From music to accounting
Sam Rollins is someone who knows what she wants. Her resilience and drive to succeed has been instrumental in starting a successful accounting practice.
Leaving school at 16 was a chance for Sam to follow her dream of dancing. After her body decided against that, she applied to be a musician in the RAF. Failing the medical at the last stage was disappointing but Sam didn’t let it get her down. Instead she let it guide her to an unexpected career path.
“I needed a career that was more office based,” says Sam. “And besides music and dance, the other thing I was really good at was maths.”
She started an AAT accounting apprenticeship at a firm in Lincoln and quickly worked her way up. Taking on the responsibility of opening two new offices gave her the experience she needed in managing a big team.
Then after becoming a chartered accountant at the age of 21, Sam decided she wanted to start her own business. She met her business partner and Trinity Accountants was born.
Putting clients first
Six years into the business, Sam has opened offices in Coventry, Stratford and Rugby and is about to open another in Milton Keynes.
Putting the needs of her clients at the forefront of her practice is the secret to her success, and she strives to save clients more in tax than they pay in accountancy fees.
“I really like helping my clients save on tax and make more money, but it’s also about enabling them to do what they want to do,” says Sam. “Whether that’s spending more time with their family, or just getting more out of life.”
So, when it came to finding accounting software, Sam was focused on what was best for her clients, and Xero was the obvious choice.
“Xero had the most add-on applications and it’s very user-friendly,” says Sam. “Our main issue is making sure our clients are happy and Xero has the best to offer.”
Test-driving the new Xero Expenses
Before the new Xero Expenses launched, the team were using spreadsheets to manage their expenses.
“It was a very manual process and I’d have to remember to do it each month,” says Sam. “Then one month would turn into three months and that’s not the greatest way to do things.”
So when Xero Expenses launched at Xerocon last year, Sam wanted to get on board early. By test-driving new products, Sam can speak openly to clients about their benefits and application. And part of the draw with Xero Expenses was how easily it worked.
“It integrates fully with Xero which makes everybody’s life easier,” says Sam. “It saved a lot of time for our practice manager and our staff because they don’t have to enter expenses on spreadsheets anymore.”
Finding the benefits for clients and increasing revenue
After committing to Xero Expenses, Sam and the team began working closely with clients to get them on board. And Sam knew how to get through to them.
“Clients like what they know because it’s a habit,” says Sam. “So it’s just about educating them so they know how much time they’re going to save and how much more efficient they’re going to be.”
That strategy seems to be working out well so far.
“We have a few clients now using Xero Expenses and it’s working really well for them,” says Sam. “It’s definitely reduced the number of mistakes clients are making, which from an internal perspective saves us loads of time.”
Sam is confident that adding Xero Expenses into the Trinity Accountants all-inclusive package will result in increased revenue for the practice.
“Xero Expenses is one of those added-value things for clients, so that will definitely increase our revenue,” says Sam. “It’s already reduced our internal time, which increases our profit because staff can spend more time on the fee-earning work instead of internal tasks.”
Investing in the future of Trinity Accountants
Investing in staff is important and Sam takes the time to find people who really fit in with the culture of Trinity Accountants. And as someone who found her calling through the apprenticeship route, Sam is keen to give other people the same opportunity.
“I’m all about building young people into having great careers,” says Sam. “We take on apprentices, train them up to do their AAT and their ACA, and help them progress their careers.”
All the dedication Sam’s put in to making the business thrive is paying off: she recently won English Business Woman of the Year and she’s opening two new offices this year.
“Being a platinum-accredited Xero practitioner means that we’ve built an offering that our clients really want,” says Sam. “They’re ready for Making Tax Digital next year, and they have a financial system that means they can run their business really efficiently, save loads of time and ultimately make more money.”