CPA Group

CPA Group began as a service company predominantly selling the compressed air provision within the industry. Over time, through customer service, it expanded to provide a number of other services, leading to controlled air products. The company’s commitment to customer service and innovation has led to its growth and diversification. More about the company can be found on their website here.

CPA Group started working with Benson Wood 20 years ago. “I was looking for an accountant I could trust to give me advice and straight answers,” Alan Collin, CEO of CPA Group, recalls. “Having been close friends and neighbours with John Moffat, I knew I would get a high level of support from John and Benson Wood.”

“Benson Wood’s role in CPA Group’s operations is comprehensive. They verify our books, manage our payroll, and provide financial advice,” Alan shares. “They prepare our accounts, provide tax compliance, tax consultancy, and tax planning services, along with bespoke business advice. They also manage the payroll services for our 60-strong workforce.”

One of the most significant contributions of Benson Wood to date has been its tax project consultancy work. “They advised us on how to best mitigate company and personal tax liabilities given the significant changes in tax legislation for companies and individuals,” Alan adds.

When asked about the trust he puts in Benson Wood, Alan elaborates: “Benson Wood carried out extensive due diligence work for us when we were considering the acquisition of another company. They investigated the finances and accounts of the company and advised on the worth of the business. This gave us the comfort that we were getting full value for what we paid.”

Alan highly recommends Benson Wood to other businesses. “Their work is thoroughly professional, and their employees have integrity. I trust their business and employees because I know they share CPA Group’s values,” he says.

“The relationship between CPA Group and Benson Wood is set to evolve as we grow,” Alan anticipates. “We plan to use them more for outsourcing of financial requirements. Both businesses are on a similar path in terms of growth, and as CPA Group grows, Benson Wood is growing too, able to provide enhanced services to the benefit of both businesses going forward.”

The partnership between CPA Group and Benson Wood is a testament to the power of trust and the value of professional integrity. Benson Wood has been an integral part of our operations,” says Alan. “Our trust in them has been well placed and it has enabled us to continue our successful business procedures.”

Jim Carmichael – former Managing Director of Clean Air Containment Services Ltd.

When Jim set up Clean Air Containments Services Ltd more than two decades ago, like any new business owner, he needed the services of an accountant.

Faced with a choice of several local accountants, Jim was clear from the outset that he wanted to work with a firm that shared his own business ethos of being both ‘honest and reliable’.

Jim explained: “I looked at several firms and although Benson Wood weren’t the absolute cheapest, they were very well-established firm and I just got a very good feeling about the firm.”

From a standing start, Jim built his business into a highly successful enterprise providing clean room technology and protection against infectious diseases, using high efficiency filtration units. The company’s technology is not only used in hospital settings but is also relied upon by laboratories, research facilities and food manufacturers.

Given the nature of his business, it might seem incongruous that Jim sold his company at the start of the Covid pandemic.

He explained: “In fact, I’d been planning my retirement from the business almost two years before the Covid outbreak. As with all major business decisions, I turned to Chris at Benson Wood for help and advice.

“Having decided that the sale of the business was the best exit strategy for me, Chris set about carrying out the business valuation and all the necessary due diligence work.”

Choosing the right buyer was key for Jim. Initially he was approached by a company who wished to buy the business but Jim felt the price was too low and the potential buyer was undervaluing the assets.

“Benson Wood really came into their own here, “said Jim. “Their business valuation really helped me to hold out for the right offer. In the end, I found a buyer that not only offered a fair price but, equally important to me, I sold to a company that shared my values and who I felt would continue the legacy I had created.

“Although I was walking away from the business, I couldn’t retire unless I knew my clients and staff were in good hands. I had worked hard to create a really good name in the sector and I didn’t want all that to be for nothing!

Since selling his business, Jim feels he made the right decision at the right time.

“Friends who know the business I used to be in, have asked if I miss the cut and thrust of dealing with such an important niche service supplying hospitals – particularly as I sold the company right at the start of Covid in March 2020 when of course the need for air filtration really took off. But honestly, I think I retired at the right time. It would have been very stressful and I’m now enjoying the fruits of my labours.

“I have a lovely holiday home near Monifieth and my wife and I enjoy taking our new Cocker Spaniel on lots of long walks so I’m very happy with the way things turned out.”

Jim still keeps in touch with the team at Benson Wood and Chris continues to handle Jim’s annual tax returns every year.

Jim added: “Everyone at BW has been excellent and such a great help to me over the years – not just the partners but the whole team and I’m pleased I made the right choice to put my trust in them all those years ago when I was searching for a reputable local accountancy firm.”

Ernie Rea – Director of Vantage Windows & Doors

When Ernie Rea set up Vantage Windows & Doors back in 2011, he took his time to find a firm of accountants that were the right fit for his business.

“I met with several firms but there was something about Benson Wood – I just felt a personal connection with them straight away. I thought, ‘these are people I can work with!’

“My business took off pretty much from year one and has grown rapidly. As I’ve needed more complex help and advice, Benson Wood has more than kept pace with my requirements.

“Initially there was only me on the payroll as the majority of the work was outsourced to sub-contractors but as we took on staff the payroll became more complex. So, in addition to dealing with my year ends and VAT returns, BW also gradually took over my payroll requirements.

“Today, I still have a number of self-employed fitters and surveyors – some are VAT-registered and others aren’t which makes dealing with invoicing and payments fairly complex.

“Thankfully, Jacqueline and the team at BW take it all in their stride. With the DEXT system, I just scan in all my receipts and invoices as I receive them and BW make all the VAT calculations for the business on my behalf.”

In addition to dealing with Vantage’s accounting needs, Ernie now uses BW’s services for his buy-to-let property portfolio, ensuring his tax returns are submitted on time and also relies upon them to advise on personal tax matters.

Ernie continued: “I’ve been particularly impressed by BW because they have the necessary infrastructure in place to offer additional support as my business has grown. They are small enough to care but they are not a one man band and, importantly, there is always someone available to offer advice or answer a query.

“Their response times are first-rate – if I send an email, I know I’ll always get a call back by the end of the day. It’s that kind of certainty that I really appreciate.”

Cath Raisbeck – Director at Scotvapes

Cath Raisbeck has enjoyed a business relationship with Benson Wood that stretches back more than 25 years. Having been accountants for her previous business, when she decided to set up a new enterprise, Benson Wood was the natural choice.

Cath explains: “The team at BW were very helpful in initially helping up to get the business off the ground. As the company has grown – from just one vaping supplies store back in 2015, to nine stores with 30 staff, they have helped us keep pace with all the additional back office accounting tasks and tax matters that need to be dealt with.

“Yvonne at BW deals with all our payroll matters now and everything is very simple and straightforward – we send across the time sheets via BrightPay and she sorts out the regulatory side of things and handles the tax codes for us. It means we have peace of mind that we are complying with all the latest employment rules.

“When we took the plunge and invested in cloud-based Sage software, Chelsea at BW was so helpful. She took me through the software’s capabilities and showed me how to use the system.

“I really appreciated the fact that she was always there to talk me through the process if ever I got stuck and she was always super quick to respond if I emailed or phoned with a query.”

Quick responses and clear answers to problems are aspects of Benson Wood’s service that Cath particularly appreciates.

She added: “I know I can phone the team at BW any time and someone will always get back to me promptly.

“It’s something I really appreciate when I just have a quick query. For example, when I’m doing my VAT returns, I sometimes just need to double check that I’m doing a particular thing right, and I can just pick up the phone and speak to Chelsea or a member of the team who will provide me with reassurance.”

Although the majority of Scotvapes’ products are UK sourced, the company occasionally deals with European suppliers and Benson Wood advises on EU import regulations relating to VAT to ensure the business pays neither too much nor too little tax.

BW also helped Cath install Xero for VAT and DEXT for receipt handling which have helped to simplify VAT returns and reporting.

“I’m really grateful to the team at BW for being 100 per cent supportive, said Cath. “They are all really friendly people to deal with and it’s great to know that they are there for me and always have my back!”

M & J Fireplaces – James Mulheron

M & J Fireplaces is a leading manufacturer, installer and supplier of beautiful fireplaces. Based near Glasgow, the business has gone from strength to strength since its founding by James Mulheron in 2010.  

He has been in the fireplace industry for over 23 years, starting in manufacturing before moving into sales and then opening his first shop in 2005 and latterly M & J Fireplaces. 

However, the business’s road to success has not always been simple and it has relied on the services of Benson Wood to provide the certainty needed to overcome some challenging periods.  

James said: “I have worked with Benson Wood since 2006 through my former company and was always pleased with the work they provided. So, when I set up my latest manufacturing business 16 years ago, I continued to use their services.  

“I originally employed the services of a bookkeeper alongside Benson Wood to manage my business’s finances, but a few years ago my regular contact at Benson Wood retired and my Bookkeeper offered to take on all of the work on their own.  

“Over time I moved the work from Benson Wood to my bookkeeper. This turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes I have made in my business career, and I might not be here were it not for the work that Benson Wood has done. 

“For several years I relied on my bookkeeper, without Benson Woods’s assistance, and during that time I built up many fines for failing to maintain the company’s tax, VAT and pension compliance. They got me into so much trouble during such a short time.  

“Every day I was receiving emails and brown letters through my door. My life was in misery and my business and mental health really suffered as a result.  

“It was at this point that I turned to Benson Wood for help. During my previous time with them, everything was dealt with quickly and efficiently, but I returned to them with a mess.  

“In reality, I didn’t realise just how much they had done for me before, but that quickly became clear when they sprang into action to resolve all of the issues that had been created. 

“The team there were welcoming and did their best to put me at ease. I can’t speak about how much they did for me in such a short time. My bookkeeper had muddied the waters so much that I thought there’d be no fixing it, but Benson Wood started making things so much better for me in such a quick period of time. Their actions gave me the certainty that my business would be just fine.  

“They brought me into the office, sat me down and continued to reassure me that everything would be fixed. Over time, thanks to their efforts, the emails and letters with fines and threatening actions stopped coming in and I went from a state of fear to one where I no longer worry about opening up my mail. 

“The whole team went over the odds for me, even after I got myself into this situation by reducing my services with them.  

“If it wasn’t for the team at Benson Wood, I can confidently say that I would no longer be in business. That is how significant their advice and support were to me.  

“Now they keep me really well informed on everything. I no longer feel in the dark about my finances and compliance. I went from not getting told anything, to knowing everything about my business. 

“They have great systems and software in place that make my life as a business owner much simpler, and they are always in contact with me about new developments that I should be aware of. 

“If I ever have any problems at all, I can phone them up and they get back to me right away with useful advice and solutions. It is reassuring that they do exactly what they say.  

“They have bent over backwards for me, and I feel like I am part of their team.  It never feels like I am putting anyone out.  

“When I moved away from Benson Wood, things became confusing quite rapidly, but returning to them gave me the certainty and peace of mind I was in desperate need of. 

“They have helped me go from misery and hell to running and overseeing my successful business once again. I don’t know how I could ever pay them back.  

“I would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone in business.”

Drillmar Resources Limited

Established in 2008 and headquartered in Aberdeen, Drillmar Resources is a market leader in the provision of recruitment and people-oriented solutions to the global energy industry.  

In 2022, Drillmar Resources began its partnership with Benson Wood, a reputable accountancy firm. Drillmar’s Managing Director and co-founder, Raymond Bruce reveals: “We were introduced to Benson Wood through a personal recommendation. 

They now have a versatile involvement in our operations – handling our monthly management accounts, ensuring that the financial data is accurate, timely, and transparent.” explains Raymond, “Additionally, they have provided assistance in our business financial forecasting, a critical aspect of our strategic planning and decision-making.” 

According to Raymond, the most significant contribution of Benson Wood to date has been its ability to provide clear, accurate, and timely financial data. “This clarity enables us to make informed business decisions, manage resources effectively, and plan for the future. 

Raymond would highly recommend Benson Wood to other businesses: “Their focused approach and strong customer service work ethic are standout qualities.” he asserts. 

The relationship between Drillmar Resources Limited and Benson Wood is set to continue to develop. The trust, mutual respect, and shared commitment to excellence that underpin this partnership are the foundations for its growth. 

The partnership between Drillmar Resources Limited and Benson Wood is a testament to the power of clarity in financial data and the value of a strong customer service ethic demonstrating how the right accountancy firm can provide not just numbers, but valuable insights that drive business growth and success.