients in one place – and being able to export a report for all clients’ accounting and other deadlines – makes it easier to plan and keep on top of all the important dates. Whenever we need to submit a confirmation statement or another Companies House filing, the ability to more easily obtain client approval really speeds up the process.

“There’s a range of features which enable us to offer more to clients. Everyone likes the professional way board meeting minutes and other documents can be produced. And there are other features too, such as email notifications which alert us if the strike-off process has started so we can contact the client and avert a problem.”

An easy switch

The switch was really simple to make since Inform Direct had a tool to automate adding all client companies on to the system. Bespoke features, such as the ability to record the manager’s initials against each client for easy reference, have enabled the practice to tailor the software to their needs.

Several months on, all of the team at Child & Child who undertake company secretarial work are happy using the system. Inform Direct has proved easy to learn, built around intuitive, automated processes and helpful system prompts – with phone, ‘live chat’ and email support available when required.

Dave continues:

“The customer service is brilliant. You can tap into the team’s knowledge and in-depth company secretarial experience. I also find all the technical articles on the Inform Direct website really helpful in solving client problems.”


John and Rachel Child conclude:

“All the benefits Inform Direct delivers for our practice have really helped us to streamline systems, giving us more time to look after our existing and loyal clients, as well as find new business.”

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Inform Direct contributes to success for growing accountancy firm


Devonports Essex

A rapidly-expanding accountancy practice which switched to Inform Direct’s company secretarial software a few years ago is finding an increasing number of benefits as it grows its business.

  • Superior functionality
  • Professional support
  • Easy to switch

Devonports is located in Southend-on-Sea and Saffron Walden and, following a merger, recently added a third office in Billericay. It currently has around 600 limited company clients on the system.

Keeping ahead

Managing Director of Devonports, Ian Hornsey says:

“I am a great believer in using the best tools for the job and not having ‘all your eggs in one basket’. As well as providing the best company secretarial software on the market, Inform Direct is also good at anticipating and keeping ahead of what we need as a busy practice, adding timely enhancements to the software in response to changing market needs.”


It was at the Accountex exhibition several years ago that Practice Manager Rachel Jones first met members of the Inform Direct team. She knew immediately that it was the right solution for the firm which was looking to streamline its existing in-house processes and have greater flexibility and functionality.

To help Devonports switch to the new system, the Inform Direct support team carried out a bulk import of all the firm’s clients ensuring that the practice was able to continue providing CoSec services without disruption.

On-screen support, step-by-step guides and the intuitive user interface helped to ensure the team were quickly proficient with the new system.

Easy to navigate

“Straightaway we found Inform Direct very user-friendly and easy to navigate to access the information we needed, integrating well with our practice processes. And very importantly, there is the back-up of their knowledgeable and friendly team if we ever need help,” explains Rachel.


All of the users within the practice set up on the system have found the software very straightforward, whether it’s for confirmation statements, new incorporations, share allotments, changes to directors or producing professional template documents such as minutes, resolutions and dividends.

Rachel adds:

“Using Inform Direct, we save time on regular company secretarial work. It also allows us to easily handle more unusual, complex transactions, thereby adding value to clients and helping us provide a comprehensive, bespoke service.”

More and more impressed

Several years on, the firm, which has grown to its current headcount of more than 20 people, remains impressed with the CoSec product and the way it is helping their business grow.

Ian says:

“Inform Direct has not only supported our organic growth, but also made it easier for us to integrate a new office into our practice. Historically the Billericay practice had used a package that included company secretarial in its suite of programs – but as soon as we showed them Inform Direct, they loved it as much as we do and were amazed at what it could achieve for a very reasonable cost.”


Rachel reinforces the value of ongoing customer support, concluding:

“I always think the after-sales service is a key barometer of a good company and with Inform Direct this is consistently excellent. You often hear promises of ‘back-up and support’ during the sales process but this is genuinely the situation with Inform Direct and we greatly value having that ongoing reassurance if we need it.”

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Ragavan & Co.

Inform Direct transforms company secretarial service for West Midlands accounts

Ragavan & Co.

Ragavan And Co. Birmingham

Using Inform Direct as an integral part of its office systems has transformed the way a West Midlands accountancy practice handles company secretarial requirements for its 200 clients.

  • Immediate practice benefits
  • Better service to clients
  • Freeing up time

Ragavan & Co. was established in 1990 by Sunth Ragavan and specialises in providing a wide range of services for SMEs, from sole traders through to larger companies. Around 75% are located within a small radius of its Birmingham base; the remaining clients are in other parts of the UK, including London.

Services include helping business start-ups, bookkeeping, accounts preparation, VAT, payroll, taxation and tax planning.

Immediate benefits

During a month-long free trial of Inform Direct, it immediately became clear that what was on offer would be particularly useful in their daily work for clients.

Sunth says: “Historically we had kept manual systems for our clients’ filing dates – at the very start as a handwritten schedule which seems archaic now! More recently we maintained an Excel spreadsheet but even this was becoming more difficult to manage as our client base grew.

“With Inform Direct, it meant we could not only do this more efficiently but be reassured we hadn’t missed anything. It saved significant time and the fact that all our client information was integrated on the portal saved us from inputting data in several different places.

“We saw that being able to produce printable dividend vouchers was a real benefit, enabling us to offer a better service to our clients.”

Just as dividend vouchers are particularly useful for Ragavan & Co, many accountants have been able to extend their offering to clients with branded share certificates, attractive company registers and a comprehensive range of minutes, resolutions and other documents – all fully pre-populated and available at the touch of a button.

Working smarter

Sunth continues: “As an established practice in our area, we have a loyal client base many of whom have been with us for 20 years and appreciate our personal and timely service when dealing with their affairs. Having these processes automated with Inform Direct saves so much time that we can work smarter, adding value to our service.

“Initially I was the only user but I have now trained two other members of our team so that I can delegate this process and only need to do a final check, freeing up my time to focus on other aspects of the practice.

“It’s easy to use but also really helpful to have advice at the end of a telephone or know that one of the knowledgeable team will respond quickly to an email query.


Best package

“We do use other software packages to carry out different functions within the practice such as bookkeeping and tax returns. I would rather do this than have one package that supposedly does everything where you are totally reliant. Choosing the best for each aspect has worked for us and Inform Direct is a case in point for company secretarial services.

“As we continue to grow – and there’s plenty of potential SME business in the West Midlands – having the right systems in place means we can confidently take on new clients and know that we can offer them a high quality, efficient service.”

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JFS Torbitt Accountants

Well-designed company secretarial software is essential to manage large client portfolio

JFS Torbitt Accountants

JFS Torbitt Accountants County Durham and Northumberland

Rapid growth – and a resulting large client portfolio – accelerated the need for a north-east firm of accountants to identify and adopt software to keep pace with demand and give added value to clients.

  • Efficiency for 500 incorporated clients
  • Comprehensive features
  • Extensive time savings

Derrick Hutchinson and Jane Freeman established JFS Torbitt Accountants almost ten years ago and found that the rapid expansion of their practice sharpened the focus on automating key processes to ensure accuracy and maximise efficiency.

With two offices – a head office in Birtley, County Durham and a satellite office in Blyth, Northumberland – and an expanding team of 18 people, JFS has a growing portfolio of around 1,300 clients, across a range of sectors.

The holistic business consultancy offered by the practice comprises accountancy services including company secretarial compliance, business planning, taxation, payroll and wealth management.

Efficient management

Practice Manager Derrick explains:

“It became very clear that we could no longer rely on manual records for our company secretarial services. A spreadsheet would simply not do the job in terms of managing hundreds of clients efficiently and the login requirements for each company at Companies House were laborious.

“I first came across Inform Direct when looking for a template for a stock transfer form and found something that not only pre-populated the form itself but also generated the required minutes, new share certificate and wrote up the statutory books too.

“I quickly registered and subscribed after seeing straightaway how useful the platform would be, with a comprehensive range of features and functions that we might require for our clients’ individual needs.

Superior system

Derrick continues:

“The way the system has been set up means that it is hands down better than any other of its kind. Everything is well laid out, with lots of shortcuts so we can change shareholder information and create new documents instantly. There’s also a great overview of all our 500 incorporated clients, where we can see deadlines – including accounts filing dates and confirmation statements – at a glance.

“One of the key benefits it has given us is reassurance that we are not missing any deadlines, as well as saving time and being accurate. Even for a standard confirmation statement, we save ten minutes per client. The savings quickly add up for clients with additional transactions, especially when they’re more complex.

Team support

Derrick adds:

“It’s intuitive, easy to use and the support team is fantastic. We have five people using it in the practice who have trained each other, getting telephone help if needed.

“As a practice we have always sought technology that will help us and our clients. It’s interesting to reflect just how quickly we have progressed on the road to becoming a completely digital practice, using a range of packages including Sage Business Cloud, Xero, Cashflow Manager, AutoEntry and of course Inform Direct to achieve this.”

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Gains Accountants

New accountancy practice embeds 'best in breed' software to achieve digital vision

Gains Accountants

Gains Accountants Barking

Setting up a new practice, the founder of Gains Accountants knew she wanted to get the best available software from the start. Based in Barking with a team of four, the practice offers a wide range of services supported by best in breed software.

  • Best of breed software
  • Efficiency savings
  • Easy to learn and use

A strategy to become a completely digital practice – and harnessing the latest and best software on the market to make this happen – has led a new Essex-based accountancy practice to use Inform Direct for all its company secretarial services.

New practice, new vision

Gains Accountants, set up by Phool Ashraf, is based in Barking and currently has a team of four, with plans to grow rapidly. The practice offers a broad range of services including corporate and personal taxation, VAT and filing statutory business accounts, business forecasting and advice, as well as company secretarial, bookkeeping, payroll and cloud accounting services.

Phool says:

“When I set up Gains Accountants with my partner Tariq after a number of years working in practice and industry, I wanted to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. I strongly believed the way to do this was by becoming a completely digital practice, providing the best possible service to clients and maximising our productivity through automation.

“This meant embedding best of breed software packages into our operation right at the very start, which will add even more value as our business expands. It enables us to gain insight into our clients’ businesses, offer the best service to our clients from the outset, and avoid the cost, effort and disruption of migration further down the line.

Effiiency improvements

Phool continues:

“I had used Inform Direct in a previous role so I knew about the benefits it could deliver as well as its intuitive, user-friendly approach. Since we integrated it into our workflow, we have seen significant improvements – between 7-10% greater efficiency within our team.

“An example of this is the confirmation statement. We can send a draft to the client for approval, which automatically includes changes made since the last confirmation statement. Because the client has clarity of what is being submitted, what might have taken two or three emails before is now streamlined.

“Across Inform Direct, there are loads of efficiency savings like these. It already makes a big difference to us, meaning we can spend more time adding value to clients and winning new business. Having made the right decision up front, I can focus on growth, confident that we’ll continue to reap the benefits of great software when we have hundreds or thousands of clients.”

Empowering a growing team

Staff development is high on the agenda and Phool is keen to ally the career goals of her team with those of the practice. One of the ways she is achieving this is broadening the skillset of her team, including training them to use Inform Direct.

“It’s extremely easy to train others as the software is so usable and logical,” she says. “New members of staff have picked Inform Direct up very quickly, and actually enjoy using it. I really appreciate all the software guides and knowledgeable technical articles and also the responsiveness of the team if you need advice.”


In addition to Inform Direct, other packages in the suite used by Gains Accountants include Xero, Receipt Bank, AccountancyManager and Taxfiler – which together deliver the functionality required by the practice which would not be possible with one integrated solution.

Phool is committed to her vision of becoming a completely digital practice and supporting SMEs.

“It’s very exciting to see how our strategy of using ‘best in breed’ Is working and the efficiency improvements in our workflow.  Inform Direct is playing a central role in this and helping us to achieve our goal,” she concludes.

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Kelly Accounting

A more professional way to manage company secretarial services for clients

Kelly Accounting

Kelly Accounting Perthshire

As their practice grew, one accountancy firm realised that it made sense to invest in company secretarial software. Kelly Accounting Limited is based in Crieff, Perthshire. Their six person team provides a wide range of accountancy services with a focus on efficient, best of breed solutions.

  • Streamlined practice systems
  • Added value to clients
  • More time available

A more efficient way to manage deadlines for clients and automatic production of forms, compliant company registers and other documents, together with major time-saving for senior members of the practice were just some of the reasons why a Perthshire firm of accountants made the move to become an Inform Direct customer.

Kelly Accounting, which was established in 2002 by David and Susan Kelly, is based in Crieff and now has a team of six offering a full range of accountancy services to a portfolio of clients located from Shetland to New Zealand.

David Kelly says:

“Susan and I decided to set up a practice after completing our accountancy qualifications and working for a while overseas. In fact, it was a busy time for us – within the space of six weeks we had acquired a puppy, moved house, set up the practice and had a child!

“As a full service accountancy practice helping with payroll, tax, business sales, VAT, and company secretarial, we have built up our client base over the years and enjoy a high retention rate of businesses operating in a number of sectors.


David continues:

“Early on we wanted to establish ourselves as a practice that was technologically advanced and different from some of our competitors, so have invested in a number of software platforms to carry out different accounting functions, with the objective of using the best of the breed in each case.

“Suddenly being tasked with a more complex company secretarial task for a client led us to Inform Direct who we had previously met at Accountex – and we have never looked back.

“Previously we had kept all our company secretarial requirements on a spreadsheet, using the Companies House system –  which was pretty basic. We knew we needed a more sophisticated system which allowed us to do more – and where the key information for all our clients was presented clearly in one place, so that no deadlines were missed.

Adding value

David adds:

“Inform Direct is a very user-friendly system to use.  It’s clear and logical, making it easy to find the right information and submit forms correctly first time. We also appreciate the friendly support team who are always able to help and solve any queries we may have, quickly and efficiently – and they even imported our client database, so we were up and running very quickly.

“Now our administration support team can easily produce professional-looking forms for clients, such as share certificates, dividend vouchers and statutory registers. They’re well-formatted and need minimum input from us.

“We can deliver the service efficiently and effectively and add value at the same time. By using Inform Direct we save time compared to using a combination of Companies House and spreadsheets – and can offer our clients so much more.

“Quite simply it has streamlined our practice systems and saved a huge amount of time, particularly in relation to new company formations and has released senior members of the practice to focus on other matters.”

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An Accounting Gem

Accountancy firm finds new software adds value for clients

An Accounting Gem

An Accounting Gem Suffolk

Inform Direct has revolutionised operations at Ipswich-based An Accounting Gem, who previously maintained records manually and filed directly at Companies House. Adopting the fully online, integrated company secretarial solution has streamlined the firm's procedures and provided easy control over important filing deadlines.

  • Streamlined procedures
  • Control over deadlines
  • Added value for clients

A chance discovery at an accountancy exhibition has led to an Ipswich-based firm streamlining its procedures for dealing with clients’ statutory filing to Companies House.

An Accounting Gem, which was established by Senior Partner Jeremy Buitenhuis in 2005, has a portfolio of 350 SMEs for which it provides a range of services including tax planning and advice, accounts, book-keeping and VAT.

Before discovering Inform Direct at the Accountex exhibition a few years ago, the team of five used manual systems to keep track of each individual client’s year-end deadlines.


Since purchasing Inform Direct’s cloud-based software, the firm has revolutionised its internal processes, saving time and money – and very importantly, with the reassurance that no important deadlines are being missed.

Jeremy says:

We continue to appreciate just how fantastic this software is. Quite simply it’s taken all the stress and strain out of company law. With a little introductory training, we are all able to use it – and there’s telephone support from Inform Direct with a knowledgeable and friendly team if we need it.


Jeremy says:

As our practice has grown, we needed a system to help us keep track of what needed filing when, rather than relying on manual methods.

Another major plus has been the professional quality of the documents we produce for clients which are infinitely better than what we had before. They are also available at a keystroke which makes it easy for us to produce. This feature allows us to create the relevant board minute/resolution which can be automatically generated and pre-populated for every transaction we do. The documents are then stored in the online document library.


Jeremy says:

Getting started with Inform Direct was very straightforward. It’s easy to use and we didn’t have to go on lengthy training courses which are time-consuming and take us away from the day job. Any queries were quickly handled by the team who have been really good to deal with.

We integrated the software into our daily practice processes and haven’t looked back. From a business owner’s perspective, I am delighted that we chanced upon a system that has helped take our firm forward and give added value to our clients too.

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