‘Optimum are like a breath of fresh air. It’s a gamechanger’

by Tracey Heath



Published on 30th January 2023

At Optimum, we like to think we go the extra mile to help our business clients, becoming critical friends and not just accountants who deal with end-of-year taxes.

Total Guide To’s Liz Hutchings

For the last year, we have been working with Total Guide To Ltd, founded by Managing Director Liz Hutchings. Total Guide To operates a number of online sites for different locations – including Swindon, Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Reading, and Manchester – bringing businesses and communities together, with lots of useful local information and listings. Its Poole website is soon going Dorset-wide.

Liz was looking for a new accountant, who would actively help her with the business. She found her existing provider was behind the times.

“The accountants I was with I felt were very old-school. Although I liked my accountant personally, the firm just wasn’t moving with the times. We are a digital marketing agency, but everything they did was through the post, which made everything slow and clunky.”

The issue was highlighted during Covid when the Total Guide To team was working remotely, Liz relocated and the company operated a hybrid working practice. Yet the accountants were still sending important documents, in the post, to an old address.

“So I looked for a new accountant and picked Michael Blaken and the Optimum team. I knew Michael through business networking, and through all the marketing Optimum does, and he was also recommended by my bookkeeper.

“Being with Optimum is like a breath of fresh air, it’s a total game changer. Michael and the rest of the team are so human. I am no longer scared of the finances and picking up the phone to the accountant, because they always have time for me.”

Liz was thrilled that 2022 proved the best year yet for Total Guide To, which she founded in 2012. She was touched when Michael rang to congratulate her. “Our financial year ends December 31, and Michael called me to say well done and to discuss ways of reducing Corporation Tax. That just shows the difference between him and my old accountant.”

Liz added that Optimum is also mindful of how business interacts with her family and her personal situation.

“They are all intertwined, and Michael can help steer us because he sees the bigger picture. They are also really proactive. When I went on maternity leave, with my old accountants no information was provided. This time, with Optimum, they got in touch to talk about how I could increase my maternity provision.”

Michael Blaken, Accounts Director at Optimum, said it was a pleasure to work with Liz and the team.

“Total Guide To is doing very well, which is testament to how hard Liz and her team work, especially in the face of the pandemic we have just gone through. We love working with them and watching the business flourish.”

If you would like to work with proactive accounts, who could be game-changing accountants for your business, please get in touch. We work with business owners in Swindon, Wiltshire, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and across the region.

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