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Client Focus - Ian Henry’s Barbers

Ian Henry’s Barbers

In this client Focus we catch up with Compass Client, and co-owner of Ian Henry Barbers, Curtis Lavell…

Established in 1928, Ian Henry’s is one of the longest running barber shops in Portsmouth. Based on Spur Road, ownership of the barbershop has traditionally been taken on by the staff that have worked there, all of whom have maintained the traditions and community spirit the barbershop was founded on.

After Ian Henry himself worked at the barbers from the age of 18, he took it over and worked as a barber for 60 years. Ian eventually sold it to another staff member, who most recently sold it to the current owners, Curtis and Lawrance Lavell in September 2022.

“It’s a great honour to own a barbershop that has been a staple of the community since the late twenties.” Says Curtis, who continues to work as a barber alongside staff members Amy and Katie. They also support an apprentice who is currently in full time education, for one day a week, who is in preparation for working at the barbers after leaving school.

Curtis owns Ian Henry’s with his husband Lawrance who looks after marketing, finance and general day to day running of the business.

“After working here for many years, I made a joint decision with Lawrance to buy the shop. We were adamant that we didn’t want to change the name as it has been Ian Henry’s for so long, and we wanted to keep that tradition alive.”

Approaching its 100th birthday, the barbershop has been serving generations of customers, many of which have been clients for decades.

“We have older customers that have been coming here for years,” adds Curtis, “Some of which actually went to school with Ian Henry himself! There are many generations of clients, young and old, men that came as boys, that now bring their sons in. We’ve even seen older clients bring their great grandsons in and both have their hair cut together.”

The heart of a strong community

“Portsmouth is generally smaller than the bigger cities and so, in our community, many people are familiar with each other. On a busy Saturday you really see that. There’s a big rush for kick off on football days, the lads rush over to the pub and watch the game with a few drinks, mums come in with the kids. We really are a part of a local traditional atmosphere, and quite a well-known within in the community.”

“Recently, one of our young customers tragically passed away. We had been the family’s barber for years, so it was really important for us to contribute, help out in any way and support the family. Things like that hit you hard. They make you realise, you really are part of a wider community.”

Meeting Compass

When Curtis and Lawrance first took over Ian Henry’s, Lawrance researched different accountants in Fareham, and looked for one that had experience with barbers. “We were looking for a local accountant that could best suit our needs.” Said Curtis. “And then we came across Compass. We had a chat and got on really well. They have been a massive help in getting started and helping to set the business up for us. They are always helpful, always there to help us, guide us through things - especially when we ring up and say – ‘I don’t get it?!’ It always feels like they are there for us, whatever we need, which is great.”

If you would like to visit Ian Henry’s, head to Spur Road in Portsmouth or call - 023 9232 4022

Compass thanks Becky for 10 years’ service

Compass thanks Becky for 10 years' service

Compass Accountants congratulated Becky James last week for her tenth year on the team. Becky, Compass’ Audit and Accounts Manager received a cheque for £250, a company Compass and flowers to thank her for her hard work and dedication over the past decade.

Stuart Lawrance – Compass’ Director, said- “Becky is a valued and loyal member of the team, and her hard-working nature, diligence and devotion has been wholly appreciated over the last ten years. We are very pleased she is on the Compass team!”

Becky said, “I feel that I’m very lucky that I’m in a job I really enjoy. The last 10 years have really flown by! Part of the fun of working for Compass is that every day is different and varied. We also have such interesting clients, especially the various museums and other charities we act for. Most of all, I feel like I’m appreciated - and that’s why I love working for Compass.”

Ten Questions with Gareth Kendall - Accounts Senior

Ten Questions with Gareth Kendall - Accounts Senior

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. Clear off the credit cards/cars and mortgage and then have an amazing holiday – may even take the family.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. A friend of mine made it seem more glamorous than I now know it is, but it is too late to change jobs again at my age. ;-)

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. Dealer (Croupier) in a Casino in Southsea.

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. Stephen Hawking.

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. Definitely the amazing team members!!

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. Telekinesis – I would be like a Jedi and that would be awesome.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. St Maarten in the Caribbean.

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. A soldier. I am the first generation in 5 not to join.

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I can reach that hard-to-reach spot on your back and in between the shoulder blades.

Ten Questions with new Compass Accountants Apprentice - Madeline Le-Moignan

Ten Questions with new Compass Accountants Apprentice - Madeline Le-Moignan

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. I would buy into property.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I’ve only just began my journey here at Compass after finishing my A levels.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. My girl – 1991

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. A Saturday girl at Treat Your Skin at 15.

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. My nana, she would have loved to have seen how things have turned out.

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The positive and friendly environment.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. I would like to have super memory so that I could never forget anything.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Canal Lock Staircase, England

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. I used to want to be a teacher.

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I don’t like tea or coffee.

Compass Client Steps in the Ring for Charity

Samantha Morrison

Compass Accountants client, Samantha Morrison is stepping into the ring to compete in a boxing event on October 22nd, to raise money for her chosen charity Friends Fighting Cancer (FFC). Sam is currently training hard and is aiming to raise a total of £1000 for the charity that raises awareness and much needed funds for all those affected by cancer, through events.

As a sponsor, Compass has pledged £200- and Sam will now be wearing the Compass logo on her shirt during her bout.

Sam said, “I know first-hand, due to being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer back in October 2015 and having to go through surgery, chemotherapy & radiotherapy, how cancer effects not just the person but loved ones, family & friends. Being able to take part in something that can help families financially and take away some of their worries whilst going through treatment means a lot to me. So, I will be competing in this year’s boxing event on 22nd October to help raise money for this amazing charity. Please dig deep and help me raise as much as possible to help support families locally.!”

To sponsor Sam, head to her JustGiving page here:

Client Focus - Martin and Co - Portsmouth

Martin and Co - Portsmouth

In this month’s Client Focus, we chat to Matt Berry- a Compass Client- and the Managing Director of Martin and Co, Portsmouth…

In 2012, Matt Berry worked as a Negotiator at the Southampton branch of the estate agency, Martin and Co. It was during this time, that Matt aspired to go out alone, with a view to opening his own branch of the franchise somewhere else in the South. When the opportunity arose to open an office in Chichester, Matt decided to make the jump and teamed up with his dad to invest in their own Martin and Co offices.

After two years, Matt and his father branched out further by opening another division, this time in Southsea. Matt explains, “Things had taken off really well, and so we eventually opened the second office. After this we decided to amalgamate the two, and since then we have run both locations from our Southsea headquarters.”

Matt now runs both offices, alongside four staff members, but his dad is still very much involved. “My dad has a background in construction and so he deals with the construction consultancy side of things.” Adds Matt. We also meet for Director’s meetings once a week, but generally, he is more of a sleeping director.” 

As a residential estate agency, Matt’s offices began with lettings only but expanded into sales two years ago. “Since moving into sales, the business has soared to the next level.” Says Matt. “We’ve seen a huge spike in interest in the property market in Southsea. This really started just before the pandemic -but has continued beyond. It has had a lot to do with a rise in the homeworking. We are seeing a trend in people looking to upgrade their property for larger premises, allowing them to work from a home office, or increase their garden size.”

“Remote working is here to stay, and as a result, people have decided they no longer want to work in the kitchen, or dining room, or in their child’s bedroom. So, we have also seen a huge increase in Southsea as a popular place to live. It has become very similar to Brighton, in that it has the beach, and there are lots of independent shops, bars, restaurants, boutiques and cafes, - it’s a lively hub, and has a good reputation as an up-and-coming place to be. Local people in Southsea are also very proud, and with events like the Victorious Festival and the Great South Run, its popularity continues to grow.”

Martin and Co now boasts over 200 offices around the UK, and the familiar brand is something that has been useful on Matt’s road to success. “The Martin and Co brand has been an ideal fit for us in terms of our investment as a franchisee. They are, however, quite happy to leave us to independently run our offices, but their support is there if we need any assistance, mentoring, or advice, should we face new challenges or issues.”

Meeting Compass

After searching for a new accountant, Matt came across Compass and they appeared to be the perfect fit for a new accountancy firm. “I knew Compass were right for us when I met Stuart for the first time.” Said Matt. “He was easy to talk to, very down to earth and there was nothing he was bamboozling me with. He broke everything down into simple layman’s terms.”

“Compass are easy to deal with and friendly and speak in plain English -and that immediately appealed to me. People often think of a stereotypical accountant, with bowler hat and briefcase- well Compass are the opposite of that. They are very forward thinking; they explore new areas, and they offer a level of practical advice we hadn’t had with our previous accountants. We are very pleased we found them.”

If you would like to find out more about Martin and Co, Portsmouth, go to

Or call 02392 987001.

Client Focus - Army Flying Museum

Army Flying Museum

In this month’s Client Focus, we chat to Lucy Johnson the Chief Executive of The Army Flying Museum…

The story of the Army Flying Museum begins in 1974, when a small collection of items which focussed on the history of Army aviation were moved to Middle Wallop and made available to the public. As the collection grew, so too did the museum. In fact, in 1984 a hangar located on the edge of the Army Air Corps airfield was purpose built for its ever-growing collection.

Since then, the museum has gone from strength to strength, and has seen a further two extensions. Now in 2022 it comprises of two large aircraft halls and accommodates artefacts and aircraft spanning over 100 years. The museum also has a purpose-built archive (which houses half a million items), a learning centre, a 1940s house display, a play park and conference facilities.

“The wonderful thing about our museum, is that it isn’t a complete story ,” says Chief Executive, Lucy Johnson. “The current Army Air Corps is active and ongoing, so we are constantly accommodating new items, and telling new stories, therefore we have the privilege of an ever-expanding archive.”

The museum currently boasts 40 different aircraft ranging from a First World War biplane to a HueyCobra attack helicopter. The next big acquisition is expected to be an Apache helicopter, which the museum is currently reserving space for.

“We have a great relationship with the Army Air Corps, but we also receive items from the general public, who may come across something, such as an object of their relative’s, they find in the loft.” adds Lucy. “The museum has also collected over 80 oral histories as part of an on-going project, that range from veterans in their 90s to people currently serving in the Air Corps, all of which we use to convey real life stories.”

Adapting the museum’s offering

During the pandemic, closure of the museum naturally presented new challenges, however lockdown gave the team the opportunity to reconsider different approaches in terms of how to reach audiences remotely.

“Our target audience has always been families, enthusiasts and people either currently in the military or retired from it, and these audiences are generally based within an hour’s drive from Middle Wallop.” says Lucy. “The lockdown allowed us to reach beyond the limits of our location.”

“Less than one month after the first lockdown, we launched a new online lecture programme, which has been huge for us. In 18 months, we generated around 15k viewers, from locations all over the world, which has been amazing. We also work on a donation basis, so this was very useful for us in terms of generating income during lockdown. We also adapted our Outreach Programme using Zoom, which was also an enormous success and allowed us to gain a global reach, a service which we continue to provide.”

Since lockdown ended the museum has reintroduced other offerings such as conference room hire for local businesses and hiring of Haywood Hall (adorned with hanging gliders and classic aircraft). This hall is used for weddings, parties, conferences meetings, lunches dinners, and presentations.

“Our venue has always made a very atmospheric setting for various events.” said Lucy. “The Corporate membership scheme is also something we have introduced. It offers great reductions on hire fees, allowing businesses to become affiliated with the museum, and support us in many other ways, like adopting an aircraft!”


Whilst new online lectures and gaining a wider audience outreach have been hugely beneficial for the museum, the team are pleased to be reintroducing its physical outdoor events. “We are delighted to be hosting our flagship event- Wallop Wheels and Wings, again on 2nd July 2022.” said Lucy. “This one is predicted to be fantastic as we have a huge line up of the finest aircraft, classic and super cars and motorcycles, as well as flypasts. There is also live music, activities, food, shopping, vehicle parades and so much more. This year we have allocated 3,500 tickets, so it will be wonderful to have the event running at full capacity once again!”

Meeting Compass

Having been a Compass client for several years, the Army Flying Museum has established a strong working relationship alongside Compass, as Lucy explains:

“Compass work extremely well with Army Flying Museum. They are very open, they know our accounts and our industry inside out, and most importantly, they make everything incredibly easy for us.”

“One of the key ways in which the Compass team has helped us, is through their knowledge of the ‘Museums and Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief’ which was introduced by the government in 2017. So many museums are unaware of this, or have failed to take advantage of it, as claiming it is a fairly complicated process, but it essentially allows you to claim back tax on your exhibition spend.”

“Because we have been through a large refurbishment project, Compass have been able to secure us money back every year. A lot of our peers haven’t made use of this, but Compass have made sure we did. For that reason, and many others, I’d gladly recommend Compass to other charities or museums similar to ourselves.”

The Army Flying Museum is a charity, that depends on supporters and there are also many ways to help them care for and display their collections, which inspire visitors of all ages to build an understanding of flight, war and conflict and how these events shape our world.

You can support the museum by donating, volunteering, becoming a Corporate Member…. Or simply by visiting the museum! (One single visit earns you an annual pass!).

Find out more about the many ways you can support Army Flying Museum here:

Army Flying Museum - Cars

Client Focus - Deane Interiors

Deane Interiors

Anne- Design Director and Founder of Deane Interiors

In this month’s Client Focus, we chat to Daniel Swatton- a Compass Client- and the Managing Director of Fareham based Deane Interiors…

Deane Interiors is a family-run, local company specialising in made to measure furniture and storage solutions. Based in Fareham, they have been providing custom made wardrobes, fitted bedrooms, bespoke dressing rooms and unique storage solutions for over 22 years but the company was founded long before that. Managing Director, Daniel Swatton explains: 

"It was Anne who originally bought the business from David Deane, who launched it back in 1979. Back then, David was a one-man band, but Anne took over when he retired in 1999, and she ran the business from a small unit on a trading estate in Fareham." 

Since then, Deane Interiors has gone from strength to strength and today, it employs 21 people, whilst still upholding the same passion and family values Anne started with, over two decades ago. 

"Over the years, the company has undergone various changes, but we've always maintained a family ethos." says Daniel. "The biggest changes we have seen is the growth of our housebuilder sector, which we started back in 2008. Housing developers regularly approached us, but we decided not to work in that sector. However, we later reassessed our services, and a developer team was created to provide and sustain the demand after we became a B2B supplier. We now support upwards of forty different home development companies, including Berkley Homes, Bargate Homes, Drew Smith and Bewley Homes. Today, our B2B market accounts for almost half of our turnover."

The majority of Deanes work is, however, with its retail clientele, in bespoke home furniture and storage solutions, a market that is also ever-expanding.

"We have also seen great variation in our home design projects. At the start of the pandemic, we saw demand increase and quickly pivoted to cope with the extra interest. We have also seen our reach grow and now service clients as far as London and Kent. With higher budgets comes a great opportunity to show what we can do. We have worked on home offices and pantries, cinema rooms and wine cellars- we've probably covered everything, but wardrobes, bedrooms and dressing rooms are still our most popular solution."

Keeping it in the family.

Deanes is a true family firm, with mother and son, Anne and Daniel working together to make the company what it is today. Having started working for the company fresh out of college, Daniel has been a part of Deane Interiors for almost as long as the business has been in the family, stopping only in 2013 to develop his own business ventures. In 2018 Daniel returned to the family business and quickly implemented some fundamental changes that created foundations for the next growth phase. Anne decided she wanted to move to part-time, and Daniel took on the role of Managing Director. Since then, Daniel has continued to take the business forward.

"Knowing the ins and outs of the company really works to your advantage." said Daniel, "I first started working in the workshop making cabinets, but I've done everything here. In fact, I don't think there's a job I haven't done at Deane Interiors! Having that broad understanding of how everything works gives you a realistic outlook in terms of what can and cannot be achieved and that's been very useful for me as Managing Director."

Business during the pandemic

Over the years, Deane Interiors has seen three showroom refurbishments, multiple brand updates and over 15,000 unique projects. Its strong brand and reputation has led to continued growth and success, and despite the problematic outbreak of Covid-19, the year 2020-21 was no exception.

"Covid has brought with it a huge number of challenges, however we have managed to get over them. Despite the hurdles, the year has still been good for us. Like all businesses, we are now looking forward to a more stable market, so we can continue to organically grow."

Working with Compass.

After a period of change in the business, Deane Interiors decided to appoint a new accountancy firm and, in their search, they came across Compass Accountants. "I have to say, Compass have been excellent." said Daniel. 

"They have fitted in seamlessly and now undertake most of our financial requirements, including our bookkeeping and all of our accounting. When they came on board, I explained that I wanted a more cohesive system. They immediately untangled an existing web of problems and educated us with innovations and improvements to simplify our processes. We now do everything much more efficiently."

"In a short space of time they have introduced a new system, whereby they provide a weekly forecast of bills, and now, by using Xero software I can see what I owe and who owes me in real-time. They have given us great transparency with our business. If I was to write a review, I'd give them 5 stars. There isn't anything we asked them to do that they haven't done with a smile on their face. It was a great decision getting them on board."

Managing Director of Deane Interiors, Daniel Swatton

The Deane Interior Head Office

Chamai’s Kitchen

Client Focus - Chamai’s Kitchen

In this Month’s ‘Client Focus’ we chat to Mew Harmer, owner of Chamai’s Kitchen - a Compass client- and also staff member at Compass Accountants.

Baking cookies began as a hobby for Mew Harmer, but it wasn’t long before she noticed that after eating one, most people asked the same question- “Why aren’t you selling these?”

After considering a catering business for some time, she eventually decided to make the leap and ‘Chamai’s Kitchen’ was born. “The response to my cookies had been so amazing- it was clear that I could potentially turn a hobby into a business, so in 2020 I made the first steps. From a young age I have always enjoyed cooking and trying out new ideas and recipes, so it just made sense.”

After having a website built, and developing the business, Chamai’s Kitchen took off and before Mew knew it, she was sending cookies through the post and delivering locally.

“I started by cooking a variety of different dishes for local take away delivery. I’m originally from a small town in Northeast Thailand, so many of my recipes are Thai influenced, but it was always the cookies that were the most popular!”

All of Mew’s cookies are stuffed, and freshly baked on the same day with unique flavours including Oreo and chocolate, Kinder and white chocolate, Dairy caramel chocolate with chocolate chip, Skittles, Biscoff and chocolate and many more. Although, customers aren’t limited to the menu on the website as Mew is happy to create bespoke cookies, with ingredients of a customer’s choice.

Once customers pick and choose from the online shop, orders are wrapped in their own unique cookie bag and packaged in a postal box ready to be delivered in one to two days.

Being a Compass Client and Compass Employee

As a Compass client, Mew’s business is not her only connection to Compass Accountants, she also works as an administrator for the team, so she didn’t have far to look when she decided she needed to appoint an accountant.

“I was delighted to get a job working for Compass as it’s a wonderful place to work and a really fun business to be a part of. The working environment is so relaxed and everyone here is lovely, it is like a big family. On top of that, I am now one of the company’s clients, which means I can easily ask Stuart or Kerry for any business advice for Chamai’s Kitchen! They are lovely approachable people- like everyone here. They will always steer me in the right direction if I need any help with the business”

“In the future, I plan to introduce a service where I send dough and ingredients to enable people to bake themselves, so they can experience cookies straight out the oven- and eaten hot! I’m also looking at Halloween recipes and we are thinking about Christmas, birthday, and gift boxes for treating friends all year round. Eventually, I would like to grow the small business to be able to run it full time- and maybe one day - be a bigger client for Compass!”

For more information on Chamai’s Kitchen and to see the Cookie menu visit:

To contact Mew email:

Follow Chamai’s Kitchen on Instagram at @chamaikitchen

Chamai’s Kitchen cookies 1 Chamai’s Kitchen cookies 2
Ten Questions with new Compass team member - Mew Harmer

Ten Questions with new Compass team member - Mew Harmer

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. I would buy an amazing house for my family back in Thailand

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I am on the admin team so not strictly in accounting, but Stuart and Kerry offered me the job at the perfect time!

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Is it bad to say that I don’t have one?

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. Hairdressing – I was a Saturday girl

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. It would have to be my grandma

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. All the staff – everyone here is really lovely!

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. Definitely super healing power

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. It would have to be Thailand

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. An artist/ teacher

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. Not so unique - but I can speak 2 languages

Compass sponsors disability awareness training day in local school

Compass sponsors disability awareness training day in local school

Compass Accountants recently sponsored a day of disability awareness for children at Solent Junior School in Portsmouth. Compass funded a fun, interactive and educational programme developed by the awareness training provider, (and Compass client), Bascule Disability Training.

Bascule Disability Training (a social enterprise based in Hampshire), presented a range of games, educational activities, debates and challenges, all of which have been developed to enhance the children’s understanding and awareness of disability.

Managing Director of Bascule, Chris Jay, hosted the awareness day, and the children in Year 3 and 4 spent the day looking at sport and disability, and participated in Boccia, a Paralympic sport that can be played by people with various disabilities.

The children in the years above were engaged in debates and gave consideration to what it is like to have a disability, how disability is perceived, living with disability, hidden disabilities and identity.

Compass Accountants director, Stuart Lawrance said, “It’s a great pleasure for us to be able to sponsor the awareness day and to enable the children to gain such a positive experience. It’s incredibly important for children of these age groups to develop a stronger understanding of disability, and Bascule’s educational programmes do this perfectly.”

Mrs Karen Young, SENDCO Teacher at the school, said, “All our children are tolerant of difference, but it is easy to concentrate on high flying role models such as Paralympians, when exploring disability, when the reality of everyday life is often not considered.”

The children in the years above were engaged in debates and gave consideration to what it is like to have a disability, how disability is perceived, living with disability, hidden disabilities and identity.

Mrs Karen Young, concluded, "We are very grateful to Compass Accountants for sponsoring the training Bascule provided, as it has enabled all of our children a glimpse into life with a disability and to reconsider what constitutes ‘normal’.”

Ten Questions with new Compass team member - Laura Puszkar

Ten Questions with new Compass team member - Laura Puszkar

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. A new house and then I would take my family on holiday.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I got made redundant from my job and decided to try something new. I have always liked numbers and puzzles so it seemed like the logical choice!

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Hard to choose. Gladiator or Phantom of the Opera

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. I can’t really remember but I think it was delivering leaflets.

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. Kimi Raikkonen - He always makes me laugh.

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. It’s such a lovely atmosphere and everyone is so friendly. I already feel very welcomed into the team.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. The ability to speak all languages. Going abroad would be a breeze as I wouldn’t have to use google translate to know what I am looking at!

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Orlando to all the theme parks with my family when I was young.

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. A vet - but I decided I wouldn’t be able to handle the sad side of the job.

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I can’t stand the oven timer flashing so I have to press the button to make it stop!

Client Focus - Jane Austen’s House

Lizzie Dunford

In this Month’s ‘Client Focus’ we chat to Lizzie Dunford, Director of Jane Austen’s House, a Compass client, and learn about the impact Covid-19 has had on one of the most important literary heritage sites in the world…

It was within the walls of the Grade I listed building in Chawton, that Jane Austen wrote and revised all of her highly acclaimed novels, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.

Since 1949, the 17th century Hampshire building has been open to the public, offering visitors the opportunity to see the collection of objects associated with Jane Austen, including her letters, jewellery, first editions of her books, furniture, textiles and the table at which she wrote her much loved novels.

However, like many museums and heritage sites, Jane Austen’s House faced a challenging and worrying year following the outbreak of Covid 19 in the early months of 2020.

Lizzie Dunford, the Director of Jane Austen’s House explains, “As a charity, up until the pandemic, we were almost entirely dependent on footfall revenue, so when that income stream suddenly stopped it was extremely worrying.”

Jane Austen’s House received an emergency grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which was vital following its temporary closure, but even after the first lockdown when some restrictions were dropped, social distancing measures meant visitor numbers were reduced significantly. The charity was, therefore, reliant on its own crowd funding campaigns.

“We were very lucky to have received an astonishing response in the form of donations, both nationally and globally.” adds Lizzie. “We saw donations come in from South America, Europe, China, Japan and Scandinavia. We were able to raise over £100k through crowd fundraising. These donations and the National Lottery Heritage Fund have been at the core of our resilience. If it wasn’t for those, we would be in a very different position today.”

Adapting to change

The difficulties of the pandemic forced the team at Jane Austen’s House to reconsider new ways of making the house accessible to visitors, during a time that imposed difficult and unusual restrictions.

“2020 was a challenge, but it was also a time of opportunity and so we fast-tracked a lot of our ambitions.” said Lizzie. “For example, in June we launched an online shop and in November, during the second lockdown, we introduced virtual guided tours, which gave us a new way of interacting with visitors remotely, showing them around the house, whilst also enabling us to generate a new stream of income. We have since provided virtual tours in Spain, tours for libraries in the United States, and we now have tours lined up in Brazil and South America. Through this virtual offering, we now plan to maintain global engagement and interaction post- pandemic.”

The years ahead

Whilst in the third national lockdown, planning for the next few years is always a challenge, although Lizzie believes it will be a while before the footfall of Jane Austen’s House returns to the numbers it was used to. She said, “We expect that we won’t be back to our pre-pandemic levels of visitors for quite some time – so our development of the virtual aspect of the house will really help. We have budgeted cautiously to protect the financial entity of the charity and have adapted our business model. We will also continue to be as innovative as we can.”

“Whilst it will take a few years to recover, there are positive and negative aspects of the pandemic. For example, we have an augmented reality app coming out soon, and we are further investing in our virtual tours and we will reap the rewards for those. We are also continuing with our campaign to fix the roof of the house - which we have already had a fantastic public response to.”

Lizzie concludes, “Despite having a tough year and having more grey hairs that I had one year ago- it’s still a great privilege to be involved with an author so revered, so beloved and so funny. Working for Jane Austen’s House is always a joy. My team have also been incredible, I am very lucky to have such an innovative, driven, passionate and skilled group, who have adapted and excelled. They have been extraordinary.”

You can support Jane Austen’s House in many ways, from sharing its social media content, to browsing the website, visiting the online shop, booking a virtual tour or simply reading a Jane Austen book. If you would like to sponsor a roof tile to help save the roof, or you would like to consider a corporate sponsorship or business partnership - head to the website:

Jane Austen's museum Jane Austen's books
Ten Questions with Compass team member - Louise Edwards

Ten Questions with Compass team member - Louise Edwards

In this ’Ten Questions with’… we interview our newest member of the team, Louise Edwards, who recently joined Compass as an Accountant.

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. A house for my parents, close to mine!

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I had been made redundant from my first job, where I worked within the accounts department. My naive self thought -I would take a few months off, as I had my redundancy pay, but my Parents had other ideas! My Mum saw an advert in the window of a local accountancy firm and made me apply. I’m so glad I did, I discovered that I love Accountancy and working with numbers!

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Love Actually

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. Shop Assistant at Superdrug, only 3 hours a week on a Saturday afternoon when I was 16.

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. My Great Nanny. She passed when I was young, but I still remember her fondly and would love to spend time with her again.

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. Friendly, welcoming colleagues and a happy working environment.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. I’m not sure!!

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. The Maldives

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. A teacher. However now I have home schooled my kids throughout two school closures, I can honestly say I am glad I did not pursue this!

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. My Mum buys my cousin and I fluffy socks every Christmas, and we always swap one of them with each other so that we both have the same pair of odd socks. We then randomly send each other odd sock photos throughout the year.

Ten Questions with Compass team member - Sue Elliott

Ten Questions with Compass team member - Sue Elliott

Our latest ‘10 Questions With’ features a new member of the Compass team, Sue Elliott…

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. If I won the lottery the first thing I’d buy is a holiday home in northern Italy.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I got into payroll when I worked in Personnel.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. My favourite film is Educating Rita

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. My first job was as a night club receptionist when I was in sixth form.

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. I would love to invite Nelson Mandela to a dinner party.

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. What I like best about Compass is the friendly atmosphere.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. The superpower I would love to have is the ability to not need sleep.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Northern Italy and the Italian lakes are my favourite place that I have been so far.

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. I wanted to be an air hostess which is quite funny as now I really don’t enjoy flying!

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I love curry but I hate chilli.

Ten Questions with Compass team member - Kharmen Ford

Ten Questions with Compass team member - Kerry Sweeney

In this ’Ten Questions with’… we interview our newest member of the team, Kerry Sweeney, who recently joined Compass as a Trainee Accountant.

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. I would buy a house

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I started studying for my AAT level 2 in my spare time and then applied for a trainee position.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Labyrinth

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. My first job was as a weekend cleaner at QA Hospital in Portsmouth.

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. I would like to invite my family

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The people, everyone is so lovely.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. To apparate/disapparate (otherwise known as teleportation).

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Thailand

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. Something to do with CSI/Mortuary or forensic type work

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I used to dissect the fish my dad caught and brought home for dinner.

Compass is proud sponsor of AFC Portchester Under-8s

Compass Accountants is proud to announce its sponsorship of the AFC Portchester Under 8 Vikings team.

Stuart – Far left, Matt Far right, Ethan, back row 2nd right.

The Vikings have a strong link to Compass, as Director Stuart Lawrance and his oldest son Matt- are coaches and Stuart’s younger son Ethan also plays on the team.

“We are enormously proud to see the Compass logo on the boys’ shirts,” said Stuart, “We wish them the best of luck for all their games this season.”


Adapting your business during the pandemic

In this Client Focus, we revisit Ian Hooper, Managing Director, Founder and Owner of Hooper Services, to talk about the ways he has adapted his business during the Coronavirus outbreak, helping his clients to remain safe...

Thirty years ago, when Ian Hooper originally set up Hooper Services, the business primarily focused on servicing and repairing cleaning equipment. Later, the company established itself as a provider of PAT testing and training courses and became a supplier of white goods and machinery, eventually becoming the preferred supplier for around 20 local authorities across the UK

Like many other businesses, the Coronavirus outbreak had an immediate impact on the services Ian’s business provides. With the introduction of social distancing rules, the business naturally saw a decline in its onsite services. But whilst one area of the business slowed down- another increased rapidly.

The Hooper Services Team

“Things started to change from around the third week of February.” said Ian. “We were seeing an immediate soar in demand for the PPE products we sourced and provided for local authorities. Where before this was a small part of our business, it suddenly amounted to about 40% of what we did. However, the supply chain for PPE has been very fragile. It is a lot stronger now, but in early February, prices would suddenly soar, and this would make it very difficult to negotiate costs. The selling prices are very reactive to the market, and so, some people have been selling substandard equipment for a ridiculous price, which made it difficult for everyone.”

“Credit also became a thing of the past, and the special sanitising systems from the USA that we import, suddenly required payments six week in advance. We’ve had PPE orders cancelled and even stolen! It’s been a constant battle to keep our clients safe.”

“Many of the local authorities we have helped, such as Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council, were unable to use their usual suppliers, due to the high demand, but as we were on their lists for repairing their cleaning equipment, we were able to assist them when they needed supplies. Now we are also helping many care homes, as well as businesses.”

Fairness for all

Hooper Services have always aimed to provide a cost-effective solution and money saving has been a key element of its services. “For around 90% of our clients, we are able to save them money. I’m not out to overcharge and certainly don’t want to make extra money out of clients during a crisis, our primary objective is to make sure people are safe, not to make a massive profit from the PPE people should be able to access.”

An example of how Hooper Services enables organisations to save money is found through the fogging machine service it offers, which provides fast, deep cleaning across all surfaces. “When used by a school in Fareham, it takes just 2.5 hours to sanitise all classrooms and all its offices.” explains Ian, “A job that would takes the school’s five cleaners two days to do, offering them a massive saving of time and money.”

However, it is the WillMop Eco range upright scruber dryer which uses UV light to kill bugs, germs and viruses that is becoming increasingly popular during the pandemic. The machine purifies air, and alters the DNA of the germs it kills on surfaces, and can work with or without chemicals. Having been used in Italian and Scandinavian hospitals during the crisis, Hooper Services is now the UK importer.

“Currently, the big problem with cleaning equipment is that many people are using it incorrectly, without sufficient training, and using chemicals in the wrong way – which can be dangerous.”

Safety over Profit

As workplaces prepare to return to the office, Hooper Services is now reaching out to help companies across Fareham and wider Hampshire, allowing them to return to safe working environments. However, Ian underlines that making money is not his motivation.

“Making people safe is our priority, not making profit.” He adds. “I’m more interested in helping promote and maintain safety across our communities. We don’t aim to make a fortune, the PPE we sell covers costs, with a small profit, and we always keep it that way, regardless of demand.”

Having been in the industry for over 40 years, Ian’s knowledge and experience is vast. He is a member of many relevant bodies including the Hampshire Care Association and the Association of British Institute of Cleaning Science and is open to share his expertise with local businesses, free of charge.

“This isn’t just about business. We have a moral responsibility to look after one another –and I care passionately about that. I always tell our staff that when onsite you are protecting people and you need to know, when you go home, that you have ensured people are safe- that is your primary role.”

“If any business out there wants free, no obligations advice about any areas of sanitisation, PPE, protecting staff, cleaning equipment or services, I’d be glad to help – just message me on LinkedIn.”

To learn more about Hooper Services go to

To link up with Ian and ask him for his expertise and advice- connect with him here:

Client Focus - First Exhibition Services launches new company, Zero210

In this Client Focus, we speak to First Exhibition Services, where Head of Design Neil Manson, explains how the business used the pandemic as an opportunity to launch and its new sister company, Zero210…

First Exhibition Services is an exhibition design and build company with an impressive portfolio of clients. The Waterlooville based company designs, constructs, and installs exhibitions for events all over the world.

With a 15,000 sq-ft workshop and a separate 10,000 sq-ft storage facility, First Exhibition Services (FES) has been established for over 20 years, winning awards for its stands that range from large double decks to smaller pop-up exhibitions.

An FES exhibition

Trading during Covid-19

Like many businesses, the company’s busy year ahead was brought to a sudden halt by the Coronavirus pandemic, with most clients cancelling the work ahead, as more and more industry events were withdrawn.

“We had a big show in Las Vegas that we were preparing for, that 10 of us were scheduled to fly out to, but of course all plans were suddenly cancelled.” Explains Head of Design Neil Manson. “It was around this time that we realised that we needed to diversify and use our skills to extend and enhance our offering.”

Launching a new business

The range of skills the team at FES possesses meant the company was in a fortunate position of being able to turn the pandemic into an opportunity to do something new. “We have an incredibly talented team of carpenters and joiners and designers, so we were able to creatively speculate about what else we can do,” says Neil. “Rather than diversify completely, we thought of alternative ways we could use our skills and talents.”

“We can build anything with anything, and our environment is flexible in its size and capability. For example, we have a print department that allows us to print large format graphics on practically anything. We’ve always developed our business so that we are able to do everything in house ourselves, which means we are now perfectly suited to take our hands to something new.”

The team at FES decided to collaborate and discuss all the best possibilities for a new direction. “Our goal was to develop something for the future, that we could launch, and then continue to maintain as a strong element of our business.” says Neil. “Something that would add further value to our existing service.”

“We are used to planning, designing spaces and all the electrical and mechanical elements that go with it, whilst developing solutions to problems, so we seemed perfectly placed to offer bespoke furniture for the commercial sector. We decided to launch a business and called it Zero210 and since launching, we’ve seen great success.”

“We are not anticipating that the events industry will be up and running again before the end of this year, but we are developing new clients through Zero210. Having the perfect facilities and team, means this could be an opportunity for us to further expand in the future.”

“The Covid19 outbreak has led to an unprecedented number of companies suddenly understanding the value of home working, which we believe will lead to an increase in remote working, and will create new opportunities for businesses to change their environments. We can certainly help businesses alter the way their new workplaces will function with fewer staff in the office, through our bespoke furniture and design skills.”

Zero210 furniture for Hilton

Working with Compass Accountants

FES has been a client of Compass Accountants for several years now. Here Project Director, Matthew Turnbull, explains how, when looking for an accountant, Compass fitted all FES’ requirements:

“We were looking for a new accountant to help us improve and grow, after a recommendation we met with Stuart and his team and we have not looked back since. They have been a pleasure to work with helping us to make efficiencies and structure our company. They are always on hand for advice and instruction, especially so in these recent turbulent times where they have responded quickly to help us put in place measures ensuring our survival and now future growth.”

To learn more about FES, go to:

To learn more about Zero210 go to :

Coronavirus – advice for employers

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads more widely in the UK, it’s worth considering some simple steps to support you and help protect health and safety of staff.

Compass Accountants’ client and associate, Laura Bowyer of Employment Matters is a specialist in employment law, HR & mediation and owner of the consultancy firm- Employment Matters. Here she has provided guidance and advice regarding Coronavirus for employers.

Maintaining good practice

  • The need for regular effective hand-washing - make sure there are clean places to wash hands with hot water and soap/hand sanitisers and tissues, encourage everyone to wash their hands regularly.
  • Avoid travel to affected areas/coming into contact with infected or potentially infected people.
  • Consider if protective face masks/outfits might help for people working in particularly vulnerable situations.
  • All staff contact numbers & emergency contact details up to date.
  • Managers know how to recognise symptoms of coronavirus and how do they deal with them, ie, processes such as sick absence and sick pay, procedures in case someone in the workplace develops the virus.
  • Keep everyone updated on actions being taken.

Pay if employee self-isolates

The government states if NHS 111 or a doctor advises an employee or worker to self-isolate, from day 1, they should receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due to them or contractual sick pay. In accordance with your sick absence policy, employees must tell their employer as soon as possible if they cannot work, the reason and how long they're likely to be away from the business. Flexibility from the employer for absence evidence ie, they might not be able to provide a sick note (fit note) if they've been told to self-isolate for 14 days. Useful Links:

NHS 111 -

Self isolation

Pay if you tell the employee not to come to work

If an employee is not sick but their employer tells them not to come to work, they should receive their usual pay.

If the employee needs time off work to look after someone else

Employees are entitled to time off work to help someone who depends on them (a 'dependant') in an unexpected event or emergency. This would apply to situations to do with coronavirus ie, children they need to look after/arrange childcare nursery/school has closed or help their child/another dependant if sick/need to go into isolation/hospital.

Whilst there is no statutory right to pay for this time off, check their contract/Time off for Dependants Policy - 2 days if more time, holiday can be arranged.

Employee does not want to go to work

  • listen to any concerns staff may have. If genuine, resolution to protect the health and safety of the staff, ie, flexible working, work from home if reasonable.
  • if an employee still does not want to go in, consider the time off as holiday or unpaid leave. You do not have to agree.
  • if an employee refuses to attend work, it may result in disciplinary action.

If unwell at work

Also, if recently returned from an affected area, they should:

  • be at least 2 metres (7 feet) away from others.
  • go to a room/area behind a closed door, such as a sick bay or staff office
  • avoid touching anything
  • cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, if no tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow.
  • if possible, use a separate bathroom from others.
  • use their own mobile phone to call either NHS 111 or 999 (if seriously ill or injured or life risk) Explain their symptoms and which country they've returned from in the last 14 days.

Employee comes to work with Coronavirus

The workplace does not necessarily have to close.

The local Public Health England (PHE) health protection team will get in contact with the employer to:

Close/temporary closure of the workplace

  • announcement and communicate throughout.
  • make sure there’s a way to communicate with the employer and other people they work with.
  • where work can be done at home, the employer could:
  • ask staff who have company laptops and company mobile phones to take them home so they can continue working (securely).
  • arrange paperwork tasks that can be done at home (securely) for those who do not work on computers.

Please Note: Unless it says in the contract or is agreed otherwise, you still need to pay employees for this closure time.

This virus update is changing very frequently so it’s important to familiarise with the information from the World Health Organisation.

Laura Bowyer is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and an Accredited Workplace Mediator(OCN Qualification)

T. 07971 224791 E. W.


What happens if you die without a will?

It was recently estimated that over 54% of adults in the UK do not have a will, a total that amounts to around 5.4 million adults. Further research also suggests that 60% of parents do not currently have a will.

Most of these people are unaware that failing to have a will can be complicated, and even disastrous for the loved ones they may leave behind. Director of Compass, Kerry Lawrance explains the implications of not having a will, and how the rules of ‘intestacy law’ will determine who receives the estate…

Dying intestate

A death without a will, (known as dying intestate), means that the distribution of your estate is determined by the rules of intestacy. Unfortunately, these rules can often mean that an estate is not distributed how the deceased person would wish.

Dying without a will also makes distribution of an estate a great deal more complicated, and even if you were happy with the way that intestacy rules would divide the estate, having a will would still reduce many complications and significantly speed up the probate process. It would also make issues such as funeral costs and inheritance tax a lot simpler. 

How ‘intestacy law’ works

Intestacy law generally means that everything owned at the time of death is distributed according to a rigid set of rules. This generally works as follows.

  • If you are married without children, the rules state that your spouse (or civil partner) receives everything. It is important to also remember that spouses and partners who are separated but not divorced can also inherit under the rules of intestacy.
  • If you are married and do have children, then your spouse will receive up to the value of £250,000 of the estate and then half of the remaining estate, (the other half is then divided equally amongst the surviving children).
  • If you are not married (but have children), then the children share everything equally.
  • If you are not married and do not have any children then the estate will be shared equally, (in order of priority) to:
    • Parents
    • Siblings, (the children of siblings if siblings have deceased)
    • Grandparents
    • Uncles and aunts.

Living with a partner

 If you are living with a partner that you are not married to, or in a civil partnership with, and you were to die intestate, the rules would dictate that your partner receives nothing at all, even if you have lived together for many years. This is considered to be one of the most hazardous areas of dying intestate. Similarly, if you are unmarried, and your partner’s children are not biologically yours, (or been adopted by yourself), they will not be entitled to any of the estate.

Other risks

It’s worth remembering that dying intestate can result in a large inheritance tax bill. Under intestacy rules, if you married, and you were to leave behind a spouse and children, the first £250,000 will be distributed to your spouse and half the remainder, to your children. Whilst your spouse is exempt from paying tax, your children could be left with a significant inheritance tax bill.

There are of course, many people that aren’t married, who have no close family members or dependents, and therefore cannot see any point to having a will. However, in this case, when no family can be found, the Crown inherits all assets- also known as ‘bona vacantia’ – (meaning ‘vacant goods’).

In such cases, having a will allows a person to expand on where their money goes, and offers the freedom to leave an estate to close friends- or even to a charity or a good cause that is close to a person’s heart.

Contact Us

Compass now offers a full will writing service. If you are interested in learning more- or would simply like to ask us a question, please feel free to call us on: 01329 844145.

Client Focus - Service Dogs UK

Rene & Alisha and Mick & Hudson - who recently passed the Public Access Course in November.

This month, we catch up with Garry Botterill- a Compass client and the co-founder of the registered charity- Service Dogs UK...

Service Dogs UK trains and provides Assistance Dogs, selected carefully from rescue, to support members of the Armed Forces and Emergency Services with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder )

Garry’s colleague, a Veteran in the Royal Navy who had served in the Falklands War, was almost killed in crime related incident whilst on duty as a Police Officer. He was dragged under a moving car and as a result of the accident, suffered from PTSD. It was shortly after, that Garry (who is also a serving Police Officer), looked into what could be done to alleviate the symptoms of PTSD and discovered that there wasn’t a lot available. He did, however, discover many US organisations that were using assistance dogs to help veterans with PTSD. He applied for and won a Travelling Fellowship with the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and visited the States to research how the dogs help, with a view to bringing a similar service back to the UK. After this visit, and with a lot of hard work following the launch of Service Dogs UK, they began training their first Veteran and dog in September 2015.

How the charity works

Based in Fareham, Service Dogs UK has a great working relationship with The Dog’s Trust. When Service Dogs UK (SDUK) are ready to take on a new dog they contact Dogs Trust to see if they have any dogs that are suitable for training, an assessor from SDUK will then go and assess the dog. If the dog has potential, SDUK continue to assess the dog for between 16-20 weeks. Here they verify if it is suitable, and if successful, the dog is then paired with a Veteran with PTSD, who after some initial training at the training venues will take him/her home and continue to train the dog.

“It’s a positive procedure all around.” explains co-founder, Garry Botterill, “Because, even if the dog isn’t quite suitable for our full training requirements, we are able to return it to The Dog’s Trust after the 16-20 weeks initial training and assessment period, as a happier dog that is now well trained and therefore a more desirable pet.”

“If the dog is successful it is partnered with someone with PTSD, and a 9-month period of training and fun begins. The veterans then train the dogs themselves under the supervision and guidance of our training team’.

How the dogs help

People suffering from PTSD typically have difficulties going out, mixing with members of public and being in busy places. They can experience flashbacks and dissociation, and even forget what they are doing. As well as being taught practical things (such as fetching and carrying), the dogs are also taught how to mitigate the symptoms of PTSD. “Many sufferers of PTSD experience regular nightmares,” explains Garry, “So, the dogs are trained to understand the signs of these nightmares- such as noises of vocal disturbance and sweating. They then intervene and wake them up. This means the veterans are less concerned before sleeping and this significantly improves their sleeping patterns.”

“Also, if they are experiencing a flashback – the dog will ground them or bring them back reality, so they become aware that they are not in, for example, a war zone, but in the here and now. They are also trained to escort the veterans to the nearest exit and can even position themselves to help PTSD sufferers have more personal space, so they feel more secure and less anxious.”

The dogs are also able to help with the isolation often experienced with PTSD, as they reinforce a regular routine and structure of going out twice a day. They encourage the veterans to socialise by meeting people and having conversations in the park, all of which increase the confidence the person previously lacked.

“Having a dog has been proven to increase levels of oxytocin in the brain, bringing you to a state of calm, therefore reducing stress and anxiety.” explains Garry. “This engenders trust and a feeling of security-and that in itself helps people to cope better with the symptoms of PTSD.”

“Also, the training procedure encourages sufferers of PTSD to gather in a group training situation and gives them a platform to make friends. When you are teaching a dog not to react to the bang of a car back-firing and teaching them that the sound is nothing to worry about- you are inadvertently teaching yourself that as well.”

Service Dogs UK now have 12 working partnerships with more Veterans waiting to join the programme. Garry plans on expanding the charity in the future, as demand continues to grow. He explains, “Currently we raise a lot of money from community fundraising events and challenges, through clubs and local groups and we have also had some sponsorship – but this year, for the first time ever we are applying for grants. We are hoping this will help us to grow so we can meet the growing need for these dogs from our Armed Forces Veteran and Emergency Services communities.”

Finding Compass Accountants

“I found out about Compass by searching on the internet,” said Garry, “I was looking for an accountant that had a niche in working in the charity sector, and when Compass came up I also noticed they happened to be in Fareham. Our head office was previously in Huddersfield- but we wanted to move the registered office to the South, so it made sense to change accountants.”

“Compass have been great. From the start, everything has been moved over to them with great ease and simplicity. As well as working with the charity- I am also a serving Police Officer, and so time is precious. When you are up against it, you don’t want to spend time working on the accounts, so Compass’ service works perfectly. Also, Compass’ prices are more reasonable than our last accountant- and they are very easy to speak to, very accommodating and nothing is too much hassle- I’m glad we chose Compass.”

If you are interested in the Service Dogs UK charity- or would like to help volunteer, help raise funds or make a donation- go to:

Accredited assistance dog - Dezi

First dog on the programme - Ajax

Assistance dog - Hudson

Client Focus – Meet Andy Williams

Client Focus – Meet Andy Williams

This month, we catch up with SEO Consultant and Compass client, Andy Williams.

Andy Williams is an award-winning SEO consultant with over 16 years of experience in the market. Over the years, Andy has built a strong portfolio of clients including charities and businesses, helping them to vastly improve their online potential. With background of working for a digital marketing agency, Andy made the decision to go solo over four years ago and hasn’t looked back.

Andy’s service is built around flexibility, which means organisations of all sizes and in all sectors can access his services, as he explains, “I base my service around the needs of the client so if they are a big company, I can go in and work as a part of their team on long term projects, or I can work with smaller organisations who may wish to use my consultancy services for one-off, smaller projects, to identify where they could raise their online potential.”

“For example, a lot of small businesses come to me and say –‘we aren’t ranking very well- how can you help?’, and so I come in and work through the basic steps and provide them with an audit of their website. Often that is enough to optimise their site for local intent- but local SEO has become more competitive and therefore more complex.”

“Larger clients may hire my services for a couple of years to iron out issues and maybe help launch and establish a whole new website. A big problem for a lot of companies is that they set up the wrong key words or phrases as they are unaware of the language their target audience uses when searching. Some businesses use language that is more internal, or familiar to them than the average person. Successful SEO is about doing your keyword research and knowing what your audience is looking for.”

“It is also ever evolving, so you have to consider the big picture, as well as key words you have to know your audience and provide content that will appeal to them. You have to maintain this content through PR and social media – it’s actually a massive outreach exercise.”

Having been in the industry for over 16 years, Andy has come across virtually all issues that have occurred over this time - he continues, “I’ve seen all the updates, advances in new methods, and the spam tactics of the past, in fact I have helped a lot of businesses to undo most of them. I’ve seen the whole sector evolve.”

Working with Compass Accountants

It was over four years ago when Andy decided to go freelance. Around the time of making the leap, Andy began a search for the right accountant. “I was looking for an accountant and through word of mouth someone recommended Compass. I went in to meet them and after a chat, I knew they were right for me. They’ve been my accountants ever since and have really looked after me. They make sure I’m on the right lines, I’ve been really happy with the way they work. I am always confident they’ll do what is needed. Compass also helped me with the transition of being a freelancer. They made it simple and easy. I didn’t have to look anything up or really do much at all. There were things I didn’t understand and still don’t to this day, but if I need to know anything, they talk me through the whole thing. Compass completely look after the finance side of things for me. They make running a business a walk in the park.”

If you would like to find out more about Andy’s service and how he could improve your SEO – email him at or go to

Compass Accountants would like to introduce you to- The S.S Shieldhall and its Chief Engineer, Graham Mackenzie

S.S Shieldhall Chief Engineer, Graham Mackenzie

The Steamship Shieldhall is believed to be the largest working steamship, owned and operated entirely by unpaid volunteers, in Northern Europe and has quite an extraordinary past. Much like a floating museum or time capsule, the ship is built on the classical lines of a 1920s steamer with a traditional wheelhouse. The machinery on board is also very similar, (but on a much smaller scale), to that carried on the ill-fated Titanic.

 She is moored in Southampton and now functions under a busy programme of summer excursions and events and is also available as a venue that can be hired throughout the year. Shieldhall is maintained and operated entirely by a dedicated team of volunteers, but as a working ship, she has had more than one job in her past.

When she was first laid down in 1955, Shieldhall was operated by Glasgow Corporation to transport treated sewage sludge down the river Clyde to be released at sea. During the summer months, these excursions would welcome organised parties of up to 80 passengers. However, after many years of faithful service on the Clyde, Shieldhall’s work came to an end and she was eventually purchased by the Southern Water Authority in 1977.

Then, in 1985, a preservation society was formed and Shieldhall was purchased from Southern Water in 1988, for £20,000.

“After it was purchased, the ship was restored to be able to cater for the maximum amount of passengers- as it was when originally designed,” said Shieldhall’s Chief Engineer, Graham Mackenzie. “Then in 1991 it became operational for passengers once again.” Shieldhall now functions as a part of the National Historic Fleet and is widely considered as an operational museum.

“This year is important for us as the Shieldhall will enjoy her busiest ever public sailing programme with some 26 cruises.” Adds Graham. “These excursions are comprised of a mixture of 2hr, 3hr, 4hr, ½ day and full day sailings. As well as summer cruises, we also hire Shieldhall out for events and corporate functions, especially during the wintertime. We also offer a wide range of courses for all ages, from youth training days to steamship experience days. 

“We don’t receive money or funds for the the day to day running of the ship and are without a guaranteed income stream so, much like a business we rely on bookings.”

However, the popularity of the excursions has risen since the society developed its website and enabled passengers to purchase tickets to cruises online.

 “Being able to book online has been incredible for us. In around three years, our passenger numbers have doubled. Also, it has allowed us to broaden our membership. We now have members now from as far as New Zealand.” Adds Graham. “We also have passenger bookings from all over the world. Recently someone came from Texas on the Queen Mary 2 to Southampton and went out on Shieldhall for the day whilst visiting.”

One of the biggest challenges for the society is keeping the ship running due to the costs of operating and maintaining the ship. “You have to remember; she was withdrawn twice as she became uneconomical,” said Graham. “So, the cost of running and dry docking for maintenance can amount to very high costs. Then there’s the cost of fuel- which amounts to around £350 an hour just to run the ship.”

Recruiting volunteers is also a challenge- but the society now has between 60 and 70 people that help with deck and engine room maintenance, passenger care, hospitality, shore crew, rope handlers and more.”

“We are hoping to become fully registered as a charity very soon, rather than an exempt charity as we are today, which will allow us to apply for more funding and grants- and Compass have recently been advising us on how to best make that transition.”

If you would be interested in visiting SS Shieldhall, or would like to volunteer, go to the website for more information and a listing of 2020’s summer excursions.

Ten Questions with Compass team member - Kharmen Ford

Ten Questions with Compass team member - Kharmen Ford

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. A holiday home - somewhere hot!

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I used to attend my dad’s meetings with his Accountant and slowly started to do book keeping, I then decided this was something I wanted to study when I started college.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Beauty and the Beast

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. I was a Musical Theatre Teacher at an Academy for children aged between 2-18 years.

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. Amy Winehouse

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The friendly staff and very well structured management.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. Stretchy limbs, then I could be a little taller!

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Barcelona

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. Anything I thought was cool at the time!

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I have my diploma in Musical Theatre and Opera.

Ten Questions with Compass team member - Ceri Gordon

Ten Questions with Compass team member - Ceri Gordon

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. A big holiday!

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. A friend of mine said “You should try accountancy, I think you’d like it!” She was right!!

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Mrs Doubtfire – cracks me up every time. Robin Williams was such a legend.

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. Paper girl! I used to deliver the papers before school every day for my £9 per week.

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. James Corden 100% It would be the funniest party ever, I’d take the taxi journey with him as well so we could do Car Pool Karaoke!

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. Everyone seems so nice, they’ve all been so welcoming and make me feel a part of the team straight away.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. The ability to find something when it’s lost. I spend A LOT of my time trying to find things the kids have lost.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Venice – Such a beautiful, picturesque, place. No cars and the wine was amazing!

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. A Policewoman, then I discovered I was too much of a wimp.

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I can make my eyebrows dance

Compass breaks quiz night record raising £3,500 for charity

We are very proud to announce that our fourth annual charity Compass Quiz Night raised a grand total of £3,500 for Breast Cancer Haven, Wessex.

Many of our clients, colleagues and friends joined us making up a total of 25 different teams taking part in a quiz and a charity auction. The evening raised more than it ever has before for our chosen charity based in Titchfield that provides free support to those affected by breast cancer.

The event took place at Portsmouth Football Club with guests enjoying a dinner, various games and a raffle. It was the IT managed services provider ‘Aura Technology Limited’ that scooped first prize on the night.

Businesses that attended also included – Portchester Engineering Limited, Employment Matters , The Children’s Legal Practice Limited, Matrix IT , National Museum of The Royal Navy , Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation, Coffee Cup, OH Crumbs, Cakes By DJ, Barclays Bank , Portland, Verisona Law, Glanvilles LLP and Metro Bank Plc.

The money raised on the evening will provide funds for Breast Cancer Haven’s counsellors, therapists and health professionals who support and help people experiencing the personal challenges brought on by living with breast cancer. The charity also provides classes, talks, workshops support days and much more, to help support those living with breast cancer.

Stuart Lawrance, Director of Compass Accountants said: “Every year the Compass Accountant’s Quiz Night gets bigger and more successful and this year is certainly no exception. The quiz has now raised a total of over £10k for local charities- and we are delighted to say that this year’s total sum is our highest yet. We are very grateful for the generosity of all the quiz team members in helping our chosen cause, and we offer a huge thanks to all the businesses that participated this year.”

Sarah Woods, Corporate Fundraising Officer for Breast Cancer Haven said, “We would like to extend our gratitude to Compass Accountants for nominating Breast Cancer Haven as the benefitting charity for their Annual Quiz Night. It was a wonderful evening of fun and food combined with the testing of brain power which raised vital funds for us. Without the backing from companies such as Compass Accountants and other fundraising activities we could not provide the emotional, practical and physical support that is so needed when someone is affected by breast cancer. As 3,000 women are diagnosed each year in the Wessex region, October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an important time in our calendar to raise awareness of the disease and the important work that Breast Cancer Haven provides.”

Ten Questions with Compass team member - Hannah Ritchie

Ten Questions with Compass team member - Hannah Ritchie

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. A house for me and a house for my mum.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I studied level 2 AAT at college and really enjoyed it so went on to get my first apprenticeship after college.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. The Little Princess

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. Sales Assistant at Currys PC World

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. The Queen

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The people. Everyone is so nice here and they are always happy to help when I’m stuck.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. To be able to fly. I could go anywhere anytime and would never have to pay for petrol again!

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. America

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. I wanted to be a dancer, specifically a backing dancer for superstars!/p>

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I can separate my little toe from the rest of my toes.

Client Focus – Neil Scott - Bloc Design

This month we catch up with Neil Scott - a Compass client and the owner of Bloc Design Studio, a full-service design agency based in Southampton.

Bloc Design

With over 20 years of experience, Bloc Design can confidently cover every aspect of creative and design work. Based near the River Hamble in Southampton, Neil Scott is the owner and sole employee of the studio, which is a creative resource to many businesses, both large and small, across the South and further afield.

Neil’s experience ranges from working with large organisations including Barclays Bank, Motorola and Kenwood to a vast number of small and medium sized organisations that use his services.

“I guess I’m a one-stop-shop in terms of what I can offer.” explains Neil. “My services include creative design, branding, websites, illustration, advertising and printing, I even do CGI illustrations for the property sector. I offer the whole range really!”

Since starting out on his own, Neil has developed a client base made up of various sized businesses in a wide range of sectors and industries. One of which is Portsmouth FC, where Neil recently redesigned the club’s crest. 

“Portsmouth Football Club are a great client to work for. Of course, it’s very satisfying to see your work around the club, in the shop and on the players shirts.

Portsmouth is not the only football club Neil has worked with, having also designed for Southampton FC from 2004-2015 and Arsenal FC for a couple of years too.

“Despite having developed niches in football and property, I don’t restrict my offering to any specific area.” explains Neil. “I actually enjoy helping the smaller businesses to rebrand and develop their resources. I also work with a lot of marketing agency partners that aren’t quite large enough to have an in-house design team, and so outsource to freelancer designers.”

Working with Compass…

Having been a client of Compass’ for just over five years, Neil explains why Compass and Bloc Design have a lasting partnership.

“Over the years, Compass have proven to be a great asset for me. They are always there when I need them – they are very knowledgeable and when I do need assistance with something, they have always been a massive help.”

“It’s a weight off your shoulders to know, that if you do need help or advice, they are at the end of the phone. When I visit the offices to meet them, everyone is friendly, warm and very approachable- I entirely recommend them.”

To find out more about Bloc Design go to:

Email or call 02380 172 801

Introducing …. Matrix IT

Compass Accountants would like to introduce you to Gareth McQuaid- the Business Development Director at Matrix IT- ‘The South Coast’s Favourite IT Company’

Matrix IT are providers of fully managed IT solutions working closely with their clients to provide cost-effective IT support to meet their business needs. They pride themselves on their ability to provide solutions that fit within clients’ budgets. As a result of the company’s excellent service, Compass Accountants has been a Matrix IT client for a number of years.

Gareth McQuaid
Gareth McQuaid - Business Development Director, Matrix IT

Their services include IT Support, IT Strategy Planning, Business Phone Systems, Connectivity (Broadband/Leased lines/WiFi), Cloud Services (365/SharePoint etc), Cloud Migrations, Cyber Security Solutions, Cyber Essentials Preparation & Certification.

As a business that is over 15 years old, Matrix has evolved and continuously improved over the years.

“I have worked in the IT sector for over 20 years now,” says Gareth McQuaid, Business Development Director at Matrix. “Collectively, the other Directors and I have over 100 years of experience that we can draw on to best understand how to approach any issue, which is ideal for problem solving. Many other service providers simply charge a small fee per month just to oversee the IT function, but they are not doing their due diligence, and rarely have an overall strategy or a client’s business needs in mind.”

“At Matrix, we become your internal IT Department. Our job is also about finding solutions - which is very satisfying for me as problem solving is my passion. It is very rewarding when a client has a problem and you can solve it whilst also enabling their business to flourish.”

Matrix’s clients are located in across the South Coast - however proximity is not necessarily relevant to its clientele as Gareth explains- “Many clients are under the impression that a managed service provider needs to be close by - however, 95% of all issues can be resolved remotely, so we have clients in Bournemouth, Basingstoke and Brighton and even further. However, for the clients that prefer site visits we are also able to provide these too.”

A wealth of experience…

Matrix consists of a team of 16 members of staff and tends to work with small to medium businesses. “Our clientele ranges from companies with 15 staff right up to 100 user businesses, and we can cater for small teams as well. Outsourcing your IT is most obvious and, in most instances, makes the most sense. We work with over 100 clients from a variety of industries, allowing us to have a strong knowledge base of best practice and how to successfully approach specific issues.”

If you would like to find out more about how Matrix IT can help you call - 01329 888444 or email - or go to for further details.

Help Compass to raise a record amount for charity!

The Compass Accountants quiz is back and fast approaching!

We want you to gather your teams and join us, by taking part in a night of fun, laughter and networking, whilst helping to raise money for a worthy local charity.

Each year the Compass Quiz grows in popularity, as does the amount we raise, with a record £3,020 pounds raised for Brain Tumour Research last year. The grand total that the Compass quiz has so far generated for local charity is in excess of £7,000 and this year, we hope to pass the £10k mark!

Compass Accountants Quiz Team in 2018 when £3020 was raised for Brain Tumour Trust.

This year, our chosen charity is Breast Cancer Haven, a UK charity, with a Wessex branch located in Titchfield, that provides cost free support to anyone affected by breast cancer.

Director of Compass Accountants, Stuart Lawrance said, “Every year we encourage more businesses to come along to our quiz – and each year, many new teams emerge, which makes this occasion a great networking opportunity, as well as a fun night out for your team. We are encouraging any local firms to join us and help make a positive impact on what is a very important local charity.”

The cost per team is only £70 (which includes dinner- which is to be pre-ordered in advance). Each team is to have a maximum of 6 members, but you can enter as many teams as you like!

The quiz will take place at Portsmouth FC on Thursday 3rd of October, at 18.00.

If you would like to register your interest, or book a team for the event - CLICK HERE to download a registration form - and send it to:

The closing date for entries is September 1st 2019.

If you would like to find out more about Breast Cancer Haven, or you would like to hear the personal stories of how Breast Cancer Haven has helped people click here.

Ten Questions with Compass team member - Mo Sahid

Ten Questions with Compass team member - Mo Sahid

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. Whatever my mum and dad want.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. Studied Accountancy and Finance in University, and enjoyed it so much. Also have external family members who are accountants.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Shawshank Redemption

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. Sales assistant at Superdrug’s

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. Arsene Wenger. I’m a huge Arsenal fan, and I would absolutely love to have a conversation with the best manager we ever had.

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The people here have helped me so much. At times I’ve struggled, but I can ask anyone, and they always help.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. Instant Teleportation. Too many family members ask me to take them somewhere. This can save me time.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Bangladesh. Seeing where my parents were born and grew up and how different the culture is there.

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. I wanted to become a millionaire before I hit 18 and have an early retirement by then.

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. My fingers are double jointed, so they can never straighten up.

10 Reasons Why You Should Download Our App!

Don't miss another deadline...
  1. IT’s completely FREE! The Compass Accountants app will cost you nothing at all. It is easily downloadable from the Compass website via the App Store or Google Play and you can be up and running in seconds!
  2. You’ll never miss a deadline- As an app user, not only will you have easy access to important dates, we will also send you push notification reminders, allowing you to keep track of those fast approaching deadlines!
  3. You can track your travel expenses- One of the most popular features of our app is the mileage GPS tracking system, which allows you to keep an accurate and thorough record of all your travels directly from your smart phone.
  4. You can keep in touch- With built in free messaging features, you can communicate with Compass in an instant.
  5. Sending digital images is free- Our free message service also includes image messaging- allowing you to send pictures completely free of charge. So, if you receive a letter from someone and want us to take a look, simply take a snap and send it to us immediately.
  6. You can access all your finance needs from one app- Whether its KashFlow, Snap, Quickbooks, Sage, Xero or many other services that you may need to run your business, these can all be accessed from our app- at the tap of a button.
  7. You’ll have access to all the up-to-date content you need – If you need access to tax dates, key rates, budget info and so much more- the Compass app means you’ll have that info- right there in your pocket.
  8. You can calculate tax using the app’s calculators- The built-in calculators allow you to estimate your tax liabilities- at any time, at the tap of a button. You can also access help sheets and a full support library.
  9. It’s fully secure- The Compass app is fully GDPR compliant and has been developed with data security at its core. The app has been built using the latest in encryption technologies and verification methods to keep your data safe.
  10. You can stay connected to Compass- The app is connected to our website – allowing you to easily access our blog and our social media accounts, so you can stay up to date with relevant news, announcements, events and information.

Go to the Compass Accountants homepage and download the free app from the homepage today…

Compass’ Quiz Night Event to Raise Funds for Breast Cancer Haven

We are delighted to announce that the chosen charity to benefit from the Compass Accountants Charity Quiz in 2019, will be Breast Cancer Haven.

Breast Cancer Haven

Breast Cancer Haven is a UK charity, that provides cost free support to anyone affected by breast cancer. Compass will raise funds for the Wessex branch located in Titchfield.

The charity’s counsellors, therapists and health professionals offer support and help to people experiencing the personal challenges brought on by living with breast cancer. 
Breast Cancer Haven provides classes, talks, workshops support days and much more to help support those living with breast cancer.

This year will mark the fourth consecutive Compass charity quiz night that annually aims to raise funds for a chosen charity. Last year the quiz saw 29 local businesses participate helping to raise a total of £3,020 pounds for Brain Tumour Research.

Businesses that attended in 2018 included – National Museum of the Royal Navy, ITEC Connect Limited, Portchester Engineering Limited, Glanvilles LLP, The Children’s Legal Practice, Matrix IT Solutions Limited, Laura Bowyer – Employ Matters, Stellar Despatch, Portland, Barclays, Verisona Law, HantsWight Searches Limited, Beacon LLP, Liz Dayment, Steve Davis Graphic Design Limited, JPC Property Services Limited, Fareham and Crofton Cricket Club, Santander and Quality Covers All Limited.

Director of Compass Accountants, Stuart Lawrance said, “The funds we raise through the Compass charity quiz grow each year, as do the number of people participating. We hope once again, that numbers of clients, associates, friends and local businesses come together to get involved in what will be a wonderful evening, of fun, laughter and networking, whilst raising money for a very important cause.”

The quiz will take place at Portsmouth FC on Thursday 3rd October, at 18.00. If you would like to register your interest, or book a team for the event, you can contact Natalie Farley on

Click here to hear the personal stories of how Breast Cancer Haven has helped people.

If you would like to find out more about Breast Cancer Haven, or you would like to donate, get involved in challenge events or volunteer- details of the charity can be found HERE.

Client Focus

This month, we catch up with a Compass client- the Treasurer and Trustee of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust - Chris Bolt.

The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust is a volunteer led charity, originally formed back in 1951 when it was then named ‘The Kennet and Avon Canal Association’. Back then, the goal of the organisation was to restore the derelict canal. 

It was in 1962 that the organisation became a charitable trust, and in 1990, after a long campaign to raise funds for the restoration, the canal was fully restored and reopened by Queen Elizabeth II. Now, the canal is an 87-mile-long heritage and leisure park which runs between Reading and Bristol passing through Newbury, Hungerford, Pewsey, Devizes, Trowbridge, Bradford on Avon, Bath and Bristol.

The Trust’s main responsibility, however, is running the Kennet and Avon Canal centre and museum in Devizes, and the Grade I listed ‘Crofton Beam Engines’ site near Marlborough, which boasts the world’s oldest working steam beam engines still working in its original location and performing its original task. Crofton was built over 200 years ago to supply water to the highest point of the canal and is now considered one of the most important surviving remains of the Industrial Revolution in England. The Trust also has a trading subsidiary which operates trip boats on the canal and licenses tea rooms and cafés in Trust properties along the canal.

“Our museum celebrates the history of the canal” explains Chris Bolt, Treasurer and Trustee of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust. “Its artefacts are always being updated as we often receive new items or photos related to the canal donated by members of the surrounding communities or other museums.”

“We have just put in a grant application for the restoration of an Archimedean screw, currently located at the Crofton site, which was used for draining the canal for works in the 19th century. It was recovered from the canal in Hungerford and will now be professionally conserved.”

The Crofton site is set in picturesque grounds overlooking Wilton Water reservoir and the canal, and on specific weekends, in the summer both engines are run, pumping water into the canal with steam being supplied by a coal-fired, Lancashire boiler, just as it was over 100 years ago.

“Seeing the beam engines in operation at Crofton is really quite something, and can attract large crowds when they are in operation” says Chris, “We have as many as 20,000 people visiting a year and hope to develop that further alongside many other special events we have planned for the summer.”

“Last year, at Crofton we received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to preserve the building and develop the activities, and this year we plan to add a family trail and other activities to encourage schools to visit. We also have plans to add activity panels to explain the workings of the engines when they are not in operation and a new play area for children.”

Working with Compass…

“The Compass Accountants team have been extremely helpful and are always available to provide expert advice. I joined the Trust earlier this year and they have been so helpful in getting me up to speed with the accounting audit.” adds Chris. “The Trust’s finance team have always found Compass a pleasure to deal with and going through the accounts for the Trust and the trading subsidiary is always a very smooth process.”

If you are interested in visiting Kennet and Avon Canal Trust’s attractions you can find opening times, directions and anything else you need to know, here:

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Introducing … Evergreen Insurance Services

Compass Accountants would like to introduce you to Dave Gardiner - the founder of the ethical business, Evergreen Insurance Services…

Property campaign

Evergreen Insurance has been providing personal and commercial services for both individuals and businesses for over 2 years - but it isn’t your average run of the mill provider.

Founder of Evergreen, Dave Gardiner, has a love and passion for nature and the environment, which is the driving force behind the business. With an impressive background in insurance and 20 years’ experience in the industry, Dave launched Evergreen in 2017, when he decided to positively impact the environment whilst providing a service.

How is this done? Well, when clients of Evergreen sign up, they choose from one of over 20 different environmental and wildlife charities that the business supports, and a percentage of the commission fees that Evergreen earns are donated to that particular charity (at no extra cost to clients).

In the first year, this contribution is 10% of Evergreens' commission fee, in the second this rises to 15%, and on the third- (and all other consecutive years)- 25% of profits from each client go to the chosen charities. Evergreen even strives to demonstrate to clients the direct impact their custom has had, by providing tangible evidence and feedback from the respective charity projects.

“What we offer is quite unique.” Explains Dave Gardiner. “Many organisations may make a donation towards a specific project or may have a trust for charities - but there isn’t really anyone like us that says, if you take a policy out with us you will support a particular charity of your choice.”

The charities that Evergreen supports are a varied group of causes including the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust, Buglife, LionAid, Butterfly Conservation, Just One Ocean, League Against Cruel Sports, Whale and Dolphin Conservation and many, many more.

“The person taking out the policy can decide on the charity they support – and if they are unable to choose, the profits can be spread across all.” continues Dave, “We are also constantly looking for environmental programmes, charities and conservation parties to team up with to increase the causes we support.”

“We want to grow our business to help our clients with their commercial and personal insurance needs whilst helping to support the natural world. This is a business model that comes from a passionate person, who loves wildlife, who has seen a way of making a change whilst running a business.”

“We are as passionate about providing great insurance solutions coupled with outstanding service as we are about the natural world and want to help raise much needed funds to protect our precious environment. Many people are unaware of the fact that making choices about your day to day purchases can have a huge impact on that planet.”

“We are now about to embark on various other projects, for example we hope to partner with a 100% renewable energy company and a not-for-profit telephony company that buys land to develop and sustain meadow environments.”

If you would like to find out more about Evergreen’s personal OR commercial insurance services, please go to the website and learn about the different charities you can make a difference to.

Evergreen can help with a broad range of insurance needs from charities, offices, shops and vehicle fleets to home, pets and holidays.

You can request your quote from the Evergreen website

Or by calling: 020 3372 2160 (Mon - Fri – 9am-5.30pm)

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Property campaign

Compass warns landlords of HMRC’s property campaign

Free advice to be offered to landlords

Compass Accountants has issued a warning to landlords in the Hampshire area that the HMRC is about to reinforce its campaign to target residential landlords generating an income from properties. 

We are currently warning landlords that the HMRC is using new information about property rentals to identify property owners who have not fully declared their income.

If an individual does not make a voluntary disclosure now and HMRC finds out later, they could be charged higher penalties, or even face criminal prosecution.

Director of Compass Accountants, Kerry Lawrance explains, “In many cases, certain people are completely unaware of the fact that they need to complete a tax return for money gained through letting. For example, those who have inherited a property, rented out a property to cover mortgage payments, or moved in with someone else and now rent out their property, will all need to pay tax on their earnings. If you are someone who fits into this, or a similar category, we would strongly advise taking action, and making a voluntary disclosure. This way, you will avoid higher penalties or even criminal prosecution.”

There is no specific deadline date for disclosure as the campaign is ongoing. HMRC are expected to consider the circumstances of each individual, however, deliberately withholding information will lead to a higher penalty than if people have simply made a mistake.

We are offering free consultation meetings to discuss the issue with landlords, where we will explain the implications and guide people through the process of disclosure.

To book a free consultation with us, call 01329 844145 or email

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Client Focus

This month we catch up with Compass Accountant’s client and business owner, Ian Hooper- of Hooper Services Ltd

It was back in 1990, that as a heating engineer, Ian Hooper decided to launch his own business. Initially, as a sole trader, he focused mainly on the repair of numatic vacuums and ran the business from his mum’s conservatory. Fast forward 29 years, and Hooper Services Ltd is a well-established business with a showroom, offices, workshop and warehouse, employing 14 people from its site in Farlington, Portsmouth.

“Our service offering has continuously developed.” explains Ian. “Now, not only do we provide repairs for cleaning equipment, we also provide Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), we offer training courses, supply white goods, machinery and chemical products and are now the preferred suppliers for around 20 local authorities across the UK.”

The development of the contracts with the various local authorities has also led Hooper Services to generate further business across a variety of fields. “Our work is varied.” continues Ian. “As are the sectors we work within. We have several contracts to supply white goods and cleaning equipment- from a Henry vacuum to machinery that you drive- we also PAT test schools, care homes, offices and factories, to mention a few, and provide janitorial products and electrical maintenance.”

“It’s very rare that we aren’t able to save an organisation money – be it a business or local authority. Because we are independent, we aren’t tied to a brand therefore we can really show people the true breadth of their options. And, we don’t just sell- we repair and service all the items we sell. Typically, if something goes wrong, a business will have to box something up and send it back – all of which is very time consuming. We are able to despatch an engineer immediately, to resolve the issue and we can repair or even replace the goods straight away. We like to think we can go anywhere and come up with a solution to a problem, whether its electrical maintenance, white goods, PAT testing or cleaning machinery.”

“We now have plans of further expansion, as we are about to begin using a brand-new range of products. These are expected to be a huge success as they don’t use chemicals. We are also about to start using a new innovative sanitising product that electrically charges water and allows you to sanitise a room in approximately 15 minutes – which will save organisations a huge amount of time.”

On Meeting Compass

Ian explains how Hooper services came to be a client of Compass Accountants:

“It was a few years ago now, that we had decided that we wanted more from our existing accountancy firm, and so we looked around at other local accountants. We went through a process of interviews and Compass stood out as the most approachable, and amenable. We decided to go with them and weren’t disappointed. They have always been very friendly and easy to work with.”

If you would like to find out more about Hooper Services Ltd - or would like to visit their website - go to

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Client Focus

In this month’s Client Focus, we catch up with Chris Jay, founder and Managing Director of Bascule Disability Training. Bascule is a new social enterprise that provides disability awareness training for businesses that recently provided training for the Compass team…

Chris Jay, the Managing Director and Founder of the recently launched social enterprise, Bascule Disability Training- is no stranger to Compass Accountants. In his role as Executive Chairman for the charity Enable Me, Chris had also previously been a client of Compass.

Sadly, in July 2018, due to a number of contributing factors including a lack of funding for schools and difficulties in recruiting, supporting and retaining volunteers, the charity was forced to close its doors after 14 years of working with schools, businesses and universities.

“Eventually, I had to separate the value of the work Enable Me was doing, from the vehicle that was delivering it.” Explains Chris. “Budgetary restraints and financial pressures have inevitably forced schools to make many cutbacks, leading to a significant reduction in extracurricular activity, resources and training. As a result, the necessity for disability awareness training in schools has become increasingly overlooked.” Says Chris.

After the closure of the charity Chris decided to focus on continuing to deliver disability awareness training for businesses and universities- but through a new social enterprise that would donate 75% of its profits to the provision of free disability awareness training in state schools.

“You could say that Bascule Disability Training is the spiritual successor to Enable Me.” Says Chris.

The unique disability awareness training Bascule provides empowers businesses to provide open, inclusive organisations, for both their staff and their target clientele. Through these user-led, interactive modules and workshops, workforces gain a firmer understanding of disability and its organisational benefits.

“Most importantly, for every business that implements disability awareness training, we are able to deliver two school training sessions, free of charge.” continues Chris.

Facing facts

“Most people are shocked to learn, that ignoring the needs of people with disabilities costs UK businesses around £1.8 billion per month.” Says Chris. “At Bascule we aim to help businesses become disability aware so that they can build the bridge between people, policy and inclusive practice.”

“Another amazing statistic is that 67% of the British public admit to feeling ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘awkward’ when talking to people with disabilities. This is also something we help businesses with, by making staff more aware and understanding of people with disabilities- especially team members that work with the general public.”

Reappointing Compass

As soon as Bascule was in a position to launch, Chris made no hesitation in contacting Compass to reinstate the team.

“I didn’t even consider another accountancy firm” says Chris, “I had no reason to and it wasn’t just for the quality of their core work. It was also because of the 'family feel' that runs through the company.”

Having aspired to be a more inclusive business itself, Compass was one of Bascule’s first clients, and the Compass team were provided with an introduction to disability awareness in October 2018. Compass Director Stuart Lawrance explains: “It is our aim to be in a more favourable position in terms of our appeal to both potential clients and employees with disabilities. Bascule’s introduction was very insightful, informative and enjoyable for all of our team. We already feel more equipped to help facilitate any clients with disabilities in terms of making reasonable adjustments and the whole team has certainly gained a more in-depth understanding of disability.”

Chris added, “Everyone at Compass has a genuine desire to understand and support your business in its development and that counts for so much. You can pick up the phone and talk to someone and not just anyone, but someone experienced and knowledgeable. Being with Compass makes you feel like you are in very safe hands and as someone steering a new business, that reassurance is very important.”

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If you are interested in Bascule’s disability awareness training, or would like to ask Chris more about how Bascule can help your business- call now on 0330 3800662 or email or to visit the Bascule website go to:

New App

Compass launches new and improved app!

Following the ever-increasing use of mobile phones in business, Compass has now made further improvements to our company app, to ensure that our clients are even more up-to-date and well informed with all the information, data, news, communication tools and reminders they need.

It’s still completely FREE of charge and now enables you to collaborate with Compass whilst you are on the go, whilst accessing digital tools and critical information - anytime, anyplace.

The App can still be easily downloaded from the Compass website directly onto your iPhone, iPad or any android device. Just some of the new features include:

  • Key dates reminders and push notifications (so you never miss a deadline)
  • Help sheets and a support library
  • QRCode Scanning
  • GPS Mileage Tracker
  • Useful Tax information and resources
  • Calculators allow you to estimate your tax liabilities
  • Log in portals for Sage/ OpenSpace/ Xero/ Iris/ QuickBooks
  • Easy access and quick contact with Compass staff members
  • Free in app messages direct to and from Compass
  • Access to the Compass website, blog and our social media accounts

You can access the links to the app on the Compass Accountants home page- or alternatively search for Accountant Go on Google Play or iTunes, then enter the code- LKETUV or search for Compass Accountants on the ‘Find Your Accountant Screen’.

Jim on a hover board

Jim demonstrates a hover board

Client Focus

In this Client Focus, we visit Jim Gray, Trustee at the Hovercraft Museum - and a Compass Accountants client- based in Lee-on-Solent…

There aren’t many museums that can say they are ‘the only one of their kind in the world’- but the Hovercraft Museum certainly can, and its uniqueness doesn’t end there. As well as being a Transport Heritage site it is also has a Grade 2 listed hangar and 50 different hovercrafts within the confines of its vast location. Walking through the gates alone is a step back in history as the site was previously the HM Naval Seaplane Training School (1917) and the busiest airfield in the South of England on “D” Day. 

All of the hovercraft vary enormously in type, size and historical relevance and after a tour with the museum’s Trustee, Jim Gray, it was swiftly apparent that each and every exhibit also has a fascinating back story.

The first exhibit is the largest of all, a hovercraft Jim describes as ‘The Jewel in the Crown’ also known as The Princess Anne (or the SRN4). It is the largest car carrying hovercraft in the world- and the only one of its kind in existence. Launched in 1969, its final trip as a car carrier took place in 2000, before it was shortly bought back for restoration as an exhibit at the museum.

“This hovercraft would take as little as 35 minutes to travel from Dover to Calais.” explains Jim, “It could take 60 cars and up to 418 passengers, and it could travel in winds of up to gale force 9.”

Boarding the exhibit is like taking a step back in time as it has been left exactly as it was when it was a functioning hovercraft, with mannequins on board donning the original deck crew uniform. There is even a small duty-free bar area, located amongst the craft’s original premier class seating area.

After boarding the Princess Anne, Jim continued with a captivating tour, providing one fascinating story after another, revealing craft of all kinds, from one that had once appeared in a James Bond film, to others that had appeared on the TV show, Scrapheap Challenge, as well as various other commercial, military, multi-purpose and even recreational hovercraft.

Telling stories of the history and the development of the hovercraft, Jim described the relevance of each craft and also gave anecdotes about former owners of the exhibits, such as The Sultan of Oman, who not only owned a craft (now on display), but also contributed towards its restoration costs. Jim also showed an Australian Olympic Opening ceremony hoverboard, a rescue craft, and a few amateur self-built hovercrafts.

“As a museum, we are continuing to develop in many ways. We are currently exploring and devising a programme for groups of children to come, view exhibits and create simple models and gain an understanding of how hovercraft actually work. We also hold annual hovershows, and we work in partnership with Hovertravel- the UK’s only Hovercraft ferry operators, periodically offering rides to the Isle of Wight for lunch as a part of a day at the museum.”

“Now we are looking for volunteers to help us to develop as we rely heavily on their help. There are opportunities in the shop, in the ticket office, Guides to be trained to provide tours, site maintenance, craft restoration, IT and lots more.”

In addition to the exhibits, the museum also boasts the largest hovercraft archive collection in the world with an extensive library, plans, photographs, films, documents, magazines, paintings, models and other artefacts.

Becoming a Compass client

As a relatively new client, Jim explains how The Hovercraft Museum came to know about Compass Accountants, “We met Stuart at a Chamber of Commerce event and were very pleased to learn that Compass was an accountancy firm with expertise in charities and museums. We are so delighted to have made the connection, as their knowledge and guidance has already been so valuable. When Stuart invited us to the Compass office, it was immediately obvious that Compass could provide something we were missing.”

If you are interested in visiting the Hovercraft Museum- go to

If you would like any information on volunteering opportunities email Jim at

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Ten Questions with Compass Accountants Director - Stuart Lawrance

Ten Questions with Compass Accountants Director - Stuart Lawrance

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. After a holiday, a house for each of my adult children.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. My college tutor recommended me for an interview at Compass. Told me not to make a fool of myself and I’d probably get the job – 31 years later and I’m still here.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Notting Hill

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. This one

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. My gran – she died before I passed my professional exams and had my first son- who she would have liked to have known.

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The team are like family

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. Telekinesis (probably because of my answer to question 9)

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. It has to be Lake Garda – (it’s where I married Kerry!)

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. A Jedi (still do)

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I once rode the Eurostar back from France in the cab of the train. That tunnel isn’t straight!

Compass is Approved to Provide Probate Services

Probate Services

Compass Accountants is proud to announce that Director - Kerry Lawrance, is now fully licensed by The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) to carry out probate work.

Probate, (the process undertaken throughout the administration the estate of someone who is deceased), was a service limited to solicitors up until recently, and as a result Compass Accountants are one of only a small number of accountancy firms licensed to carry out the services.

Kerry commented, “I am delighted to now be fully licensed to provide probate work as a new service for Compass Accountants. The organisation of the probate of an estate can be very complicated and a daunting procedure and if not done properly, can be expensive. We are therefore very pleased to be able to offer probate services for both new and existing clients, during their difficult times. Combining inheritance tax planning and probate services will now enable Compass to act as a one-stop-shop for our client’s business advisory services.”

Compass Accountants can now guide clients through the complications of inheritance tax, income tax and capital taxes, ensuring that the amount of tax that needs to be paid from the estate is minimised. Furthermore, Compass will work with clients and beneficiaries to set in place plans to minimise future tax burdens.

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member - Isabella Brady

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member - Isabella Brady

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. I would buy a House!

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I got into it from School

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Gone With The Wind

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. I was a Saturday girl in Woolworths

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. It would be my Mum and Dad

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. Definitely my work Colleagues

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. I would like to be able to fly – Then I’d never have to sit in traffic!

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Australia

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. I wanted to be an actress

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I won’t ever drink shots on a night out!

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member Nigel Daruvalla

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member - Nigel Daruvalla

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. I’d go on a world-wide luxury holiday

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I was a clerical trainee at the Portsea Island Co-op head office and after spending time in various accounts departments I really enjoyed working in the management accounts section so decided that was where I wanted to go.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Karate Kid

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. Window cleaner as a summer job

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. Bruce Springsteen – the Boss!

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The people - they are all so friendly and a great team to work with.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. To be able to fly so that I can get to places really quickly.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. India – my dad took me there to see where he was brought up and the country, it was a great experience.

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. Lorry driver – I think it was the Yorkie bar advert on TV that did it!

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. When I was a teenager I (allegedly) swallowed a gold fish at a drunken party.

Compass improves inclusivity with disability awareness training

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We have recently embarked on our first steps in becoming a more inclusive business, by appointing Bascule Disability Training to implement staff training.

Bascule Disability Training – a Southampton based disability awareness training provider (and Compass client) provided a bespoke package specifically for various members of the Compass team. 

Hosted by Chris Jay- the managing director of Bascule - the training content covered issues including disability definition, disclosure and reasonable adjustment. The training was implemented due to Compass’ aspirations to becoming more of an inclusive organisation.

“It is our aim to be in a more favourable position in terms of our appeal to both potential clients and employees with disabilities.” Our Director Stuart Lawrance explained.

“Bascule’s introduction was very insightful, informative and enjoyable for all of our team. We already feel more equipped to help facilitate any clients with disabilities in terms of making reasonable adjustments and the whole team has certainly gained a more in-depth understanding of the true definition of disability.”

As a social enterprise, Bascule Disability Training invests 75% of its profits into providing disability awareness training programmes for pupils in state schools, free of charge, to promote inclusion, understanding and empathy amongst children and young people. Each business training session pays for -on average- two Bascule training sessions in schools.

“It’s been a great pleasure training the staff of Compass Accountants.” explains Bascule’s Managing Director Chris Jay. “Compass have made a big step on their journey to becoming a more inclusive business, which will eventually bring them many benefits. 67% of the British public feel ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘awkward’ talking to disabled people – so any business with client facing staff really should focus on becoming more confident in communicating with people with disabilities and understanding their needs.”

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Client Focus - Laura Bowyer - Employment Matters

Client Focus - Laura Bowyer - Employment Matters

This month, we speak to Laura Bowyer, Compass client, specialist in employment law, HR & mediation and owner of the consultancy firm- Employment Matters.

Eight years ago Laura Bowyer made the bold decision, following her employment with a city based law firm, to start her own firm in Warsash, Southampton. Since making that decision, she has built a strong clientele and the foundations of a business she is proud to be at the helm of. 

Having worked in employment Law for over 25 years now- Laura has honed her skills and expertise to be able to offer a bespoke service to both businesses and individuals, allowing them access to her expertise in a way that best suits them.

“I aim to offer my services either on a retained or on an ad-hoc basis.” explains Laura. “Which allows businesses to access guidance on any HR or employment law issues, as and when they need it. This removes the huge expense of hiring a lawyer or employing an HR Director/Manager.”

“For any business- even if they have as little as one employee – HR and employment law issues are a headache, especially if you aren’t familiar with these areas. For my clients, I am always at the end of the telephone to help. My clients often contact me to just run things past me, get my opinions on the best way to do something. I also do a lot of contracts, review documents, update contracts, deal with discipline, grievances and performance reviews.”

The service Laura provides isn’t limited to companies of any particular size, as she tailors her packages specifically to each individual client, her smallest client being an employer of one staff member, her largest being a retail business chain that employs over 80.

“Of course, the more employees that a business has, the more issues arise.” says Laura. “I am what you would call a one-stop-shop and I’m therefore available to do anything from issuing a dismissal, right up to representing a company at tribunal and dealing with the case in front of a judge. I am often required to handle continued absences and manage redundancies, restructures and bullying and harassment investigations. When a business owner doesn’t have the time- or when they don’t know how to deal with such things- I can be there to develop a strategy.”

Earlier this year Laura had met Compass Director Stuart Lawrance at an event during a time when she was considering moving on from the accountants she currently employed.

“The former accountant I had worked with had presented some unexpected bills from HMRC, and those last-minute surprises were something I wanted to avoid. I met Stuart at a networking event, and we were sat next to each other – so I mentioned this and he explained that Compass always made sure clients knew what they were going to pay well in advance.  

I recently appointed Compass and I am so pleased I did. They have turned everything around and they work so efficiently and quickly.  Also- I was so surprised when Stuart told me that he had originally overestimated the original quote he gave me and therefore would be charging me less. It was so refreshing to meet such an honest and trustworthy company.  I have been really pleased with their service. My husband is a qualified gas engineer, because of the relationship I have developed with Compass, I have recommended that he goes to see Stuart. I also have a friend running their own business that is having a delicate time with their current accountant- and I have said- don’t waste any time - go and see Compass now!”

If you are interested in the HR and Employment Law services that Laura offers, or you have a question for her-  you can visit her website at :

Or email her at or call her on 07971224791.

Ten Questions with Compass Director Kerry Lawrance

Ten Questions with Compass Director Kerry Lawrance

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. Book a luxury holiday to the Maldives. I have always wanted to go, it looks like paradise!

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. It was the only thing I never wanted to do! Both my parents were accountants and you never want to do the same thing as your parents! In the end, I fell into it by accident and realised I loved it.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Notting Hill

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. Sales assistant in baby section of Boots The Chemists

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. Richard Branson

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. Dealing with a wide range of clients, who I love working with and ensure that my days are never dull.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. The power to be invisible. It would be nice to escape from the demands of work and home every now as well as being a fly on the wall some times.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Lake Garda, because I got married there.

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. A fashion designer!

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I cannot stand people writing in blue pen. I have no reason for it, I just hate blue pens!

Compass Accountants’ Quiz Night raises £3020.00 for Brain Tumour Research

29 different local businesses raise money for Brain Tumour Research at Portsmouth FC grounds.

We are delighted to announce that our third annual Quiz Night and dinner raised over £3k for the Brain Tumour Research charity.

29 local businesses gathered for the evening to raise a grand total of £3020.00 for the charity dedicated to raising funds for scientific research into brain tumours.

Brain Tumour Research were presented with a cheque on the night of the event which took place at Portsmouth Football Club. Guests attending played in their company’s teams before enjoying a dinner, various games and a raffle.

A total of 174 people attended from 29 different organisations each team consisting of six players. ITEC Connect Limited was announced as the winner on the night.

Businesses that attended included – National Museum of the Royal Navy, ITEC Connect Limited, Portchester Engineering Limited, Glanvilles LLP, The Children’s Legal Practice, Matrix IT Solutions Limited, Laura Bowyer – Employ Matters, Stellar Despatch, Portland, Barclays, Verisona Law, HantsWight Searches Limited, Beacon LLP, Liz Dayment, Steve Davis Graphic Design Limited, JPC Property Services Limited, Fareham and Crofton Cricket Club, Santander and Quality Covers All Limited.

Stuart Lawrance, Compass Director, said: “This is the third Compass Accountant’s Quiz Night we have organised – and we are pleased to say that both the number of people attending and the amount we have raised, continues to rise. All teams have been very generous and have helped to contribute towards the £7m per year Brain Tumour Research must raise to fund its Centres of Research Excellence across the UK.”

Tim Green – Senior Community Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research said, “We are extremely grateful for the support of the Compass Accountants and everyone involved in the quiz. Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers. We cannot allow this situation to continue.”

“Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at Research Centres of Excellence in the UK; it also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35m in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.”

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member Linda Hopwood

Ten Questions with Compass team member Linda Hopwood

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. Someone to cook dinner every night and wash up afterwards.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. My friend said, ‘you’re good at numbers, why don’t you work in finance?’ She later handed in my CV to Compass!

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Grease

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. Sales assistant in a shoe shop

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. Isambard Kingdom Brunel

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. I love my job.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. To turn back time

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. New York

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. Air hostess

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I have a NATO medal for active service in Former Yugoslavia during the 1993 conflict.

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member katy walden

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member Katy Walden

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. A luxury holiday!

  3. How did you get into admin?
  4. I started in admin when I first volunteered at QA Hospital.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Die Hard

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. I was a Saturday assistant in a hairdressers

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. David Beckham

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The people that work for Compass and the social events.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. I’d like to be able to control time – rewind, fast forward and slow it down.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. New Zealand

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. A hairdresser

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I always need the volume on my tv or car radio to be on numbers ending in 0 or 5.

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member Sam Beaven

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member Sam Beaven

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. I would book a luxury holiday to the Maldives.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I did work experience at school in an accountants.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Dirty Dancing

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. In an accountants – it was my dad’s accountant at the time.

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. Diana Ross

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The clients and staff are really friendly and we work as a team. The social events are always good fun.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. To be invisible so that you could spy on people.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Sri Lanka

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. A vet until I realised that I didn’t like blood!

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I’ve been told that I have a fascination with Budda’s I have them all in my house and garden!

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member Stacey Leggett

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member Stacey Leggett

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. I would pay off my mortgage.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I heard about a temporary position from my next-door neighbour, who at the time worked for Compass. The position then became part time and then full time.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Notting Hill is one of my faves, I also love the Marvell movies.

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. I worked at Holland and Barratt as a Saturday girl.

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. My grandma and Michael Buble so he could serenade us!

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. My fellow staff are great and the flexibility.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. The power of speed.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Hawaii

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. A vet

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. As a child I used to dip my toast crusts in my orange juice and eat them.

Ten Questions with Joe Curtis

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member - Joe Curtis

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. Probably a Classic Mini Cooper – pearl white - black roof.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. It was actually a career I got into by mistake!

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Any given Sunday

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. Unwrapping and placing inserts into newspapers for the co-op.

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. Rhod Gilbert

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The people.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. Healing – you could do anything without having to worry about the consequences.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Iceland

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. Fireman

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I’m a small animal enthusiast.

Client Focus- Meet Katherine and Terri from Vintage Inspired

Client Focus- Meet Katherine and Terri from Vintage Inspired!

This month we catch up with Katherine and Terri, owners of the new boutique and online vintage clothing shop, Vintage Inspired…

It was through their common interest of dance and all things vintage that Katherine and Terri met- and when Terri discovered Katherine had plans to open up a boutique selling vintage clothing and accessories, a partnership in retail was born.

Having launched the boutique based in Gosport, only a few weeks ago, Vintage Inspired has already got off to a successful start with Katherine and Terri receiving great interest from the public.

Vintage Inspired is a predominantly online business, but not limited to the internet, as it was Terri and Katherine’s intention to create a ladies boutique boudoir that allows their clients to come in peruse the garments available, and experiment with various vintage styles.

Katherine explains, “As well as offer online products, we also wanted to create an environment whereby people could come in and try on a garment from the vintage era, that they might not ordinarily wear, to open up their opportunities and have some fun. We are also offering this to small groups of ladies for hen parties and events, that may wish to explore and experiment with a vintage style, with hair and make up and even a glass or two of bubbles!”

As well as selling online and in the boutique, a great deal of Vintage Inspired’s custom is generated at various events. “We are involved in a whole range of different events and sell garments at revival weekends, such as Southwick Revival as well as military events, or occasions that don’t particularly have a vintage theme.” adds Katherine.

A large majority of the clothing Vintage Inspired sell is from vintage manufacturers, Lindy Bop - a company famous for its unique, highly collectable, limited edition, vintage prints. Vintage Inspired sell the company’s end of line stock and returns at a fraction of the original cost.  

Whilst Vintage Inspired has got off to a flying start, Katherine and Terri have not always been in the retail market. “This is relatively new to us” explains Terri, “Katherine is a qualified teacher working in parent support, and I was formerly a support worker, working with adults with challenging behaviour and learning difficulties.”

“Despite not having a background in retail, we have the skill set between us to develop, and have the capacity to understand which direction we need to go in.” adds Katherine. “We have been fortunate enough to have some very good connections in the industry that we hope to develop further.”

Looking to the future, Vintage Inspired already has aspirations to gain a stronger foothold in the online market, and raise its presence further. “We want to really develop the online aspect of our custom, and have already appointed someone to develop our online presence and increase our internet sales.” says Terri. “We are also looking to attend workshops to learn how to develop more vintage hairstyles  to broaden our offering for hen parties and ladies team building events.”

“Compass have been incredible- and we are so pleased to have them on-board.” says Katherine. They have really been a great help. They have supported us, in every step of our journey. They came to our opening -which they covered on their social media- they have been easy to talk to, very approachable and the work that they have done was completed within a very tight deadline. We have been very impressed and have already recommended them to our own contacts!”

For more information on Vintage Inspired- to contact Katherine or Terri, or to see the Vintage Inspired clothing range, visit:

Or- pop in and browse the vintage clothing, visit First Floor, 95 Priory Road, Hardway, Gosport on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 10am and 3pm.

Ten Questions with Natalie Farley

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member - Natalie Farley

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. A family holiday to Lapland.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I saw an advert in the local newspaper.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Wild Hearts can’t be broken

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. I had a job as a cleaner in a local school in the holidays.

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. It would be Vin Diesel

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. Definitely the staff and the flexibility.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. I would choose invisibility - I would love to be a fly on the wall!

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Thailand

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. An estate agent because I’m soooo nosey!

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I love lettuce on my curry!

Ten Questions with Sarah Harwood

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member - Sarah Harwood

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. A long family holiday!

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I started at Walton and Co (Compass’ former name), as an Admin Junior, I still remember my interview with John Holloway!

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Moulin Rouge

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. A Saturday job in WHSmiths

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. My Nan and Grandad

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The people - they are not just colleagues- but also friends

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. To heal people

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. My favourite place is home

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. I wanted to be a nurse

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I once had the pleasure of meeting Princess Diana whilst I was skipping college.

Client Focus - Lindsey Hood

This month, we catch up with Lindsey Hood - a Compass Accountants client and professional life and executive coach- who specialises in helping individuals with imposter syndrome…

It may come as a surprise to some, but many people’s careers are held back by the overwhelming feeling that they shouldn’t be where they are. These feelings of inadequacy, (often experienced by those in high-achieving professional positions), are also known as having ‘Imposter Syndrome’.

Those that experience imposter syndrome usually feel that they have landed in an unearned position, purely by luck or chance, despite the fact that most are intelligent and successful professionals. As a syndrome that was first identified over 40 years ago, the term is becoming more widely recognised, having been coined by clinical psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes.

Lindsey Hood is a Life and Executive Coach, (and client of Compass Accountants), and one of the very few people in the UK that has developed a specialism in working with imposter syndrome. Lindsey now uses her skills to help clients all over the UK and overseas, to learn to accept and work with these feelings.

“Initially, I use a a mixture of psychometric tools and coaching to deepen self-awareness.” explains Lindsey. “This gradually allows clients to appreciate their own unique attributes, giving them the ability to harness them and to excel in their chosen careers.”

“It’s largely about understanding yourself, who you are, where you get your energies and how you can learn to use these to develop strategies that allow and enable you to be reach beyond your potential.”

“The ability to know and identify what gives us energy means you can utilise your own uniqueness to be able to implement simple strategies, to show up in all situations in a way that is authentic to your true self.” adds Lindsey.

Based in Southampton, many of Lindsey’s clients are from the Hampshire area- but she has also worked with various organisations in London. However, her clients are not limited to the UK, as many of her sessions take place via Skype or Zoom - allowing her services to reach as far as the US.

“At the moment there are many companies trying to reduce the gender pay gap, and as a result, more and more women are moving into senior positions. This has meant that I am working with various organisations looking to offer support to female staff members who may need assistance with that transition. Of course, not everyone does- but often certain individuals require some support to help them get up to speed. Assisting those returning from maternity leave is another area I am supporting many businesses with.”

Having been qualified as a life coach for almost 6 years, it was in 2017 that Lindsey made the jump to develop the services she has been offering into a full-time business.

“I made the decision that I wanted to be the UK’s ‘Go-To’ life coach for imposter syndrome and it wasn’t long after I made that decision, that I met Stuart from Compass, who explained that it was the perfect time to get an accountant on board.”

“Because I offer a service -and I am the product- I hadn’t really properly considered running things as ‘a business’ as such, but Compass gave me a great framework to work with and sat down and talked to me about making the right plans. They gave me the grounding and explained both what I need to think about- and what I don’t need to- which was really useful. They simplified everything.”

“It was great to speak with an accountancy firm that was totally honest and transparent- and they couldn’t be nicer! There was no pressure to come on board – but I came away and thought- I fully trust them- and I feel confident that they’ll do a great job for me.”

If you are interested in the life and executive coach services Lindsey offers or you would like to find out more about imposter syndrome – visit her website

Ten Questions with

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member - Sarah McInnes

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. Holiday

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. By accident – started at a firm training as a bookkeeper and was given the opportunity to train as an accountant.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Dirty Dancing

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. A fruit & veg shop worker in Waterlooviille

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. No-one famous – my Dad

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. Definitely the people

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. To read peoples minds

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. My bed

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. An English teacher

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I am a big fan of WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment)

Ten Questions with

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member - Becky

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. A Villa in Florida

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I always liked maths and art and so I decided that there was probably more money to be made in maths and so I did a maths degree at Uni.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Spectre - or my favourite film growing up - The Three Musketeers (the Disney one). I would struggle to choose between the two.

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. I was a pot washer at a pub owned by my mum’s friend at 15. When I was old enough I started behind the bar and loved it!

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. Walt Disney

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. I have made a lot of friends working here. I like the way we all get on and help each other. And we also have lots of fun!

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. Fly – save on airfares!

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. Something arty. I’d still like to be arty when I grow up…

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I was born on the anniversary of Walt Disney’s death. There must be something in that…

CEO Sleepout for charity

Compass ‘sleeps rough’ and raises over £1k for local homelessness

Compass Accountants team members Stuart Lawrance and Natalie Farley, recently joined almost 100 other business men and women from the Portsmouth area, to raise funds for local homelessness.

As a part of the CEO Sleepout -an event whereby business leaders ‘sleep rough’ to raise both money and awareness for homelessness- Stuart (Compass Director) and Natalie, (Marketing Manager), spent the night in Portsmouth Football Club’s stadium, Fratton Park. 

Between them, Stuart and Natalie raised over £1,000, but the grand total of money raised by all of the participants at the event is expected to be close to £50,000.

“This was a great event to be involved in and we are both very proud to have come together with other businesses and members of the community to raise awareness and funds for such an important cause” said Stuart Lawrance.  

The money raised from the event will now be split between the Society of St James, Pompey in the Community and the national CEO Sleepout.

M.S King and Son

This month we catch up with Compass Client, Kevin King, owner of the Butcher shop- M.S King and Son, who talks about the importance of trust in the community, and the 8 million sausages he has made by hand...

MS King and Son today

It was back in 1964 that Kevin King’s dad, Malcolm began working in a butcher shop in Milton, near Southsea. After working at the butchers (then named ‘Coopers), for one year, he then became manager and by 1972, he bought the business. Fast forward to 2018 and his son Kevin is running the shop, but Malcolm, now aged 73, is still very much still in the frame, helping Kevin out during the busiest times.

Kevin starts work with his dad

“I started working for my dad as soon as I could, which was on Saturdays when I was just 12-years-old.” says Kevin. “Back then, the shop was called ‘M.S King- Family Butchers’, but when I left school at 16, I started full time. It was then that dad renamed the business to ‘M.S King and Son’.”

15 years ago, Malcolm handed the keys over to Kevin, but he has always been involved in the business. Even after retiring three years ago, Malcolm returns from his house in Spain from May to June, and during Christmas and other busy periods, to help out.  Keeping with family tradition, Kevin’s nephew also works at the butchers, and has done for over 18 years.

Located in the heart of the community of Milton, M.S King and Son has continued to be a thriving business throughout the 55 years it has been open. “Lately we have seen even more of a rise in custom- and this is mainly because peopletrust their local butcher.” says Kevin. “The larger supermarkets have been the centre of all sorts of scandals, and as a result, people feel like they don’t know where their meat is coming from. We, on the other hand are completely traceable- we have good relationships with the farms we use, which are three very reputable suppliers, so we’re confident about the quality of our produce and where it has come from. People trust us- and have done for many years, so it’s very important for us to provide the best possible produce and service.”

In May 2015, the shop was awarded third place, in The News’ ‘Butcher of the Year Award’ and most recently, M.S King and Son received a certificate from the Mayor of Portsmouth for its work with charities and the community, having regularly been involved in fundraising and volunteering for local causes. “We have always felt it is important to give a bit of time and money back to the loyal community that come in your shop.” said Kevin.

When asked about the secret of M.S King and Son’s long-term success, Kevin explained the importance of community. “Firstly – we care about our customers- they come in and chat and we are seen as part of the community, not just a business. We see our customers as people, not a number. They are our friends, and so we love to give them our time. We are also proud of the quality we provide. A good example of this, is that we do a lot of carcass beef, lamb and pork. Supermarkets don’t do this- it’s all boxed- whereas we take it off the bone. And, if a customer wants something specific or needs a certain cut- then we can do it.”

Another reason for the shop’s success is Kevin’s reputation as the best sausage maker in town. Not only has this skill earnt him several awards-  he also estimates that he has handmade around 8 million sausages since the 1980s!

Working with Compass

M.S King and Son’s long history as a local business and part of the community is also reflected in its relationship with Compass Accountants, having been one of the first businesses that Compass ever signed.

“I think Dad joined Compass very soon after the company was launched which would have been in 1981! I do believe that M.S King and Sons were the third client Compass ever had!”

“The amount of years we have been with Compass is testament to their service. With Compass as your accountants, everything just runs smoothly – they deal with all our finance without any fuss, and I would, without a doubt recommend them to anyone!”

If would like to find out more about M.S. King and Sons, they are located on 273 Milton Road, Milton, Portsmouth, PO4 8PQ.

You can find them on Facebook (HERE ), or you can contact Malcolm or023 9275 2015

CEO Sleepout for charity

Compass Staff Join in on the CEO Sleepout for charity

Compass Director, Stuart Lawrance and Marketing Manager Natalie Farley are preparing to raise money for homelessness and poverty in Portsmouth, by sleeping on the pitch of Fratton Park, (Portsmouth Football Club’s stadium), as a part of the ‘CEO Sleepout’.

The Compass team members will swap the comfort of their beds to sleep under the stars in a sleeping bag for just one night to help raise vital funds to combat poverty and homelessness alongside other local executives and business leaders in Portsmouth.

Stuart and Natalie will aim to raise £1000 on JustGiving by asking contacts, colleagues, friends and family to sponsor them.

Stuart Lawrance commented, “We hadn't appreciated the scale of homelessness in our own area and when we found out about the CEO Sleepout, Natalie and I thought it would be very different way to raise awareness and funds to help combat this.”

The CEO Sleepout takes place on 16th April 2018.

If you would like to sponsor Stuart and Natalie on their sleepout- please go to their Just Giving

Beleza Beauty

This month, we catch up with Compass Client, Michele Tull, who tells us about the launch of her new business venture, Beleza Beauty...

It was back in April that Michele discovered that her local beauty salon was up for sale. Having been a regular customer at the salon for some time, and understanding the excellent location and premises of the salon, Michele saw this as a great opportunity and bought the business.

Based in the heart of Warsash Village, the beauty salon, (then named ‘Pink Me Up Boutique’) already had an established clientele, which Michele was certain she could develop further through the refurbishment and redecoration of the salon. Michele also introduced new treatments and products, and rebranded the beauty salon, to become Beleza Beauty.

“It was always my aim to offer all the beauty treatments and pampering services which our customers wanted, under one roof and within a beautiful and tranquil setting.” explains Michele. “We have quite a large space to do this in, with three separate treatment rooms, a large main manicure area, a pedicure area and a tanning room.”

In this space, the salon offers a wide variation of treatments including manicures, pedicures, waxing, threading, acrylic nails, nail art, tanning, facials, massages, eye-lash tinting, eye-lash lifts and extensions, hopi ear candles, make-up and hair up and more.

“The aim is to provide a spa experience in one day” explains Michele. “Having become the owner of the business, I have been lucky enough to retain some of the staff, but I also have recruited more staff to expand further. Generally, the whole reopening has been a great success and we are all very pleased.”

Having hit the ground running with the reopening of the salon, and now employing seven members of staff, Michele is now keen to enhance the treatments and what we can offer. “We have recently teamed up with Chris Airey from CJA Aesthetics and will now offer non-surgical aesthetic treatments for subtle, beautiful, lasting results. Again, more to follow.” Adds Michele.

Still very much involved in her other business, Building Integrated Services, Michele explains how she was already aware of Compass Accountants.

“Obviously, my husband and I were already clients of Compass through our other business, and over the years, we had been more than happy with the service we had received, so it made perfect sense for me to get Compass on board for the launch of Beleza Beauty.”

“As predicted Compass have been fabulous - they are always so helpful. They have done lots to help with the new business and also look after the wages for the salon. They always help me with any queries I have. The wonderful thing about Compass is that they talk to you in a very normal language. Some accountants can throw all the information and jargon at you, but Compass break it all down and keep it simple. Running a business can mean you have a lot to do - and Compass understand that. They simplify everything to make life easier for you.”

If you are interested in visiting Beleza Beauty or would like to find out more about treatments at the salon, or call 01489 557 961 to book an appointment.

Compass reaches finals for The News Business Excellence Awards!

We are delighted to announce that we have been named as finalists in the category of ‘Employer of the Year’ at The News Business Excellence Awards.

The awards are designed to recognise, reward and celebrate successful businesses and professional individuals in the Portsmouth region.

Entries for the awards, now in their seventeenth year, were assessed by a panel of judges who reviewed the evidence of each business considering achievements and excellence in their field.

“We are very proud to have been selected as finalists for the ‘Employer of the Year’ category and are looking forward to the ceremony on February 23rd.” Said Director Kerry Lawrance.

“We feel being named as finalist - for what is an extremely competitive award - is already a great achievement. The Compass team is critical to the company’s success, therefore to be recognised for our staff relations, training, retention and care- is a great honour.”

Judging will be undertaken by a panel of experts representing the business community and the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.

The winners of these highly-prestigious awards will be announced at a gala black-tie dinner held at the Portsmouth Guildhall on Friday, February 23rd 2018.

Wish us luck!

Portchester Engineering

Portchester Engineering logo

This month we catch up with Sam Morrison, Managing Director of Portchester Engineering, who tells us about her career journey from the workshop to the Director’s office…

As a specialist manufacturer of complex components, Portchester Engineering was established back in 1959, when the current Managing Director’s father-in-law launched the business.

Since then, the business has evolved from being a manual machine workshop, to a fast and flexible, 24/7 ‘computer numerically controlled’ (or CNC) facility. This means that computers control the machinery throughout the manufacturing process, allowing Portchester Engineering to meet the tight deadlines for orders- whilst still reaching a standard of excellence in all their products.

Based in Fareham, the business works in several sectors providing components for super-yachts, motor sports and the aerospace sector - as well providing components for the machinery used in food production, the marine industry and for medical equipment.

Over the years, Managing Director, Sam Morrison has seen several changes having started her career with the business back in 1994, when she cut her teeth on the workshop floor. Now she owns the business having bought it from her father-in-law back in 2002.

“Things have certainly changed a lot since then” explains Sam, “Technology has advanced rapidly, and – like any business- it is important for us to keep abreast with such advances. We therefore continually invest in the latest high-tech CNC machinery, tooling & CAD machining software, all of which enables us to accept our customers machining requirements via the internet.”

“I feel that starting my career on the workshop floor has been of great benefit to how I run the business in terms of having the knowledge and understanding how the manufacturing process works. In fact- I still go out and work on the workshop floor now- if things get very busy!”

To cope with the rising demand and increased workload, Portchester Engineering is currently developing the machinery it uses to improve output and the speed of the components it manufactures.

“We currently employ eight members of staff,” adds Sam, “But once the new units are up and running, we plan on expanding our workforce.”

As a long term client of Portchester Engineering, Sam appointed Compass Accountants’ service the same year she took over the company, back in 2002.

“We had an accountant back then, but were interested in changing. I remember doing a little research and coming across Compass. That is when we met Kerry, who still works with us, and has been absolutely great over the years. Compass help us with all of our tax needs and are always quick to respond with useful and helpful advice. We consider them a part of our overall team now.”

If you would like to find out more about Portchester Engineering’s services- call 023 9237 4771 - Or, email Sam Morrison - Managing Director

Compass ‘Quiz Night’ raises £2k for Children’s Charity

125 people attend from 12 different organisations to raise money for LUPS at Portsmouth FC

We are very proud to announce that our second annual Quiz Night was a huge success. The quiz and dinner raised a total of £2,000.00 for the Fareham based charity LUPS (Let Us Play Scheme).

It was a fantastic evening with many of our colleagues, partners and clients attending. LUPS, the charity that enables children with disabilities to reach their potential in interactive play environments, received the proceeds from the evening.

The Quiz took place at Portsmouth Football Club, and guests enjoyed a dinner, various games and a raffle.  A total of 125 people from 12 different organisations played in 19 different teams of six players. It was Copyrite that were announced as winners at the end of the evening!

We would like to offer a big thanks to all the other teams that attended including, Matrix IT Solutions Limited, JPC Property Services Limited, Glanvilles, Portland Business and Financial Solutions, Stokes Solicitors, The Children’s Legal Practice, Hants Wight Searches, Hampshire Hackers and QCA -Quality Covers All.

Stuart Lawrance, Director of Compass Accountants said, “We are delighted that the quiz has been such a success. Everyone who has attended has generously contributed to a very worthy cause. LUPS are an important local charity that not only provides a wonderful service to children with disabilities- it also provides families with very much needed short breaks.”

Liza Byatt - Pups and Mutts

This month we catch up with our client Liza Byatt, who explains how she broke out of office confinement to launch her own dog walking and grooming business- ‘Pups and Mutts’

For someone that is adventurous, enjoys the outdoors, loves walking and adores dogs- making the decision to launch a dog walking business was an easy one. Liza Byatt launched Pups and Mutts in November 2016 and since then, she has developed a strong clientele of dog owners in the Lee on Solent, Stubbington, Titchfield and Locks Heath area.

“I had been working in an office job in the telecommunications industry for about two years- but being confined to an office is not where I pictured myself.” Explains Liza. “So, I decided to combine all the things I love to develop a dog walking and grooming business, which I must say, is a decision I’m glad I made.”

Liza now offers local dog owners a menu of flexible services, including garden visits -where she drops into customer’s homes to let their dog out- group walks -where she walks a number of dogs together- and private walks where she takes single dogs out for a stroll.

Looking forward, Liza has plans to develop her business by extending her offering and creating a studio to provide a purpose-built space for dog grooming. She says, “I’m currently studying for a City and Guilds (Level 3) in dog grooming and so I attend college once a week. The course focuses on the principles and practices of modern dog grooming techniques. It also covers health and safety, dog behaviour, handling techniques, animal welfare and much more.”

“Dog owners want to be assured that you have a good knowledge of all aspects of looking after their pets- and that they will be safely supervised and well looked after,” explains Liza. “In this business you have to be well prepared and have all the right equipment.”

“Eventually I’ll be adding dog day care and boarding- for clients looking for regular support and care. I’ll offer a service for those looking for dog care when they are at work. I’ll also cater for those going on holiday.” Looking to the future, Liza aims to buy a house in the next three years, and will convert an area of her home into a grooming studio for clients.

“In the next few months, I aim to get a van- and before I do, Compass will be the first people I approach for advice.” she adds. “Since launching the business, using Compass has been one of the best moves I have made. My brother recommended Compass- as he uses them, and my Dad originally recommended them to my brother- so you could say the firm is in the family! My brother and dad had only good things to say about them, so I knew they’d be right for me.”

“I wasn’t going to get an accountant at first- but when I spoke to them they made everything clear and easy. It was an immediate weight off my shoulders, knowing everything was in safe hands. They were they were so helpful- so kind and friendly. Now, I just don’t worry anymore!

From an outsiders point of view its daunting becoming self-employed or a sole trader. Even my self-employed friends couldn’t answer some of the questions I had - but now I know -my accountant always has the answer!

Liza offers group dog walking services for £10.00, single dog walking services for £15.00 and garden visits for £7- she also has various loyalty schemes and offers. If you would like to enquire about her services call her on 07387070481 or message her on Facebook:

Compass Team celebrate with a weekend away in London

This August the Compass Team were treated to a no-expenses spared, five-star weekend away in London to say ‘thanks’ for all their recent hard work.

The Directors hired a ‘party bus’ to take the team from the office to London, driving directly to the luxurious rooms of The Shangri-La Hotel in The Shard, where all 16 staff members stayed.

The team then celebrated with drinks and a private dining experience in the hotel and then, the following day, they took in the sights, enjoyed a river cruise on the Thames and visited some of London’s most famous landmarks.

Director Stuart Lawrance also marked the occasion by celebrating his 30th year with Compass. Having begun working at Compass Accountants as a trainee accountant at the age of 18, Stuart is now a director of the organisation, which he co-owns with wife, Kerry.

Stuart said, “This trip has been a celebration of all the hard work and dedication of every member of the Compass team given over many years, and this is our way of thanking everyone for their loyalty and commitment to the company.”

Compass welcomes the Museum of Army Flying

Compass Accountants is very pleased to welcome on board its newest client, The Museum of Army Flying.


The Museum of Army Flying. The museum, based in Middle Wallop, tells the distinguished and powerful story of flying in the British Army - from experiments with balloons in the 19th century to today’s modern Army Air Corps.

The museum itself contains over 40 aircraft and hundreds of interesting artefacts, with archives holding over 500,000 documents and 30,000 photographs. Located next to the Army’s airfield at Middle Wallop, visitors can sit on the café balcony and watch operational aircraft going through their paces, often just a few yards away. Young children can also enjoy the outdoor play area adjacent to the airfield.

When tickets are purchased with Gift Aid, a ticket holder has free access to the museum for a whole year –and during school holidays, the museum provides children’s activities each day between 11am and 2pm.

The museum hosts a series of fascinating talks by renowned historians as well as those giving first-hand accounts of operations in which they were previously involved with.

Last year, the Heritage Lottery Fund approved the Museum’s plans to undergo a major programme of modernisation (named‘Project Eagle’) costing £2.3m, to which the Museum has to contribute £800k. There is therefore a major fundraising campaign in progress.

The museum hopes to complete the modernisation project by late 2019. Details of all the Museum has to offer and how you can support the modernisation project can be found on their website

Stuart Lawrance, director of Compass, says ‘not only does the Museum have a huge selection of full size exhibits, but being situated adjacent to such a large grass airfield makes a visit to the café especially enjoyable.’

The Mary Rose Trust

This month, we catch up with client Sally Tyrell, the Head of Development at The Mary Rose Trust, who explains how the latest £5 million museum makeover has allowed visitors to experience the Tudor warship in a whole new way…


34 years ago, back in 1982, The Mary Rose was raised from the depths of the Solent and since then the ship has become a British icon and major attraction within Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Having sunk nearly 500 years ago, the Mary Rose is unique in that it is the only surviving 16th century warship on display, anywhere in the world.

The ship offers an unrivalled insight into Tudor life, with over 19,000 artefacts from the crew to their personal possessions and professional tools – and even the skeleton of the ship’s dog. It is no wonder that the Mary Rose Museum has earnt the title of ‘England’s Pompeii’ - (a phrase that was coined by the famous Historian, David Starkey).

Earlier this year, the Mary Rose underwent a further £5 million makeover, in a project that enabled the removal of the black drying tubes that surrounded the ship. This allows visitors to experience Henry VIII’s warship in a whole new way, offering uninhibited views and providing the most intense experience of what life was like for its crew.

'Everything on board the ship, from the crew to their possessions were found in the ship - and many thousands are on display for visitors to see” explains Sally Tyrell, Head of Development at the Trust. “Since this latest phase of work, the remaining hull can now be seen on all three levels and in all nine of galleries, meaning wherever you are in the museum, you can see the hull and relate it back to the artefacts.'

A purpose-built, state of the art museum was constructed and opened in May 2013 which reunited the hull with her unique collection of artefacts. In November 2015 the Museum closed in order for the full reveal of the hull to take place, with the new visitor experience opening to visitors again in July 2016.

'The removal of the air-drying tubes means we are now able to reveal so much more about life on the ship,' adds Sally, 'For example, we now project members of the crew directly on to the ship, demonstrating how they would have functioned- both in war and peacetime.'

'These new additions really introduce details- not just about the ship - but its crew and their human endeavour. You can follow the carpenter, master gunner, archers, the cook and many more. It really turns the wreck into a living ship.'

The overall investment of both phases of the development has cost a total of £39 million pounds. Over the years the Trust has received funds from The Heritage Lottery Fund as well as the support of many other trusts, foundations and individuals.

'Despite the Mary Rose being internationally known, we are an independent charity and receive no core government funding or grants, so we rely on income from our visitors and other money raised by ourselves. In addition we hire the venue, offering the whole museum to host seated dinners, receptions, talks and presentations, for businesses and individuals. It’s a unique venue for a gathering. In fact, we even had our first wedding this year!'

(Next year) The Mary Rose celebrates 35 years since being raised and Sally and the team are already planning celebrations and events - including a reunion of the divers that helped bring her up.


Working with Compass

The Mary Rose has been a client of Compass Accountants for over eleven years now, as Mrs Sue Wright, Head of Finance at the Trust explains: 'I joined The Mary Rose Trust back in 2013- and by then Compass had established a very strong working relationship with the charity. Since I have worked with them, they have always provided a professional and tailored service both in answering ad hoc queries, preparation of annual accounts and audits.'

'Compass have always accommodated our deadlines for accounts and audits and respond to queries quickly- they consistently take both a professional and pragmatic approach.'

'Being a small organisation, it helps really helps to work with someone who is always available to offer good advice. I really appreciate that I can call Compass with a query and speak to someone who understands and has knowledge of our organisation.'

If you would like to find out more about the Mary Rose, or you would like to support the charity by making a donation- go

FREE Compass App image

Are you benefiting from the FREE Compass App?

If you haven’t already downloaded the free Compass App, you may be missing out on easy access to all the accounting data you need.

It’s easily downloadable, available on most mobile devices and can be found on our website, or oniTunes orGoogle Play.

Once downloaded on to your device, you’ll have easy access to useful features including tax tables, calculators, GPS mileage trackers, photo receipt managers, finance news, notifications, messaging tools and lots more.

Compass App image

Our client, Sarah Sayers (a Financial Controller at Clemtech), has been using the app and has said:

 “After downloading the Compass App on my iPhone, I have found it very useful especially for checking tax brackets and using the mortgage calculators. In fact, it has actually helped me to decide how much we need to borrow to buy our new home!”

“I find having access to this information very convenient and helpful, and recommend the app to any smart phone users who need financial information at the press of a button.”

Why not try the App today, it is free, easy to download and will help you with all of your financial needs - don’t hesitate- and download yours:


Children’s Legal Practice (CLP)

This month, we catch up with client, Sarah Palmer, the Director and founder of the Children’s Legal Practice based in Fareham…

As a specialist firm of solicitors, The Children’s Legal Practice (CLP) was formed back in 2004, solely to deal with legal issues relating to children and their families. Based in Fareham, CLP’s focus is to secure the best possible outcomes for the families they work with, by drawing on their specialist expertise in law, education, and family proceedings. This expertise comes from a team of nine, led by Directors, Sarah Palmer and Kirti Patel – both of whom are members of the Law Society’s Children’s Panel.

Sarah explains, “At CLP, we provide a range of services, from dealing with care proceedings to trying to get the appropriate support for a child with complex Special Educational Needs. A large proportion of our work consists of assisting parents in finding the best educational placement to ensure their needs are met. So, for example, if a child is born with complex special needs, and is a wheelchair user, or non-verbal, then it may be parent’s wish for their child to attend a specialist school. The costs of funding this can be very high, so often the local authority must be taken to a tribunal appeal to gain that funding. Which is where we come in.”

“If you are challenging a local authority, this procedure can be very complex. Over the years we have assisted parents with virtually every special need there is, helping families with children who have autism, down-syndrome, birth injuries, dyslexia, learning needs, visual impairments- to mention just a few.”

Whilst the CLP is a small practice based in Fareham, the practice’s clients stretch as far as the midlands, but most are located in Hampshire, London, Surrey and West Sussex. Sarah attributes the success of the practice to the reputation it has earnt through recommendations from other parents with children who have complex special needs. CLP’s internet presence, and recommendations from schools, solicitors and other professionals working in this area, also contribute to the practices strong reputation.

“We have recently moved into new offices and now we are considering expansion of the CLP team.” explains Sarah. “Of course, Compass has been with us throughout every step of our journey, joining us in 2004 when company was launched. They have been a fantastic help for us over the years- and have supported us through many changes, especially with our recent move. When we relocated, we went from renting a property to purchasing our offices- and during that process, we had Stuart on speed-dial! Now we have a bigger office, and therefore we have the capacity to expand.”

“For us, having a personal relationship with your accountant really counts for a lot. We feel that Stuart knows our business very well, and can therefore tailor his advice specifically to our needs.”

To find out more about the Children’s Legal Practice- or call 01329 823322.

Fleet Air Arm Museum

Visiting Fleet Air Arm Museum - Linda’s trip down memory lane

Last month, we sent Compass Accounts’ team member, Linda Hopwood - (formally a Wren) to visit a client, at Fleet Air Arm Museum (FAAM) at Yeovilton. Here she describes how she is reunited with a familiar friend on her trip down memory lane:

“In my previous life (BC – before children) I was fortunate enough to serve as a Wren Air Engineering Mechanic (Mechanical) in the Royal Navy.  I was based at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton on 899 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) working on Sea Harriers. At that time women did not serve at sea, so the wrens on 899 NAS tended to work on the two seater training aircraft, locally known as T-Birds. The aircraft I looked after was ZB604 – Zebedee (he was already named when I took over).

Fast forward a few years and I am part of the audit team responsible for National Museum of the Royal Navy (MNRN) and Stuart asks for volunteers to visit the Fleet Air Arm Museum (FAAM) at Yeovilton. As I drive down the A303 for RNAS Yeovilton and reach the summit of Camel Hill I view my spiritual home for the first time in years. I am met by Marc Farrance and his team and am very excited to view their collection of beautiful aircraft. Dave Morris then escorts me to Cobham Hall where 30 more aircraft are cared for as there just isn’t the room to display all the aircraft in the museum. There, to one side of the hangar in all his glory is my Zebedee and we are once again reunited.  It is a very emotional moment.  Both of us have altered a little over the time and are showing signs of age, although Zebedee is sporting a new beautiful black coat (of paint). Dave tells me that Zebedee’s fate was nearly very different.  He spent 3 years outside the hangar collecting rust and dust until the FAAM asked to adopt him to complete their set of Harriers. 

Huge thanks must go to Marc, Nicky, Bob, Barbara and especially Dave for their time indulging me in my trip down memory lane.”

Linda Hopwood, Member of the Compass Accountants Team.

Blue Lamp Trust

This month, we catch up with Jim Bettley- the General Manager of the charity The Blue Lamp Trust...

In 2010, The Blue Lamp Trust was established to promote and enhance safety in communities across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Since then the trust has successfully continued to provide this free of charge service – supporting people through the development of itsBobby Scheme, which helps to prevent crime and improve the safety of thousands of homes across the county.  The scheme helps elderly and vulnerable people, enabling them to live independently with a sense of confidence and security in their own home.

In addition to this, The Blue Lamp Trust has become a leading provider of Driver Safety Training Courses. “Our Driver Training courses allow people and businesses to do many things, from lower risk and cost to reducing energy use.” explains General Manager, Jim Bettley, “Last year we helped train the staff of a company that had experienced so many accidents, that it was virtually uninsurable. After training their drivers for a year - we managed to, not only improve the situation, but actually help them significantly lower their insurance costs.”

“Our courses include taxi assessments, mini bus training, defensive driving, lorry driver accreditation, motorcycle training- you name it we do it! We also provide the only Eco-Safe driving course fully approved by the Energy Saving Trust themselves.”

The Blue Lamp Trust has keep abreast with modern technological advances and as a result, offers e-learning courses as well as more traditional classroom based courses. Looking to the future, the Trust is currently researching the utilisation of virtual reality technology to further enhance its training offering.

Jim continues, “In this modern age, people want to log-on and complete a course from their own devices, in their own locations, at their own convenience- and so our e-learning training has become very popular. However, in my opinion, nothing beats hands-on-driving courses- and technology will never replicate the variables you are exposed to when at the wheel.”

Prior to his appointment as General Manager at The Blue Lamp Trust in 2014, Jim spent 33 years with the Hampshire Constabulary as Chief inspector and as a Forensic Crash Investigator.

“Most of our drivers are ex-blue lamp driver trainers and so they have delivered training of the highest level including pursuit and response training. We can certainly say that we have the highest qualified driver trainers in the country working with us.”

Earlier this year, The Blue Lamp Trust became a Compass client, as Jim explains:

“Compass Accountants came highly recommended by one our trustees, and so when it was time to appoint a new accountant they were our first choice. So far we have been very impressed. They have just completed our annual return which all ran very smoothly. In fact, it was a lot less stressful than last year. We are looking forward to continuing our work with them!”

If you would like to find out more about the Blue Lamp Trust, its driving training, the Bobby Scheme or any other of its services,

Also- if you would like to see the Trust’s video of its latest conference - which members of the Compass team were lucky enough to attend - thenCLICK HERE

Enable Me Raises £2,350 at its Charity Golf Day

Enable Me Raises £2,350 at its Charity Golf Day

Compass Accountants’ client Enable Me recently hosted a fundraising event raising over £2,350 at its Golf Day in Littlehampton Golf Club. Compass Accountants were delighted to be co-sponsors of the golf day together with Active Pump Services of Arundel.    

The event, now in its third year, saw a record number of 42 players compete in teams of four, playing for several prizes including nearest to the pin, longest drive and best score of the day.

The teams played an enjoyable but challenging round - courtesy of a blustery north wind - but it was the Compass team that were crowned winners of the overall event!

Compass’ Jeff Walton who led the team, said, “We at Compass have long been advocates of Enable Me and always strive to fully support its cause. Today has been an excellent and fun day, and I’m delighted that it has been such a success for Enable Me.”

Compass was pleased to have had support from friends and clients including TS Tyre Repairs of Fareham, Kraft Recruitment of Portsmouth and Holmes & Quinn of Titchfield playing as The Royals.

Due to the popularity of the event Enable Me is hoping to make the date bi-annual in order to raise more funds and to accommodate the players that were unable to book a place on the day.

It is likely the next Golf Day will be on a different course, with rumours of it being closer to Compass’ offices in Hampshire- (keep an eye on the Compass Newsletter for further updates if you are interested in playing).

About Enable Me

Enable Me is a unique user led disability awareness charity, meaning every employee and volunteer working for the charity has a disability themselves. The charity specialises in providing disability awareness training for businesses, schools, universities and for children of all ages.

The charity helps to demonstrate the needs, challenges and unique life experiences of disabled people in a variety of environments.

Having most recently extended its offering to businesses, Enable Me now offers training for organisations of all sizes based around etiquette, communication, correct use of language, and inclusive behaviour, as well as legislation and adapting the business environment.

APR Powder Coatings LTD

This month, we catch up with the owner of APR Powder coatings, Jim Merriott- who explains how expansion, relocation and developing the largest independent oven on the South coast, has helped his business to thrive…

APR Powder Coatings has been providing its customers with high quality powder coating services for over twenty years and in that time, it has firmly established itself as a leader in its industry. As specialists in powder coating, (a method of covering metal surfaces, widely perceived as a superior alternative to using paint), APR prides itself on its ability to offer high quality, durable and corrosion resistant finishes on various forms of metal surface.

Whilst the process of finishing metal surfaces with dry powder has been used in the UK since the mid 50’s, it has become increasingly popular in recent years. Powder applications are most frequently used in the industrial and automotive industries, offering superior results in terms of both quality and cost.

There are cost advantages to powder coating when compared to solvent laden liquid coating. Powder coated parts are cured when they leave the oven, (as the powder is heated to fuse into a protective layer), unlike many wet coatings which have post cure ageing requirements. This means the total processing time is far shorter, therefore there is a faster turnaround time and reduced labour costs, allowing the client to receive their product in a ready to use state.

Based in Waterlooville, APR have developed a strong foothold in the industry, specifically with heavy goods vehicles and trailer manufacturers. The company boasts several well-known clients, such as Lewmar Marine, Lawrence David, Thomas Sanderson Blinds and many more.

Having very recently moved premises, it seems APR now has expansion, development and a significant increase in clientele on the horizon. The premises APR has now moved into now boasts a new, improved, larger building that provides enough space to increase the size of the oven APR were previously using.

“We have always used a large oven”, explains Jim, “But this one will take the business to a whole new level. To my knowledge it is the largest independent oven on the South Coast. An oven of this capacity will enable us to -not only increase the type of goods we are able to powder coat- but also increase the speed we work at, as well as the amount of work we complete.”

The next step in the organisation’s expansion is increasing the number of employees to cope with the soar in its workload, which Jim claims the new building is absolutely ideal for.

“It has been quite a journey for us- and Compass have been with us all of the way,” explains Jim, “They know our business well, having first assisted us with the company launch. Of course, back then we were an entirely different type of organisation, but Compass have always assisted with new territories and aided our growth.”

“They have helped us with everything- especially in the last two years. Now, they visit us as regularly and are part of the company. They are great to have around to ask questions like-How do we get over this problem? orHow do we approach this? If I’m completely honest, I think of them more as friends now than as accountants, and I think that is quite an important thing in business.”

Sam ready for the bike ride

Compass Client to Cycle 100km for charity

Sam Morrison – the Director of Portchester Engineering- is saddling up for a 100 km (62 mile) cycle ride to raise money for Women V Cancer.

After being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in October 2015, Sam underwent surgery and also had a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Now fully on the road to recovery, Sam will be taking to the road with two friends, and participating with thousands of other women in the ‘Ride the Night’ cycle challenge.

Taking place 27th May, the ride follows a fantastic night-time route starting and finishing at Royal Windsor Racecourse and cycling past iconic London landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and The London Eye.

Women V Cancer is a special fundraising partnership between Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. The cycle rides have previously raised over £7 million for the three charities.

All donations for Sam’s cycle through the night are very much appreciated and will be gratefully received.

Sam’s JustGiving page can be found here:

Best of luck from everyone at Compass Sam!


This month, we catch up with Malcolm Padwick, the founder of Wananchi- an organisation that develops innovative mobile water purification systems- hear about how the groundbreaking product was developed…

Back in 2008, Malcolm Padwick had a ‘eureka’ moment that resulted in the development of his first mobile water purification system and the birth of his business -Wananchi Ltd. At the time, Malcolm was employed in South Sudan; working on a village water purification project, located on the edge of the river Nile, for a South African organisation.

Whilst working on this project Malcolm lived with mine clearance teams, and in conversation discovered that they were regularly flying in bottled water from a neighbouring country. Malcolm learnt that this water was arriving at the cost of $3 per litre which made him consider a solution to the costly import process which was a clearly a global problem. That evening, Malcolm drew a plan out of what would become the first design of the Wananchi prototype.

“I sketched out an idea for a system that would allow the user to purify the water at the source, to eliminate having to import it at inflated costs.” explains Malcolm. “As soon as I returned to the UK, I began work on developing the system. I registered Wananchi (a Swahili word meaning `for the people`) as a company, and then put everything into the design and build of the first prototypes. To fund the business at the early stages, I temporarily lived in a caravan and earned a living/survival wage working as security at a local nightclub.”

Since launching the company the prototype has undergone many levels of development. The final product is a self-contained, portable device that can purify up to 2,000 litres of water on a single battery change. This means water doesn’t have to be imported, carried around or transported across land by lorry- instead it is purified at its source, on the spot.

Since developing the brand and fully establishing Wananchi in 2010, three core markets have been identified - military, commercial and humanitarian (or emergency). The military market has by far been the most successful. The combat water supply chain in a military war environment incurs massive cost, uses up valuable man power and equipment to protect the water -and furthermore, it puts extra risk into an obviously already, high risk environment.

“I wanted to make a highly efficient and easy to use system.” explains Malcolm. “Using the Wananchi system is simple -you connect the single red hose and place into the source water, switch on the device, and then the blue hose dispenses clean, potable water - it really is that simple. There are no complicated instructions - it is as straightforward and effective as it could be.” 

Whilst there are a few water purification systems on the market, Wananchi is the leader in terms of its ease of use. “Most of our competitors’ products are cumbersome, they are complicated have many components and pipes, making them vulnerable and therefore easily broken. The Wananchi system however, is easy to use, robust and virtually unbreakable. ” says Malcolm.

The robustness of the system is one of the reasons why Wananchi has had so much interest from the military market, with an impressive sales pipeline that ranges from the British Army, Belgian Army, Italian Airforce, Mauritanian Army, Italian Army, Vietnamese Army and Bangladesh Border Guard.

The system has also seen interest from organisers of expeditions for commercial activities, where people are working in remote areas where there is great need for water.

To take the business to the next stage Malcolm is in the process of seeking investors in Wananchi. “We are now looking for the second round of investment to develop our team, increase our marketing efforts and enhance our ability to cope with some of the pending orders of various international military organisations. The business has huge potential - and is likely to expand at a very fast pace.”

Wananchi is based in The Tanneries in Titchfield, alongside the Compass Accountants’ office. Malcolm explains, “It’s great to be located so closely to Compass. As neighbours we chose to use their services as soon as we arrived, and they helped Wananchi to become fully established. They have always gone above and beyond their services and constantly keep our business in mind.”

“A good example of this is when Jeff Walton of Compass, arranged a networking meeting with an organisation that is now actually a partner of ours. This introduction created an opportunity for us that we are still very grateful for. Compass are always there to help and will proactively look for ways for Wananchi to improve. I always recommend them highly as an accountancy firm.”
Wananchi: 01329 248 247


Compass welcomes Stacey’s new arrival!

We are delighted to announce that Compass’ very own, Stacey Leggatt has given birth to a beautiful baby girl!

Emilia Ivy Julie Leggett was born on Wednesday 15th March and weighed in at 6lb 15oz.

On behalf of the entire Compass team - congratulations to Stacey and Damien, we wish you a lifetime of joy and happiness as a new family!

Compass welcomes new client- Enable Me

Compass Accountants is delighted to welcome its newest client, Enable Me- a disability awareness charity based in Littlehampton.

Enable Me is unique in that it is a user led disability awareness charity, meaning every employee and volunteer working for the charity has a disability themselves. The charity specialises in providing disability awareness training for businesses, schools, universities and for children of all ages.

The charity helps to demonstrate the needs, challenges and unique life experiences of disabled people in a variety of environments.

Having most recently extended its offering to businesses, Enable Me now offers training for organisations of all sizes based around etiquette, communication, correct use of language, and inclusive behaviour, as well as legislation and adapting the business environment.

Most recently, Enable Me has been working with businesses in the hospitality sector, helping them to improve their customer service, but is currently working with Coutts Bank, helping them to further promote inclusivity in the workplace.

Compass and Enable Me already have a good relationship, following Compass’ efforts to help the charity raise funds in various ways, including the donations generated at the 2016 Compass Quiz Night.

Chris Jay, Executive Chairman of the charity said, “Compass has been an advocate and supporter of Enable Me’s work for some time now- but it wasn’t just its generosity and understanding of disability awareness that has gained our custom. They are also recognised for their expertise in the charity sector and for their experience of working with high profile non-profit organisations. We are delighted to be working with them and look forward to a long future together!”

Stuart Lawrance, Director of Compass said, “We are very pleased to welcome Enable Me as a client. Staff at Compass have already shown great support for the organisation’s cause - it will be a great pleasure for us to offer our comprehensive range of services to support the charity in meeting all its financial and compliance needs.”

Compass will be sponsoring the Enable Me Golf Day, which will take place on Friday 28th April 2017, at Littlehampton Golf Club (see below).

Compass to sponsor the Enable Me Golf Day in Littlehampton

Compass Accountants is proud to announce that it will be the main sponsor of the ‘Enable Me Charity Golf Day’ – an annual event that helps the Littlehampton charity to raise funds.

The Golf Day will take place on Friday 28th April 2017, and will include a set lunch and refreshments, with various golfing competitions including ‘nearest to the pin’ and ‘longest drive’.

The day will take place at the Littlehampton Golf Club (dress codes apply), and will begin with brunch at 10.30am- with the last tee off at around 13.00.

The cost for entry is £45 per player which includes a set lunch (£20 - for Littlehampton Golf Club members).

Enable Me is a unique not-for-profit organisation based in Littlehampton working to raise disability awareness, providing services that include awareness workshops and training programmes for businesses, schools and sports professionals.

Compass’ Business Development Specialist- Jeff Walton, will be representing Compass and competing on the day. Jeff said, “It’s a great pleasure to sponsor this event, and as a keen golfer, it will also be a pleasure to participate! Enable Me’s cause is one that Compass proudly supports, so we are honoured to be contributing through sponsorship. It will also be a great occasion to meet new people, and to see friends and colleagues at the event!”

For further details, entry forms and booking tee times, contact Sue at Enable Me Tel: 01903 734400

The Compass Accountants App

The Calculator tools and what they do…

Following the release of the recently developed ‘Compass Accountants App’, we have received fantastic feedback from clients, especially regarding the mileage GPS tracking system and the receipt management tools- which allow you to precisely track your travel expenses and digitally store all of your receipts.

Mobile technology has become an intrinsic element of modern business - for example, did you know that over half of the visitors to your website will now view it on a smartphone or tablet- and over 85% of businesses now use smartphone apps?

As trusted accountants, we strive to move with the times and aim to provide the tools that will enable our clients to work more efficiently -and the Compass App has been designed specifically to do this.

As well as the GPS mileage tracking system and the receipt management tools, the Compass App also offers 15 different types of calculator. Here is a brief breakdown of each one, what they do and how they work:

  • APR -Want to know the APR based on a nominal rate of interest? Just enter the figures and tap ‘calculate’.
  • VAT -Use this calculator to work out the amount of VAT included in any figure, or the VAT that needs to be added to a VAT-exclusive amount.
  • Stamp Duty -This calculator determines the amount of stamp duty chargeable on the purchase of property or shares. Stamp Duty is a complex tax, so please contact Compass directly if you are unsure of how it is applied.
  • Loan -This calculator helps you work out the amount of interest and fixed monthly repayments on any loan.
  • Inheritance Tax -Careful planning is required whenever Inheritance Tax is involved. This calculator provides a simple answer to the amount of Inheritance Tax payable if little or no planning is undertaken.
  • Mortgage -This mortgage calculator works out how much monthly repayments will be depending on the size of the mortgage, the term of the loan and the current interest rate being charged.
  • Contractors -Enter your daily or hourly rate of pay into this calculator and it will show your monthly and annual contract values and your expected monthly take-home pay.
  • Savings -This calculator enables you to calculate the growth in your savings over a fixed period and how much you could expect in interest if you reinvest the total amount at the end of the term.
  • Payslip -Simply enter your tax code and gross salary and this calculator will show you how much your net pay will be after tax and NI deductions.
  • Company Car -How much will you be taxed if you have the benefit of a company car? Just enter the details in this calculator and it will show you how much tax you will have to pay for the company car and related fuel benefits.
  • Income Tax -Want to know how much your annual take-home pay will be? Just enter the amount of your weekly or monthly pay and you’ll be able to see the total deductions for tax and NI and your net earnings.
  • Increased Profit -Want to see what a 10% increase in sales will do to your profitability? Enter the figures from your latest accounts and this calculator allows you to use ‘what-if’ options to see what happens to your net profit.
  • Dividend vs Salary -Is it more advantageous to take profits from your business as salary, or dividends? Just enter your net profit figure and you’ll see what the different answers are.(Note- This is to be used as a guide only- Contact Compass for more professional advice.)
  • Corporation Tax -Enter your profits for the year and you’ll see how much Corporation Tax you’ll have to pay and what your Profit After Tax will be.
  • Income Tax -Enter your gross pay and whether you are paid weekly or monthly and you’ll see how much tax and NIC you’ll pay and what your take-home pay will be.

All these calculators are included with the Compass App which is FREE - even if you aren’t a Compass client, (so feel free to pass the details on to friends and colleagues!)

The app can be downloaded directly from iTunes or Google Play- (by searching for Compass Accountants) – or alternatively go to ourhome page and click the link to download them directly.

If it sounds like the App will be of benefit to you - don’t hesitate- and download yours free from the Compass website today…

Sam Beaven prepares for the
Great South Run in Portsmouth

Compass staff raise money on charity run

Compass Accountants team members, Sarah Harwood and Sam Beaven have both been busy recently, raising money for charities by participating in ‘The Great South Run’ in Southsea, Portsmouth.

The 10 mile running event took place in October, with runners passing through the iconic sights of Southsea and Portsmouth, including the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, home of HMS Victory, past Spinnaker Tower, with a grand finish on the seafront.

Both Sam and Sarah ran a distance of ten miles – both completing the race in good time – (1hr and 46 for Sam and 1hr and 55 for Sarah).

Sam ran to raise money for Macmillan and Sarah ran to raise funds for Cancer Research as both of their families had previously been affected by cancer.

Sam raised a total of £355.00, and gained support from Compass through activities such as cake making and office games, and Sarah raised a total of £200.00. Both have said they would definitely consider running again next year!

Compass Accountants raises £2,000 on Charity Quiz Night

The attendance of 26 local businesses helps raise funds for Motiv8 and Enable Me

Compass Accountants is pleased to announce that a total of £2,000 was raised for charities following our quiz night and dinner for local businesses in the Hampshire region.

The event raised funds for Motiv8 -the charity based in Portsmouth that works to improve the life chances of young people- and Enable Me- the charity that works to help businesses, schools and Universities across the South with disability awareness training.

The Quiz Night took place at Portsmouth Football Club, and included a dinner, games and a raffle, helping to raise funds for both charities.  26 different local businesses and organisations joined Compass on the night.

Chris Jay, Executive Chairman of the charity Enable Me explains, “It was a great honour to have been selected as one of the charities Compass raised funds for. We are very grateful that disability awareness is something Compass are keen to support. Plus- they know how to organise a fantastic evening! A great night was had by all.”

Martin Wood, the Finance Director with Motiv8 South Ltd, was also present and said, “It was both a privilege and a pleasure to partner with Compass Accountants at what proved to be a really successful, well managed, well-run, most enjoyable Charity Quiz Night. The event generated an amazing donation of £1,000 for Motiv8 which will enable us to continue to provide life chances for some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people and families in the communities that we serve.”

Each business attending entered a team of six players, with a total of 26 teams competing. The winning team on the night were Portsmouth based, HW Conveyancing Searches.

Stuart Lawrance, Director of Compass Accountants said, “The quiz has been a great success, not only as a means of raising funds for two very important charities- but also in bringing together clients and local businesses- allowing them to let their hair down and enjoy the night!”

Civic Leaders visit for APR Powder Coatings

This month, we were honoured to join our client, APR Powder Coatings in Waterlooville, for a Civic Visit, where 20 Civic Leaders from across Hampshire came to see their new facilities.

The Civic Party visited APR as a part of a tour of exemplar businesses in the Havant and Waterlooville region - led by Mayor of Havant -Councillor Faith Ponsonby.

The Mayor of Havant, who came to be familiar with APR Powder Coatings when she attended the grand opening of the new site, asked owner Jim Merriott to lead her Civic leader associates on a tour of APR, whilst demonstrating the size of the ovens and specialist equipment.

Following APR’s recent relocation, expansion and its development of the largest independent oven on the South coast, the company has seen a huge increase in business, whilst almost doubling its workforce.

APR had already developed a strong foothold in the industry, specifically with heavy goods vehicles and trailer manufacturers. With its site expansion, and increase in large specialist ovens, the powder coating business has now ventured into a larger volume of work, specifically within the marine industry.

The company has also introduced Quality Control Procedures, employing staff and putting processes in place that guarantee all APR’s work consistently reaches the highest standard.

Mayor of Havant, Councillor Faith Ponsonby said, “I wanted to bring fellow Civic Leaders from around the county to see exactly what APR are doing by bringing employment to the area and by providing a high quality service for boat building and manufacturers in the Southern region.”

Jeff Walton of Compass Accountants attended the event and said, “It’s a huge pleasure to see APR experience such recognition for the rapid growth and great success they have worked hard for - to be a showcase business for a Civic Visit is a fantastic achievement!”

Say Goodbye to ‘receipt management’ with the new Compass’ App

Let’s face it – keeping, organising and filing receipts is no fun! However, it is something most of us have to do. Whilst we can’t eliminate the necessity to retain receipts and invoices, we can help you simplify the process of maintaining your expenses- without ever losing a receipt again.

The new Compass Accountants App has a ‘receipt manager’ function that allows you to scan, save and store your receipts with the click of a button from your smart phone. After downloading the app from the homepage of our website- (or iTunes/Google Play) you can use the camera function of your device to photograph it, then it automatically saves through the App.

You can then store it using any information you choose -such as amount, client, category, or date. You can even add notes to the receipt for later and once the receipt is stored, you can simply press ‘email accountant’ and the receipt will be sent to a pre-agreed email address, with an auto-populated subject line for ease of filing and reference. Simple.

And, just in case you are concerned about HMRC’s policies on digital paperwork – it has now confirmed that it is completely acceptable to have digital versions of receipts and invoices, but it is worth noting they should be kept for the same amount of time as paper documents (which is 5 years after the filing date).
So, say goodbye to receipts now - and download the Compass Accountants App!
Also, don’t forget to tell your colleagues, family and friends about the Compass App- as it is not exclusive to Compass clients -and entirely free to download!

To download the Compass Accountants App go and download from the home page or download directly fromiTunes orGoogle Play by searching for Compass Accountants.

Compass Celebrates Joe’s Success!

Everyone at Compass was delighted to celebrate the news that Joe Curtis, recently passed his level 3 AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting, with flying colours.

Joe, a trainee accountant at Compass, has been working hard and regularly studying at Itchen College in Southampton to gain the qualification. Having graduated from Southampton Solent University with a degree in Business and Financial Management in 2010, Joe worked for a period of five years at Tesco, before joining Compass Accountants in 2015. Since then he has rapidly made progression, gaining confidence in industry practice.

Having passed his Level 3 AAT he now plans to continue to study, with a view to becoming a fully ACCA qualified member of the Compass team. His progress with the AAT Level 4 Diploma, which covers high-level accounting and finance topics and tasks, has already begun following his enrolment on the course.

“It’s always great to see colleagues develop” says Director, Stuart Lawrance – “Joe has certainly proven that he has the skill and determination to go far here at Compass!”

Business miles simplified with the new Compass App

Anyone that claims for business mileage, will know that keeping track of previous journeys can be a frustrating task. Maintaining an account of every individual trip and calculating the precise distances through Google maps can be a time consuming burden. Which is why we are delighted to announce, that our new smartphone app has been designed to simplify this entire process for you.

The new Compass App, (which is free of charge and downloadable from iTunes and Google Play) allows you to permanently record all the information you need directly on to your smartphone.

Once the app is downloaded you simply set the mileage Calculator to ‘Start Trip’, and let the wonders of your GPS system do the rest, recording all the details of your journey, alongside a precise number of miles covered. When you arrive at your destination just click ‘End Trip’ and all details are automatically saved in your account.

You can also view all the details of your previous trips, including the dates of travel, times, reasons for travel, miles covered and more. These details can then be instantly emailed to Compass Accountants, or your head office or payroll department – depending on who requires the information.

In addition to the business mileage tracker the app also boasts tax tables, calculators, photo receipt managers, finance news, notifications, messaging tools and lots more.

If you haven’t downloaded the Compass App already, go straight to the homepage on the Compass website and download it now using the link -or alternatively, go to iTunes or Google Play and search for ‘Compass Accountants’.

If you would like to arrange a meeting to discuss a specific issue related to company cars or the tax implications of reclaiming mileage, please feel free to contact us onhere.

Join us on the Compass’ Charity Quiz Night

Compass Accountants is excited to be hosting a Charity Quiz Night, on Thursday 29th September at Portsmouth Football Club.

The event will raise funds for the disability awareness charity Enable me and for the charity that works to improve the life chances of young people-Motiv8, both of whom work in Portsmouth and the surrounding area.

The Quiz Night will include dinner and a raffle with a range of superb prizes, with teams of up to six members participating (although companies are free to enter more than one team or table).

The fee is a £60 per entry fee per table of six, which includes a meal on the night. If you are interested in attending, book NOW as there are only a few days left to register your team and limited space exists.

Book your table byCLICKING HERE to download the booking form- Then, fill out the details and return to

Entries must reach Compass by the 5th September 2016.

If you are also interested in donating a raffle prize for the event, please also contact Natalie using the email address above.

We hope to see you there!

The Compass App is here!

Compass Accountants are delighted to announce that you can now download our brand new App, FREE of charge, allowing you to have full access to all your key accounting data- anytime, anyplace.

The App can be easily downloaded from the Compass website directly onto your iPhone, iPad or any android device, and is packed full of useful features including tax tables, calculators, GPS mileage trackers, photo receipt managers, finance news, notifications, messaging tools and lots more.

Following the ever increasing use of mobile telephones in business, the Compass App has been designed to keep our clients up-to-date and well informed, with news, views, dates, data, reminders and tips.

Furthermore, the App also offers a simpler method of gathering and collating accounting information through features such as the receipt management tool. Here you can simply take a picture of the receipt and save it to the App, (if you like, you can even send it directly to Compass in this format). You can also search and track expenses and all other receipts- at the touch of a button.

The mileage tracker also makes keeping a record of journeys and precise distances very simple, using GPS*. Here, the GPS system in your device is accessed by the App, allowing you to save and store details of every mile in every journey, enabling you to review, edit and even email journey details with ease.

So, if you wanted to calculate the tax on certain company cars, assess how much tax you owe, check Stamp Duty costs, or just see how you might increase profits in your business- download the free App, and this can all be done from your phone.

The App will also allow you to browse a library of tax tables and show you the latest tax rates- 24/7. You can search for data on details such as Income Tax or Tax credits- and have immediate access to the information you need.

In addition, the App also makes it simple for us to communicate together, with push notification reminders and easy access to all of our contact details, including links to the Compass Social media pages.

If it sounds like the App will be of benefit to you - don’t hesitate- and download yours free from the Compass website today…

07 July 2016

Compass sponsors up-and-coming athlete!

Compass Accountants is proudly sponsoring local athlete and potential future Olympian, 13 year-old Elisha Parham.

As a pupil at Cams Hill School in Fareham, Elisha has shown great promise, competing in 100m, 200m, and 300m races- as well as competing in the long-jump. Having run in numerous competitions Elisha is a member of the Southampton Athletics Club and is currently rated third girl in the under 15’s for the 100m and 200m, and fourth for the 300m.


Elisha with Compass Directors, Stuart Lawrance and Kerry Lawrance.

Earlier this month, Elisha’s 4x 300m relay team smashed the club record by 7 seconds and as a result the team are now ranked as number 4 in the UK. She is also a member of the Wessex League team and YDL league team.

Elisha’s Southampton team also competed in the indoor league in the winter, where they finished in 3rd place in the national finals after winning the regional finals.

To help her on her sporting journey, Compass have sponsored Elisha, providing her with sporting equipment including sports bag, windcheater jacket, clothing and running spikes.

Stuart Lawrance, Director of Compass Accountants said, “We are delighted to be helping Elisha on her journey as an athlete and wish her the best of luck in developing her sporting ability and achieving her goals. All the team at Compass Accountants are very much looking forward to watching Elisha’s promising career develop over the coming years.”

20 June 2016

Compass Continues to Expand with New Appointments

We are delighted to announce that Compass has expanded its team with the appointment of two new Senior Payroll and Accounts Managers, Isabella Brady and Sarah McInnes.

Isabella and Sarah join Compass Accountants, following our continued expansion and the recent launch of our new office in Portsmouth.

Sarah and Isabelle

Sarah - left, Isabella - right

Both Isabella and Sarah will further strengthen the Compass team bringing with them a wide and impressive background in the sector. Isabella has worked in accountancy roles for over 40 years, and brings with her strong experience of working with museums and non-for profit organisations- both of which are sectors Compass specialises in.

Isabella explains, “It’s an exciting time to join the team at Compass. I’m delighted to be joining a firm with such a prominent stance in the local region. I’m hoping my experience and knowledge will contribute to the company’s ongoing development.”

Sarah has worked with accountancy practices for just over 16 years and has experience in all aspects of accountancy services from audit and accounts preparation, to VAT compliance, management accounts and bookkeeping.

Sarah adds “It’s a great pleasure for me to join the Compass team. I was already familiar with Compass as a local practice, and was aware of their reputation as a friendly and personable team- so was very pleased when the opportunity arose. I have been made to feel very welcome and look forward to contributing to Compass’ reputation and services in the region.”

Stuart Lawrance, our company Director said, “The appointment of Sarah and Isabella puts us in an even stronger position to provide the highest standard of service we can, for both our existing and prospective clients. I am certain that their experience and backgrounds will deliver positive results for both Compass and its clients.”

26 May 2016

Compass Wins Charity Quiz

We are very proud to have been named the winners at the recent CMA charity quiz in aid of St Wilfrid's Hospice, which took place at Portsmouth Football Ground.

St Wilfred's are an independent local charity that cares and supports those in our community in the last phase of their lives.

Here is a picture of our winning team holding the award for first place.

Well done team Compass!

09 May 2016

Simple online payments for Compass’ clients

We are very pleased to announce that Compass clients can now conveniently make payments via our very own website. Our new WorldPay system, which has been incorporated into the Compass website, provides our clients with a fast, simple and straightforward way to pay.

Clients can be confident that their payment details are processed securely in line with PCI DSS compliance, allowing our clients to make quick, simple and secure transactions via ourpayment page.

To access the payment link, just go to the menu at the side of the Compass home page, and click ‘Pay Online’ -then follow the simple instructions. All major credit and debit cards are accepted through the website.

The addition of the online payment system precedes the launch of the ‘Compass Accountants App’- which will enable our clients to have ground-breaking technology at their fingertips.

The Compass App will allow clients to manage their accounts from their mobile devices, accessing financial information, receiving messages, tips, utilising tools, and features such as tracking, storing and managing mileage, photo receipt management and calculators for -savings, mortgage, company cars, loans, Pay slips, VAT and more. The app will be compatible with mobile devices including smart phones and tablets.

More information on the app will be available very soon!

2nd March 2016

Compass continues to provide services to the travel industry as a licensed practitioner

Compass Accountants is delighted to announce that we are now fully licensed as an ‘ATOL Reporting Accountancy Firm’, following Director, Kerry Lawrance’s recent achievements in passing the required ICAEW training.

As from the 1st April 2016, any accountant that acts on behalf of an ATOL licence holder, or wishes to submit ATOL Accountants’ Reports to CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), must be an ‘ATOL Reporting Accountant.’

Kerry Daly

The CAA has developed the scheme to help improve the standard of ATOL reporting and to provide assurance that any financial information submitted to them is accurate.

They have designed the scheme to ensure accountants are sufficiently knowledgeable about the travel industry as well as the requirements of the ATOL scheme.

As a uniquely complex and specialist area, ATOL reporting demands that licensed practitioners possess a strong knowledge of both the travel sector and the ATOL regulatory environment. Having proven this throughout her recent training and examinations, Kerry is now approved as a license practitioner, and is therefore able to continue her work with clients, as a specialist in the travel industry.

Kerry explains, “We are thrilled to be able to continue working with businesses in the travel sector as we have established strength in this industry. It also allows us to reach out to other businesses in this sector, who may not be aware of the changes, or may not be currently be receiving this level of expertise from their advisor.”

If your accountant has not submitted their application in time, or is no longer a licence holding practitioner, call us now.

For any further information on Compass as an ATOL Reporting Accountant, or to discuss our services in the travel industry- contact Kerry on 01329 443457

25th January 2016

Not for Profit Bulletin – (Winter 2015/2016)

The Compass Accountants Not for Profit Bulletin – (Winter 2015/2016) is available to read, offering Charities, Museums, Galleries, Schools & Academies, up-to-date news, information, guidance and tips. This edition covers:

  • Gift Aid: Partnership Declarations
  • More on Gift Aid Declarations
  • Accounting for Donated Goods - FRS102 & SORP


  • Company Cars - latest advisory fuel rates
  • Supplies of sporting services - VAT reclaims
  • Community amateur sports clubs - VAT reclaims
  • Professional bodies approved for tax relief

Download the newsletter now using the link below:

Not for Profit Bulletin – (Winter 2015/2016)

25th January 2016

Compass expands with a new Portsmouth branch

Compass Accountants is delighted to announce that a new office, at Gatcombe House in Portsmouth has been launched. The new branch will enable us to further establish a strong clientele in the city.

Following the demand to support an increasing number of Portsmouth based clients, the new office was launched with a celebratory networking lunch event. Many of our current Portsmouth clients attended the opening, joining the company’s Directors, staff members, associates and partners on the day.

Compass Accountants’ Director, Kerry Lawrance explains, “Over the years, we have found that more and more of our clients are based in the Portsmouth area, so it makes perfect sense for us to open another office that is in closer proximity to them. Furthermore, we are now in an improved position to expand our reach to other businesses and charities in the area.”

The opening of the new branch marks a continued period of growth for Compass. For 35 years, we have worked with an increasing number of Hampshire based organisations in various sectors from small to medium businesses to charities, schools and non-profit organisations.

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In addition to the opening of the Portsmouth Compass is undertaking a recruitment drive to increase the existing team in the Titchfield branch.(Click here to find out more).

Kerry concludes, “This is a very exciting and progressive time for us - the positioning of our two branches places us in an ideal position to grow even further in the future, allowing us to reach out to the business community of Portsmouth and all its surrounding areas.”

18th August 2015

R&D Tax Credits- The untapped benefit for small businesses

This article was previously published in August 2015 on the UK’s largest online resource for small business owners and directors...

Research and Development Tax Credits remain untapped by many of Britain’s eligible SMEs, who view the relief as inaccessible. Kerry Lawrance, Director of Compass Accountants, offers guidance on how to claim and who can apply, whilst debunking some of the myths associated with the credit…

In April 2015, the rate of relief for SME businesses claiming Research and Development Tax Credits increased to improve investment and innovation. However, despite these increases, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of small businesses continue to remain either unaware or uncertain of their eligibility to claim the credits. As a result, R&D tax credits are an untapped benefit for the SME. Consequently, millions of pounds remain unclaimed.

Whilst the larger organisations are reaping the rewards for these credits, the truth of the matter is, the smaller business is either unaware of the opportunity, or oblivious to exactlywhat can be claimed for.

So, who qualifies?

When people hear the words ‘research and development’, many unfortunately think of onsite laboratories, workers in white coats, or corporate research teams making ground breaking technological advances. However, in reality there are many unexpected industries that businesses can be in to claim, and the credits certainly aren’t limited to frontline innovation. Makingany technical change can count as an eligible process, and a business ofany size can be eligible to claim.  

For example, industries such as food production, cosmetics, electronics, mechanical engineering, IT, transport, materials engineering, architecture, construction, furniture manufacturing, and leisure canallbe appropriate industries for the R&D tax claim.

HMRC themselves state that the claim can be made by any company aiming to achieve- ‘an advance in overall knowledge or capability in a field of science or technology through the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainty’.

So, as long as the project involves a process that fits this description, and sits within the company’s existing trade, (or one the company has plans on diversifying into), then the process can be claimed for.

What counts as R&D?

One of the most common misconceptions -and consequently, the biggest reason for small businesses not claiming- is the false belief that claims must that involve the process of inventing something ‘new’.

Whilst the credit certainly can be used for new developments and patenting products, it is largely used by organisations which are in the process of making improvements or modifications to a process or product. This means that you could be eligible for any process that occurs when your business is attempting to -for example- improve the speed of production, reduce the price of a product, or make it more environmentally friendly- and so, many industries -such as software, agriculture, chemicals, electronics, food processing etc– can then become potential industries the credit may be relevant to.

Solving a customer’s problem, addressing an issue in production, or improving the speed of assembly or manufacturing, using scientific principles, can all count as eligible processes for the claim, whether it is in the company warehouse, out in the field, on even in a home office -on a PC . Here the labour spent, materials used and consumables lost throughout these developments can be claimed for- and these often overlooked elements can lead to a substantial R&D tax return.

Making the claim

Whist the benefits of the tax credits are clearly valuable, many smaller businesses are still put off by the belief that the process of application will be arduous, complicated and lengthy. This also contributes to the reason why many smaller businesses fail to apply.

In actual fact, the process of application can be very simple.  Firstly, details of eligible research and development activities must be identified.  In the next stage a technical report must be prepared (which can be made by the business itself, or by an accountant specialising in this particular area).  The report needs to include full details of the research and development being undertaken together with a detailed assessment of the costs incurred on the project.  Here understanding the requirements of the HMRC and preparing a report that will withstand scrutiny is very important.

Once complete, the claim for tax relief is included on the company’s corporation tax return (CT600) and this together with the report can be submitted to HMRC for an inspector to evaluate.

This process can be simplified even further, by approaching an accountancy firm, (such as Compass Accountants) that specialises in compiling technical R&D claim reports. We undertake work to establish and document which activities in your business are eligible and document the relevant costs. We complete a full technical report including details of your claim and the financial costs associated. If we are unsuccessful with your claim there will beNO COST TO YOU.

So, businesses really do have nothing to lose.

The fact of the matter is, failing to make the first step in applying for R&D credits, means you’ll never know if you are eligible, and to what extent - and this could mean your business may be missing out on a substantial amount of money. After making the first step, the process of application is quicker, easier and more rewarding than most small business owners think- and if you choose Compass Accountants- finding out more about your eligibility poses no risk or cost whatsoever.

Find out more about your eligibility now byCLICKING HERE or call Kerry Lawrance, Compass Accountants’ specialist in Research and Development Tax Claims on01329 443457.

6th July 2015

Compass Accountants listed in Charity Financials ‘Top 50 Auditors Listings’

We were very pleased to discover that in the latest bi-annual report from CharityFinancials, Compass Accountants has been ranked in its Top 50 auditors!

In it’s report, – ‘Charity Audit Spotlight’- CharityFinancials, the online tool that offers financial information on 163,000 charities, ranked Compass Accountants among some of the largest accountancy firms including PwC, Baker Tilly and Grant Thornton UK.

The report listed the ‘top 50 auditors by income audited’, with Compass coming in at number 41 in the list of UK accountants.

The report is designed to examine the audit market by reviewing a sample of the largest 5000 charities. CharityFinancials invites charities to use the report to help them in their selection process, should they be in the process of changing their auditor.

Stuart Lawrance Director of Compass explains, “This is great news for Compass, we are delighted to be ranked in this listing alongside some of the biggest firms in the UK. This shows that the personal and understanding service we offer, combined with our competitive value proposition, enables us to be listed alongside the giants in our industry.”

“Compass works with many charities, and we are delighted that the level of income we have audited has been recognised by what is a very well respected source.”

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