Claire and Steve Collins run a small farming and food consultancy business; Derry Duff, from their home in the hills of west cork. Although small, it’s a somewhat complicated business that combines organic farming, growing highly nutritious berries and traditional Irish cattle and a tree nursery with farm tours, soon to come farm stay accommodation and of course a variety of grants. This is integrated with Steve’s aid business in the UK Valid International Ltd, a UK company directorship of Claire’s, and additional income in the past coming from rental properties both in Dublin and London, an Amazon business selling air pruning plant pots operated from Ireland, through the UK and income from global consultancies and teaching roles performed by Steve.
Why did you choose Connolly Accountants?
In 2011, we were complaining to some friends about our existing accountants who were providing us with contradictory advice that we could not understand and didn’t seem to make any sense, sending us off on all sorts of convoluted paths in terms of our structural set up, which seemed to make our financial affairs even more complicated than they already were. Our thoughts were that given we have three degrees and a couple of doctorates between us, if our accountant couldn’t explain what they were doing in terms that we could understand there was something wrong!
Our friends mentioned that an accountant originally from Ireland, who was currently based in the UK had just bought a holiday house, over the mountain from our farm and offered to introduce us. At our first meeting, (during which, his wife kindly minded our toddler and newborn baby!), it became clear that Declan was able to look at a situation holistically, was was a clear thinker, with a ‘can-do’ attitude and could explain himself clearly and simply so we could understand our options and make informed decisions. That first meeting persuaded us to terminate our services with our existing accountant and hire Declan. Since then, he has provided us with sound advice on how to integrate and manage our different business affairs, which straddle across Ireland and the UK.
We feel very fortunate to have an accountant whose wide financial knowledge extends to both Ireland and the UK and this gives us the confidence that we are financially compliant in both jurisdictions, without being double taxed at any point.
What have Connolly Accountants done for you?
Declan has managed to make all these individual strands have a financial coherence which makes Claire’s book keeping simple and tax returns relatively straightforward. Declan has provided advice on the best systems to use for book keeping and has kept us up to date, as technologies and softwares improve.
When different business scenarios arise, he is always available on the phone or email to answer questions about how best to incorporate the new scenario into our financial set up and we feel confident that he is providing advice based on our whole enterprise, rather than on the new scenario in isolation. Last year to protect us from the changes caused by Brexit, he helped us incorporate a new aid business Valid Research in Ireland and restructure Valid International’s ownership so that we can operate the two across the Brexit divide and Steve has now appointed Declan as the accountant for Valid International Ltd as well.
And he is always flexible and hard working enough to have face to face meetings when he is on holiday at his home across the mountain from us. The combination of virtual contact for day to day and occasional face to face meet ups has served us very well over the 10 years we have had him as our accountant. We feel very fortunate to have an accountant whose wide financial knowledge extends to both Ireland and the UK and this gives us the confidence that we are financially compliant in both jurisdictions, without being double taxed at any point.