20 Jul Meet A Tenant: How Balance Books Switched To Hybrid Working
Finchley tenant Costas Michael, director of Balance Books, sat down to tell us about their unique approach to accounting and how they chose a hybrid working model at The Brentano Suite.
Hi Costas, Can You Tell Us What Balance Books Offers?
Balance Books specialises in bookkeeping, VAT returns, VAT advisory work, management accounts, and also budgets and forecasts.
We’re generalists. We work mainly with SMEs in the UK, everything from ship brokers to grocers, right across the board.
So, What Makes Your Company Different?
The accounting profession, as a whole, feels quite reactive; everyone is pushing to get everything done. But proactivity is where we excel. We make processes easy, speaking to our clients regularly; communication is vital.
Of course, we do the usual things, bookkeeping, VAT returns, and all that has to be correct. That’s a given, whoever the client goes to. But we also go through the figures with our clients to help them make sound business decisions. Beyond the basics, for 70%-80% of our clients we go on to use core processing to prepare management accounts or forecasts.
We’re also very tech focused. We don’t deal with a bag of receipts! It’s online accounting packages and apps.
Who’s In Your Team?
There are six of us based in the Finchley branch. We moved here about a year and a half ago. We used to be in Finchley central in a much bigger office, which we shared with Balance Books’ sister company.
Through our experiences during the pandemic, we realised we didn’t need such a big office. So, we looked to downsize and decided to implement a hybrid model.
The office is smaller here, and it suits us perfectly.
Can You Tell Us What Your Hybrid Model Looks Like?
So, we’re effectively on a rota. We thought about, based on our business requirements, how often we need to be physically in the same location.
It took time to adjust to the various changes, but now the team loves it. It’s the best of both worlds. As long as you have the right communication channels in place to get the work done as you need to, hybrid working suits our needs perfectly!
Does A Serviced Office Work Well For A Hybrid Company?
Yes! We were in a ‘normal’ office before. You have the keys and manage it yourself. But, of course, not everybody had keys and could go in as and when. It meant picking them up from someone and spending time organising things.
The serviced office works with key-codes and number pads. It’s very easy for the team to go in as needed. It’s really helped!
How Is Being At The Brentano Suite Different From Other Offices?
It’s very bright, clean, and modern. That fits with our culture. We’re a dynamic, tech-focused team.
The Brentano Suite is night and day compared with where we were before! Clients comment on that, too. Everyone that comes to see us is amazed at how nice these offices are and that adds to the client’s experience with Balance Books.
The reception team are excellent. They deliver messages, post, and really help us out.
That’s Great! What’s Next For You?
Well, we’re growing steadily. We take on clients where we’re right for them and they’re right for us.
In terms of services, we’re going to start focusing on the budgeting and forecasting side of things. The last few years have brought what-if planning to the forefront of everyone’s minds. We really need best and worst-case scenarios for all our businesses.
Thank You For Meeting With Us Today! Anything Else To add?
Just to say that everyone at The Brentano Suite has just been great. I don’t have a bad word to say about any of it! Being here has really helped us adapt to hybrid working and has saved us money, too.
To find out more about how The Brentano Suite can help your business to thrive, have a look at our video tour.