How we stopped a child-care business drowning in financial paperwork.
By Phil Ellerby
CCC Childcare is a popular Ofsted-registered provider of child-minding and after-school care in Ossett, West Yorkshire.
Founded by owner Clare Dransfield in 2007, this thriving and rewarding business has grown steadily over the years and now employs four members of staff to look after a variety of babies, toddlers and primary school-age children.
Clare’s confident and caring nature soon earned a glowing reputation with a lot of parents, who recommended her wide range of activities to other parents – and her impressive ability to do school pick-ups and drop-offs in her 9-seater mini bus.
This unique offering quickly turned the small sole-trader into a business which was drowning in financial paperwork. With various different price points being charged –some fees paid in cash, some via direct debit and some funded through the Government’s childcare scheme – Clare’s success had turned into a nightmare from an accounting perspective.
Northern Accountants first began to help in early 2017 when Clare came to us with a mountain of paperwork and receipts for her Year End accounts. Although her cash book entries were thorough and professional, she was spending a few days a month on administration – precious time she wanted to enjoy with her husband and two teenage sons.
Despite the fact she was not a computer savvy person, we recommended using Xero for her bookkeeping. After just two training sessions with Jayne Waugh, Head of Business Services here at Northern Accountants, Clare felt confident enough to create her own electronic invoices and reconcile her bank transactions. She also learned how to upload receipts via her smartphone Xero app.
Having made a seamless switch to cloud accounting, it’s safe to say the move has transformed Clare’s business (and social life) forever.
She explains: “Like a lot of business owners, I found myself in a position where my accounts were taking over my life. I was so busy looking after other people’s children, and the extra accounting headaches it brought, that I didn’t actually spend time with my own family – I’d spend most Saturday afternoons doing admin.
“Learning how to use Xero has allowed me to automate various bookkeeping tasks and given me back control of my business – and social life. Instead of drowning in paperwork at the weekend, I now do my accounts on my mobile phone whenever I have five minutes spare. It sounds dramatic, but it really has changed my life.
“When I think back to the amount of time that I used to spend filling in my accounts book and saving my receipts, it’s silly. Now a lot of my invoices are automated and the accounts run themselves. If there are any problems, Jayne and the team at NA are on the end of the phone to help whenever I need it.
“Xero’s great and I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s given me a more flexible way to work and more free time to enjoy without worrying about admin. I now feel much more positive about my business and its future, which is great for me and my family – and all the children I enjoy looking after.”