Based in Cardiff, Total Books are a friendly and professional team of accountants and tax experts serving small to medium-sized businesses in Cardiff, Newport, and Bristol. Total Books’ boast over thirty years of combined specialist experience in accountancy, bookkeeping, and taxation. They offer general compliance services, forecasting, management accounts, and bookkeeping on Xero with digital online accountants.

Buhir Rafiq (MAAT), the Managing Accountant of Total Books, founded Total Books after working his way up in the industry for over 10 years. Total Books’ aim is to build long-term business relations while giving ongoing, impartial, and honest advice to clients, enabling business growth.

To find out more about Total Books, visit their website.

If you have any questions for Buhir or the team at Total Books, please click here to ask a question or get advice on any of your accountancy, tax, or business consultancy needs.

Total Books’ original challenge: completing a special share restructure

We recently had the chance to speak to Buhir, to discuss how First Corporate Law Services, and FirstOrder company secretarial software, have helped his practice automate their secretarial work and save them valuable time.

We began by asking Buhir about the major challenge that led himself and the team at Total Books to work with First Corporate. Buhir shared that he recognised the opportunity for a client to save on tax if they altered their share structure to allow for varying dividend rights. Despite pouring over guides and legal documents riddled with technical jargon, getting advice and support from seniors in much larger firms, and attempting the alphabet share restructure himself, Buhir admitted that he is “not a corporate lawyer.”

After spending “10-15 hours over a period of a month trying to work it out”, Buhir eventually made the decision to “bite the bullet and hire a professional” to ensure the share restructure was completed correctly for the client.

The solution: corporate law services at First Corporate Law Services

Buhir began contacting numerous firms that specialise in corporate law work, until he came across First Corporate.

We asked Buhir why he decided to go with First Corporate over competitors. Buhir shared that the “fee was one thing, the way I was dealt with was another.” As well as admitting he “had been offered a very good price”, Buhir described his experience with the customer service at First Corporate. During a conversation with one of First Corporate’s directors, Buhir was made to “feel so special. Even though I was a small firm, he made me feel really important and he gave me a lot of time even though it was a straightforward job.”

Together, Buhir shared how they talked through “what was happening in my business, what I needed to do, and understand where I was.”

Ultimately, Buhir decided that “the customer service was so nice that I decided to go with First Corporate.”

The result: an immediate turnaround and professional service

Once Buhir made the decision to work with First Corporate, and after receiving an email informing him what information was required, he told us that “the turnaround was amazing, it was literally days. First Corporate Law Services did it with their eyes closed.”

From then onwards, Buhir “was so super impressed” that he “just never looked back. It’s always been the same. Ever since then, any single thing I have had to do with share changes, share allotments, director removals, I have used First Corporate. It’s just peace of mind, it’s easy knowing that I don’t have to worry about it anymore.”

Buhir told us that “once I started working with First Corporate – and it’s always the same – I can send an email with a query, the reply is instant, and then the work gets done straight away.” As well as this, Buhir shared that “the fees have been of such a reasonable rate that I can then charge the work onto the clients and still make money, and free up my time because professionals are doing the work.”

Buhir continues to work with First Corporate on corporate law matters due to the professionalism. “Whoever I talk to there will take the query and resolve it immediately. Whether I speak to Paul, or the other directors, they are both as approachable and down to earth as each other. I speak to lots of other directors that just haven’t got the time because they’re so flat out busy in their work that you can never get through to them” Buhir remarked.

Buhir also uses First Corporate’s corporate law help desk for free technical advice and guidance. He shared that “the support team are there for me. From time to time, I have queries regarding changes in contracts, and contract matters for limited companies. So, I will speak to them about that as well, or problems that people have had historically.”

Automating processes and saving time with FirstOrder company secretarial software

In the last year, Buhir has automated his system and processes using software. This has allowed him to save time in certain areas, which he can reutilise as time for clients in other areas. This approach led Buhir to take up First Corporate’s company secretarial software, FirstOrder.

Buhir described how using FirstOrder to automate the filing of confirmation statements has made the process a “lot easier, a lot more manageable, and a lot better”. Using FirstOrder has allowed Buhir to quarter the time he previously spent going back and forth with the client and filing the confirmation statement on Companies House website. “Before, I would have to spend the time to go in and do a confirmation statement on Companies House, or get some forms printed from Companies House, have the clients fill them, sign them” Buhir shared. “It’s a lot quicker than us running around Companies House, trying to work out where the information is, and getting it to the clients. Speed and ease of use help us run our business better.”

Now, with FirstOrder, Total Books’ company secretarial work is in one place. If Buhir requires “any specific information for a client, company details, the directors, the setup, the share structures, that’s all in one place.” Any amendments, Buhir shared, “are quite easy at the touch of a button.”

Within FirstOrder, key dates and deadlines are synchronised with Companies House every day, giving users 100% accurate reminders, including by email. Buhir described this feature as “really useful.” FirstOrder informs him “how many days I’ve got left to do specific items of work that are outstanding for company returns and confirmation statements, or any updates that have happened for certain clients.”

Final thoughts from Total Books

We finished by asking Buhir what he would say to something who is thinking of working with First Corporate. Buhir shared that “it’s a game-changer, and a no-brainer. They’re absolutely fantastic, the turnaround is immediate, and the price is so good that you are able to then mark up reasonably and make a profit.”

“It’s just exciting that I’ve got a firm that are good, that I like working with.”

Get in touch with First Corporate today

For advice and guidance on corporate law matters, please contact First Corporate on 029 2022 9080, or click here to request more information.

To book a free demo of First Corporate’s company secretarial software, FirstOrder, and discover how it can help streamline your administration, click here.

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