Paul Ankers – Q&As

Paul Ankers – Q&As

By Published On: 22 September 2021Categories: News, Social

In this Q&A we ask Paul Ankers (AKA Panks), the man responsible for running Vantage Accounting, 8 questions about Vantage, his career as an accountant, and his predictions for the next 6 months.

Q1: What’s your best advice for a client running their own business?
For the vast majority of clients, setting up their own business is a big jump. They may be an expert in their field, but suddenly they’re in charge of sales, marketing, finance, tax planning, admin, and actually doing the job that will make them the money. Many underestimate how long these can take, so I think it’s really important to seek the advice of an accountant from the outset and have them on board to provide advice on the setup, what to claim, how to keep records, how to save, etc. It’s always nice to see clients do well, and I love building long term relationships with them, that’s why I always try to understand as much as possible about a client’s circumstances. As your business changes in size, keep your accountant in the loop, that way they can tell you if anything needs to change (e.g. software, VAT registration, etc).

Q2: What are your general predictions for the next 6 months and how Vantage can help?
For many the last 18 months have been very hard. The government provided significant support for many (although I do appreciate there are some that didn’t fit into any of the criteria set out by the government) and my prediction is that the government will be looking to clawback some of this outlay. Recently they have announced a 1.25% increase in National Insurance and dividend tax, I suspect other taxes will follow, such as S455 tax. I think it will be a careful balancing act in trying to increase tax revenue without too much negative PR! On a slightly more positive note, I have read many reports detailing how new business setups are growing in numbers, and as the world returns to normality, there will undoubtedly be many opportunities!

Q3: How much experience does Vantage have?

Vantage originally setup in 1995 under the name Stilwell Gray, and for nearly 5 years now I have run Vantage assisting clients of all sizes; whether it be a tax return, self-employed individual, a small start-up business or fully established company running for years. Each of our staff are carefully recruited and all of them bring their own knowledge and experience into the company. We are not dealing with the likes of Tesco or BP, instead we want to be assisting family run businesses or a business setup by a small group of individuals. Helping clients be tax efficient both in the short and long term is one of our biggest areas of expertise, and we completely understand that some clients want to maximise their income, others want to concentrate on growing the business, and others are gearing up towards closing the business or selling.

Q4: What are you most proud of when it comes to Vantage?
Seeing clients refer their friends or family to me and thank me for advice given really makes me feel proud. Knowing you have actually made a difference to someone’s life is a lovely feeling, whether it be that new car, new house, clearing debts, or being able to enjoy a new freedom they never had from employment.

Q5: Tell us something about you personally that most clients won’t know
I recently got engaged whilst away on holiday. I wish I could say I wasn’t nervous but I was! Packing the ring in a pair of socks and worrying that it would fall out of my pocket on the day were worries, but that just made the cold beer looking out at the sea even more enjoyable later that day!

Q6: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I am very lucky to have a close family and enjoy spending time with them, whether it be all getting together for a bite to eat, or taking my near three year old niece out for the day. Feeding baby goats seems to be her favourite! I am also a keen sports fan, and try to play as much golf as I can fit in – although you wouldn’t think it if you saw my swing or my scores!

Q7: What made you decide to become an accountant?

I wish I could say it was something that I dreamt of being as a child but I think everyone would know I wasn’t telling the truth there. The first time I really thought of it was when I was 15 or 16 and I did two weeks work experience through the school at a local firm of accountants. It was the first time I had been in an office, and somehow being given boxes of receipts to type up seemed to make me keener. I then went on at university to study accountancy and taxation.

I didn’t go straight into accountancy at that point though – I actually went into a large US investment bank. Whilst I enjoyed it and worked with a very friendly team, it was at the same time as a few of the US banks were collapsing so I could see some staff were worried about their futures, and I really wanted to be involved in what I could only describe as “everyday businesses”. I landed myself a role at a large local firm and have never looked back since!

Q8: What’s your favourite thing about your job?

My favourite thing would be knowing you have actually made a difference to someone’s life in a positive way. I have met many clients over the years and gained friendships as a result, and as clichéd as it sounds, I couldn’t do it all without my team behind me. You spend a lot of time with your colleagues, so I’m very proud to say how enjoyable it is working with them, despite some terrible jokes I’ve been told by one of them in particular.

Got a burning question about Vantage Accounting, or something personally for Paul? Get in touch! We’d love to hear from you.

Note: All the information and advice in this blog post was correct at the time of writing.

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