Barker Black Case Study

Barker Black Case Study

As a business owner, choosing the right accountant is one of the most important decisions you can make.

When Richard Barker returned to the UK with the view of taking over Barker Black recruitment, finding the right accounting partner was at the top of his list.

Ten years later, after finding the right partnership with Cutter & Co, Richard’s business and accounts are the best they’ve ever been.

The problem

In the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, Richard Barker decided to take a break from being a shareholder in the recruitment firm, Barker Black; a specialist in sourcing recruitment professionals in the UK and around the world, and spend some time travelling.

When Richard returned to the UK, his ambition was to re-establish Barker Black and take sole responsibility for the company, buying out the other two shareholders.

With his partner (now wife), Annemarie who he met while travelling, the pair outlined the type of business they wanted to establish. With neither of them having a financial background the couple understood that a critical success factor was finding the right financial partner.

“Before, I was lucky enough to only have my day-to-day role to think about and the intricacies of the accounts were left to others. When you’re running your own business, there’s so much you need to think about.

We wanted to re-start the business the right way – so many businesses fail due to poor financial awareness – I was keen to find a partner I could trust to give me advice and help us grow.” Richard Barker, Director, Barker Black.

The Cutter & Co solution

Cutter & Co had previously handled the accounts for the company before Richard left the UK to travel. Therefore, having had a pre-existing relationship, Richard met with Director Dave Hazlehurst to discuss how Cutter & Co could support the new Barker Black.

As chartered accountants, Cutter & Co have extensive experience in working with a variety of businesses; from sole traders to large multi-national companies.

Together, Richard and Director Dave Hazlehurst mapped out where the business was financially, where Richard wanted it to be, and what plans he had in place to get there.

An essential long-term factor for Richard was to ensure the business could create a sustainable income to support his chosen lifestyle. To achieve this, Cutter & Co helped Richard set up the business finances to ensure he would save money wherever he could but advise him where best to spend it to maximise returns.

“Most people believe an accountant will simply handle the annual accounts and tax compliance. That’s only a small portion of what we can do. A good accountant will want to build a partnership with you and think beyond the current need.” Dave Hazlehurst, Director, Cutter & Co.

The outcome

As a result of getting to know Richard and Annemarie’s ambitions rather than just their financial needs, Cutter & Co were able to help them build Barker Black back up from a new business into an established global recruitment provider.

In 2019, the partnership entered its tenth year.

Finding the right financial partner meant Richard and Annemarie could concentrate on the core business activities, growing it to a point where they can both work full-time from home.

“Cutter & Co are always available and happy to give advice. They’ve kept us informed on new tax laws and best practice, such as making tax digital. They’ve been instrumental in working with us to consider future costs and manage cashflow. As a result, the business and the accounts are the best they’ve ever been.

“I would recommend Cutter & Co to anyone. I’d especially recommend them to new businesses in their infancy. They were critical in helping us develop a solid foundation on which we’ve been successfully building upon for the past ten years.” Richard Barker, Director, Barker Black.