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Stephenson Smart columnist explains importance of good working relationships

Parents' evening. It’s a funny old occasion.

You want to know everything there is to know, but you realise you only have ten minutes and you don’t want to fire out too many questions through fear of looking like you are grilling a contestant on Mastermind.

You think about writing everything down so you can work through a list, but then you decide this is a pointless exercise, because it will get lost somewhere between the house and the car. Plus you might look a bit barmy.

Neil Gayton, accountant at Stephenson Smart (29112425)
Neil Gayton, accountant at Stephenson Smart (29112425)

So you walk into the classroom, attempt to ask the right questions, try not to look too neurotic and hope you receive glowing reports.

As I write, our parents' evening is looming, and my wife and I know pretty much how it is going to go.

Oliver – loves art and maths, academic, works really hard, pleasure to teach.

Samuel – enjoys sport and maths, intelligent, but sometimes needs guiding in a certain direction, presents the teachers with challenges, rather than the other way around.

The most important thing is we appreciate the dedication of the staff in the way they teach our boys. We all want the best outcome and I like to think we work together to achieve that.

I look at it in the same way I like to build a working relationship with potential new clients at Stephenson Smart, where I am an accountant.

We offer free initial meetings for anyone who would like to find out a bit more about us.

This time set aside helps us to understand the business needs, the structure and potential tax savings.

We are then able to give a quote for our work over a cup of coffee, with no pressure to commit.

There are six Stephenson Smart offices spread across the county and beyond, including one here in Lynn, and we offer the consultation in each.

Think of it as being a bit like parents' evening.

Without the children.

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