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by Heather Darnell

99% of businesses in the UK are small businesses. These are the lifeblood of our economy, our quirky shops, cafes and restaurants that can turn a neighbourhood into a community. They are the people who put a tasty breakfast in front of us on a Sunday morning, and cut our hair, while asking if we’re going anywhere nice on holiday. They employ our neighbours, family, friends. They are the people I’m honoured to help.

Especially when a yummy, exotic fruit smoothie is on the line.


Do you know what an accountant is? Are you sure? I didn’t. And I AM one.


When I started my business we had a simple mission - help businesses to grow and prosper. And work with them where it’s most important (i.e. in the wallet). Finances can make or break a company. I founded BOSS back in 2003, with the aim of bringing 10 years of corporate financial know-how into the world of small businesses.

Yet a couple of months into the job and I realised that I didn’t know what an accountant was.

An accountant is someone who
a suit
only cares about numbers
is just another
  • is boring

  • only cares about numbers

  • wears a suit on a daily basis

  • has super powers which allow him to calculate in a split-second sums that would crash a supercomputer

  • is the same as every other accountant

Quick favour (pretty please). Look up. Read those five bullet points again. Look closely at number five. If you take only one thing from this, remember this one.


To me, this was an injustice, a harsh one. For the first year or so I went around telling everyone how we might be working on bookkeeping and payroll but we were 100% NOT ACCOUNTANTS. It was quite exhausting. And I quickly learned (the American way) that I’d need to choose between building a crusade or helping our clients to grow. If we wanted to continue our great work, it’d be silly to try and reinvent the wheel at the same time. So we put the Accountants sign up on the door and committed to keeping it as just that and that alone - a sign to help guide people to find us.





We launched as a firm of financial advisors. Managing the books was just the beginning, and still is, of how we help clients.


So what do we do? Well, of course we help out with the basics. We provide easy-to-read financial reports, advice on how much to save for taxes, help collecting payments, support with payroll, hiring, we provide juggling lessons, and teach our clients how to breathe fire. Just kidding about the last two.


But more than that. We’re someone to talk to after a hectic day (usually over a glass of wine). We’re a coach, helping ambitious business owners to map out – and stick to – an effective game plan. We’re mentors, sharing our tricks of the trade that we’ve picked up from decades of combined experience. When it comes down to it, we’re lots of things and nothing in between, because it’s what our clients need that really counts, and the little details. Like whether they prefer Chablis or Rioja.


So call us what you want, (and do feel free to pick up the phone). But be careful calling us “accountants”, because that’s a bit like calling Mohammed Ali a ‘boxer’ or Mother Theresa a ‘nurse’. Not trying to claim we’re saints – just that we really do want to go the extra mile for our clients, even if it means a trip to the shop to pick up a nice vintage.


There’s so much more to us than the “A” word. And there’s so much more to you, and what you deserve from your accountants. We’re serious about being better. We’re serious about going above and beyond.


Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gasping for that glass of red.


Thank you,


Heather x

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