Optimising Your

Business Growth

for Alan Leighton Ltd



With over 40 years of experience, Alan Leighton Hull Ltd is a family-run business specialising in plumbing and central heating services in Hull and East Yorkshire. Their ongoing success, both locally and abroad, is a testament to their commitment to maintaining a highly skilled workforce to provide the best possible customer service.

The Challenge

Alan Leighton Ltd had been managing its own internal finance function with Northern Accountants providing the business with two services, year-end accounts and tax advice. The director’s wife was responsible for the bookkeeping, VAT returns, and payroll within the business but was finding it increasingly difficult to juggle this with her own work. 

As a result, the company could only achieve a basic level of accounting compliance., Operating in such a way meant they were unable to assess the business’ performance throughout the year and benefit from acting promptly on real-time information and identifying new growth opportunities.

The director was involved in some aspects of the internal finance function but this alongside managing a growing business was a laborious, time-consuming process. This was problematic as both the director and his wife wanted to enjoy a better work-life balance, as they have a young family and wanted to spend more quality time together.

Furthermore, the director works away from home regularly, resulting in a complicated process when logging expenses. When VAT returns were due, manually collecting paperwork meant there were often key sections of information missing. This meant that the VAT figure would always be completed on deadline, never before, which added extra stress and pressure to the business at this time.

Our Expert Says...

“The director and his wife needed to save both costs and more importantly time, to enjoy a better work-life balance. Simply through implementing various software packages and regular communication with Northern Accountants, this has been achieved with minimal effort. A positive result for all involved.”

Ricky Field,
Hull Director

The solution

Northern Accountants recommended a series of cloud accounting software that would be beneficial to the business including Xero, Dext, Brightpay, and Streem Connect. Together, these softwares provide a streamlined, efficient full finance function so that the Director and his wife can now focus on new opportunities for the business and have more quality time together as a family.

The integration of Dext Prepare allows for expenses to be uploaded on a daily basis by simply taking a photo when the Director purchases any goods and forwards any supplier invoices, statements, or remittances that he receives by email directly to Dext. This was especially beneficial to Alan Leighton Ltd, with the Director often working away from home. The implementation of Dext means that he is no longer reliant upon paper receipts, which often went missing and/or delayed the VAT return process.

This accompanied by Xero placed the company in a strong position, with the Director now having access to real-time information, a streamlined bookkeeping process and the ability to manage the business using easily accessible information on his computer, tablet, or phone. This change has enabled Alan Leighton Hull Ltd to gain new insights into its business and feel confident in its numbers.

The Director can now focus his full attention on the business operations with accurate, up-to-date information allowing him to identify growth opportunities rather than just complying with the authorities. Moreover, these implementations have seen the Director’s wife able to concentrate on developing her own business, leading to an increasingly positive work-life balance.

In addition, Quarterly and monthly Management Account reporting has empowered the Director to make company decisions that are backed up with real-time, data-rich information. This has put the Hull-based company in a strong position moving forward which allows for increased development and growth.

The benefits

When you enlist the advisory services of an accountant, it is a commitment to invest in your business to ensure that it can perform at its highest level. At Northern Accountants, your management information will be delivered and supported by a senior team member who is assisted by a specialist team. Working with LPS Steel was a great example of how this investment can create significant, and tangible benefits, with some of the key highlights being as follows:

Less Stress – Northern Accountants taking over the VAT management has relieved the pressure on the business meaning that the Director can feel confident in knowing that their VAT return is filled ahead of time. This prevents a last-minute rush and it’s accompanying stress so that they can focus on other areas of the business during this time.

No more surprise Tax – Real-time financial information backed by a team of expert Xero advisors, ensured that Tax numbers such as VAT were known in advance and that having the ability to log receipts via Dext meant that the company was confident it wasn’t missing out on being able to claim tax back.

Increased confidence – The introduction of Dext alongside Xero means that the Director has constant access to real-time information as well as customised month-end and numbers reports. This means that he can make informed, confident decisions to support the growth of the business and develop his understanding of the company’s financial landscape.

Time efficient – Cloud accounting has meant that not only does the Director have more time to focus on his business, but his wife can also do the same. This has allowed for a positive work-life balance that is aligned with their objectives. 

Accurate information and improved decision-making – Northern Accountants’ Full Finance Function equips Alan Leighton with live financial data, facilitating prompt action and informed decision-making. Subsequently, they can promptly act on business decisions knowing that they are backed by data-rich figures.

The Clients Thoughts...

“Northern Accounts has been a great company to work with. They are always there to help and support you through any issue or problem. The staff are very friendly and nothing is ever too much of a problem. I can relax now, knowing that the accounts are in safe hands. I’d highly recommend Northern Accountants to anyone.”

Mike Leighton,
Alan Leighton Ltd Director


The adoption of digital financial solutions has revolutionised Alan Leighton Hull Ltd’s operational landscape, driving the company towards heightened efficiency and strategic thinking. Through the integration of software such as Xero, Dext, Brightpay, and Streem Connect, the business is now equipped with real-time insights. This means the business can make informed decisions and promptly identify growth opportunities.

By embracing cloud accounting and Northern Accountants’ accounting expertise, Alan Leighton has positioned itself as a forward-thinking entity poised for sustained success in an ever-evolving market landscape.

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