Client Profile: R & S Tonks Ltd

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Raising a glass to a successful firm

R & S Tonks Ltd started from humble beginnings operating from a rented stable behind a hotel in nearby Newcastle under Lyme and has developed into an industry leader offering an unrivalled refurbishment and maintenance service to blue chip and independent businesses throughout the hospitality sector.

In its early years, R & S Tonks worked primarily for a leading brewery by maintaining its local pubs. In 1950 new premises were purchased in Stoke on Trent followed by its first vehicle in 1951 and its first member of staff in 1952. As the firm’s reputation developed the business expanded its client base and began offering a general joinery service to the domestic market and local property developers.

Despite the average job size continuing to fall the company continues to grow through strong management and the innovative use of technology in the office, on-site and in the factory. In fact all of the company’s 22 vehicles are now fully computerised with up to date tracking software allowing the firm to monitor how much time is spent on each job. Current MD Robert Tonks who joined the family firm in 1983, has introduced systems for data collection, managing costings and monitoring key numbers. “If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” says Robert.

Robert is a trained quantity surveyor with considerable experience in construction and has completely transformed the company in recent years with state-of-the-art plant and an unrivalled team of experienced joiners and associated tradesmen. “We look after our clients and supply a complete wrap-around package” says Robert, “offering everything from the initial paperwork right through to the finished job.” When asked how he would best describe his business Robert said that they offer specialist solutions in construction for the hospitality trade.

Robert continued, saying that Barringtons support was invaluable in their success, always ensuring that he had accurate management figures to hand allowing him to make sound strategic decisions.

Barringtons MD, Phil Wood, said that Barringtons continues to work closely with R & S Tonks and will be supporting Robert as he manages future growth.

R&S Tonks Factory

Picture This

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Our regular picture feature focuses on clients with a great image to share.

And making headlines in regional press just lately has been Stripey Pig – one of our clients in Newport.

Shropshire couple Steve Bellerby and Jenny Smith are behind the new venture which aims to help small businesses save money on their telecommunications.

With bright pink pig branding, new website and local workforce, their story was featured in the Shropshire Star, Newport Advertiser and Trinity Mirror Chronicle group as well as several online business platforms.

Stripey Pig is the sister company to Smith Bellerby, a cost reduction consultancy which works with big name brands such as EasyJet and Biffa on slashing their utility and communication bills.

Steve said: “At Smith Bellerby we have been lucky enough to win awards and support large corporates in achieving tangible benefits year-on-year.

“But we started small and after 16 years we wanted to give back to the local business community and create an offering for small firms trying to reduce overheads. Every pound we save them will add to increased profitability, growth and more local jobs.”

Stripey Pig operates from offices in Abbey Court, Newport and offers all types of telephone and broadband solutions through trusted network operators.

Steve added: “We’ve been handling mobile phone fleets for large corporates for years but this allows us to get back to dealing with businesses here in Shropshire in a friendly manner, with a bit of fun thrown in for good measure, hence Stripey Pig.”

For more information visit www.stripeypig.co.uk

Steve Bellerby and Jenny Smith celebrate the launch of their new business Stripey Pig in Newport

Steve Bellerby and Jenny Smith celebrate the launch of their new business Stripey Pig in Newport

Barringtons adds to its numbers

Monday, December 14th, 2015

We are pleased to announce the arrival of six new members of staff at our Newcastle office.

Joining us in Client Payroll is Jeanette Wyatt. With over 35 years of experience in this area, Jeanette is proving a capable pair of hands in this busy department looking after the payroll function for more than 400 businesses across the area.

Kerry Raftery has been welcomed to Client Services where she will be on hand to help clients when staffing issues arise, an area where she has more than 26 years’ experience.

Meanwhile Alison Goodman has joined us in Business Support where her tasks will include manning reception, administration, client records and general office duties.

Always keen to nurture young talent, Barringtons has also welcomed local lads Jonathan Griffiths to Client Services and Josh Manser as Cloud Accounting Administrator. Both are combining their work in our Newcastle office with final studies for their AAT accountancy qualification. Rachel Brian, a newly-qualified accountant, joins Client Services where she is honing her skills at accounts preparation.

Barringtons Managing Director Phil Wood said: “As our client base grows, so does our workforce. Wherever possible we recruit from the local area which has proven a hotbed of talent for us over the years.

“We take pride in offering the personal touch and a friendly, down-to-earth service. In considering new recruits we place personality, drive and enthusiasm as high on our list of priorities as qualifications.”

Several staff have been with Barringtons for more than 20 years. They have risen to management level or taken on new business challenges of their own.

For careers at Barringtons visit the website which gives details of latest vacancies.


Look up to The Cloud for a simple life

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Barringtons – The Accountants for People with Better Things to Do!

That’s the strapline we like to live up to as we deliver a service renowned for innovation and exceptional results.

Now as part of our mission to make life a little easier for you, we would like to offer a free trial of Cloud-based accounting.

Here Cloud Accounting Manager Emma Fergusson explains why The Cloud could float your boat.

“The Cloud allows users to update records away from their desktop computer and simplify the financial side of their lives.

“Filling up with fuel, for example, you can simply take a picture of the receipt, send it to us and then throw it away. Data is stored securely on ‘The Cloud’ which can be updated and accessed from anywhere, anytime.

“Employees in other departments or working off-site can also access the same data and update records in real time. Everything can be fed into the system, including bank transactions. You can invoice online and pay bills.

“We collate the information and prepare the accounts. Perfect for SMEs and anyone needing time to grow their business. It’s also a green-minded approach, cutting down on paperwork and the clutter of saving receipts, which is why we are delighted to offer a free trial.”

Barringtons is a Silver Partner in Xero, a global leader in Cloud accounting software, which offers a secure virtual platform to store and access data from any device. Access is password protected to ensure security.

The 30-day trial will support anyone not so computer savvy and needing a jargon-free low-down on The Cloud.

For more information call Emma on 01782 713700 or email ef@barringtons.co.uk


Act now to roll in a happy New Year

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Auto Enrolment legislation is set to hit small employers.

Phased in over the past three years, it will begin to bite in 2016 for companies with fewer than 50 employees

These sweeping changes make it compulsory for the smallest employers to enrol staff members into a pension scheme. Our advice is to act now to avoid the New Year rush and stiff penalties for missing your staging date.

Barringtons’ Client Payroll Manager Sue Howie said: “Auto Enrolment is designed to encourage a culture of saving for old age but remains controversial due to the huge burden it places on employers. Setting up the infrastructure can be complex and time-consuming. It needs to be addressed now to stay on the right side of the law.”

In simple terms:

  • If you operate a PAYE Scheme, then The Pension Regulator will be expecting you to do something.
  • Employees are eligible for Auto Enrolment if they are aged between 22 and state retirement age, with earnings over £10,000.
  • Workers in the same age bracket, earning between £5,824 and £10,000, do not automatically enrol but can choose to join (deductions would be the same as those automatically enrolled).
  • Those earning below this are entitled to join if they wish and they make the contributions.
  • Employer contributions currently stand at 1% but are set to rise 3% by October 2018.
  • A one man band, in most cases, will not be considered an employer by The Pensions Regulator but you need to let them know. Similar rules apply to people employing their spouse without a contract.

Sue added: “At first Auto Enrolment was just something large employers had to think about. Now it involves everyone, right down to businesses employing just one or two members of staff.

“You can source your own pension scheme but that can be a minefield so we have a specialist team on hand who can help.”

Barringtons is urging clients to avoid the New Year rush and act now. Remember ignorance will be no excuse!

Contact Sue Howie on 01782 713700 or email smh@barringtons.co.uk


Welcome to our Winter Newsletter

Monday, December 14th, 2015
Phil Wood, Managing Director

Phil Wood, Managing Director

Christmas comes but once a year – shame the same can’t be said of spending reviews.

While playing Santa for some, George Osborne delivered sombre news for businesses looking to pay less tax.

His Autumn Statement reminded firms of the role they play in helping to put Britain back on its feet during a period of global slowdown. But, like the Ghost of Christmas Past, he sounded a death-knell for those found guilty of tax evasion – with no less than 16 measures under the headings of ‘Tax evasion and compliance.’

Meanwhile buy-to-let landlords will be hit with a 3% surcharge on stamp duty and pensioners who spend time out of the country will not benefit from the cash boost to the state pension. With new prisons to build and the HMRC’s digital revamp to fund, the money clearly needs to be clawed back from somewhere.

The Chancellor did however, deliver some gift-wrapped news for families – a U-turn on plans to cut tax credits, increased free childcare hours and incentives to build more affordable homes.

There’s a lot to take in and at Barringtons we have specialists who can shed light on all these issues and more.

In summary it’s our mission to support businesses working to grow profit. That includes legitimate accounting methods to help you pay less tax.

Initial consultations are free, so please do recommend us to anyone needing specialist advice.

As we approach Christmas, may I take this opportunity to wish the best of the season to all our clients and their families.   

Good health and happiness at Christmas and in 2016!

A heavenly music night for hospice

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

A gala concert night will bring the sound of the valleys to Nantwich Parish Church on September 5.

Barringtons is a key sponsor of the event featuring the internationally-acclaimed Rhos Orpheus Male Choir and Roberts Bakery Band.

Proceeds will go to St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice and we hope to top last year’s fantastic fundraising total of £3,000.

Hospice senior event organiser Catherine Moore said: “The gala concert is returning to Nantwich after a brilliant evening last year. We thank our supporters for making this possible, in particular Barringtons, for getting behind the night for a second year.”

The event takes place on the Saturday of Nantwich Food Festival when the town will be buzzing with thousands of visitors.

Also supporting the evening are Nantwich firms Bowcock Cuerden solicitors, Rodney Densem Wines and Scrumptillious catering.

Tickets are £15 per head and include canapés and a glass of fizz.

To book call Catherine on 01606 555832.

Barringtons MD Phil Wood (third right) with St Luke’s Hospice fundraising manager Jane Thompson, Associate Minister Stephen Snelling and other supporters of the gala night concert from Bowcock Cuerden solicitors, Scrumptillious Catering and Rodney Densem Wines
Barringtons MD Phil Wood (third left) with St Luke’s Hospice fundraising manager Jane Thompson, Associate Minister Stephen Snelling and other supporters of the gala night concert from Bowcock Cuerden solicitors, Scrumptillious Catering and Rodney Densem Wines

Enjoy freedom on The Cloud

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

cloudaccounting2Many functions in life are now carried out online, offering convenience and information day or night.

Take cloud-based accounting – a system allowing Barringtons clients access to their accounts on PCs and other devices anywhere in the world.

As a Silver Partner in Xero, the global leader in cloud accounting software, we have bags of experience in supporting online bookkeeping and financial management.

It can help simplify your accounting processes and save you time. No more messy receipts or filing.

Cloud Accounting Manager Emma Fergusson said: “Keeping receipts is often the bane of a business owner’s life. Now if you are out and about, you don’t need to worry about saving receipts. Filling up with fuel, for example, simply take a picture of the receipt, send to us and then throw it away.

“Everything can be fed into the system, including bank transactions. We access the information and prepare the accounts.

“Clients find a major benefit lies in the interaction with us. Information can be fast-tracked to us in real time, cutting down on admin and all the bother of paperwork. Perfect for SMEs and anyone needing time to grow their business.”

Not so computer savvy? Phone for a jargon-free low-down on cloud-based accounting and see how it can work for you.

Call Emma at our Newcastle office on 01782 713700 or email ef@barringtons.co.uk


Getting out and about

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Here at Barringtons we love to get out and meet clients in an informal setting.

Summer 2015 has been another busy round of attending various shows and business expo events.

Highlights included the Staffordshire County Show and Newport Show.

The Barringtons marquee offered great views of the main ring attractions and a warm welcome to hundreds of clients old and new who enjoyed a chance to sit and relax with a glass of wine or Pimms.

Cream scones and a hearty hog roast lunch were on the menu as well as friendly banter with Barringtons staff.

At Newport we became stars of the show in our own right. As a key sponsor, our branding was seen on roadsides and the trailer ‘bus’ offering crowds a ride to the showground. Radio station, Newport FM, were also keen to hear about our involvement in the show, and visited to interview directors.

Managing director Phil Wood said: “Both these shows highlight all that is great and good about the countryside. We have many clients drawn from the farming sector and it was a delight to meet them and their families informally.”

For services to the farming community call 01782 713700.

Barringtons at the Newport Show:




Memories from the Staffordshire County Show:




Introducing….the Market Drayton team

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Barringtons has consolidated its business interests into one office in Market Drayton – so a good excuse to introduce you to the team!

Last year we took over Mercer & Co and for a while we had two offices, Queen Street and Cheshire Street.

The acquisition saw Barringtons welcome more than 400 new clients spanning companies of all sizes, from sole trader to limited company.

Seven members of staff also joined us and have become very much part of the Barringtons family, bringing their own flair and enthusiasm to supporting clients in our typically no-nonsense way.

Now all are working from Cheshire Street, providing a wide variety of services designed to help you save time and money.

Drop in anytime to see them, you’ll find them above Iceland or call on 01630 698017.

The Market Drayton team