Select Page

Accounting with Chris Dodd

Accounting is changing. Chris Dodd from Pentins joins The Next 100 Days Podcast to explain how. Chris is from Canterbury in Kent.

Accounting, Chris Dodd, Pentins, The Next 100 Days Podcast

Kevin mentioned the boring accountants sketch by John Cleese of Monty Python.


Chris Dodd works for Pentins.

Pentins, Accounting, Chris Dodd, The Next 100 Days Podcast

Chris is on his second stint with accounting firm Pentins. He originally joined in 2003. Later he went on his own. Realised there were more technically gifted accountants than him out there. So re-joined in a business development capacity. Unusually, he blends accountancy and marketing knowledge.

He enjoys building business. He is a lot happier, sticking to the stuff he is good at.

The ACHIEVE Programme

Pentins resell Xero. The Achieve programme is about sustainable businesses. It is about where you want to get to and how you’ll get there.

It is a structured programme. Businesses fail regularly, especially in their first five years. Pentins work with renewable energy and health and wellbeing businesses. And all in between. They help businesses with proactive accounting advice.

They want to inspire entrepreneurs to reach the goals they originally set out to achieve with accounting led strategies.


They undertake a detailed assessment of a client’s business. It is akin to a personality profile. They assess whether the client is of an entrepreneurial mindset. Or simply a job-preneur.


Has the client got adequate cash flow? They leverage EIS, SEIS and maintain good relations with local banks.


Behind the frilly business development stuff you have to be compliant. All the traditional things that a business owner needs to do. This element is core to their accounting offer of course.

Xero is helping stimulate a shift to advisory work. They need to overview returns.

Pentins are Gold Champions, Certified Advisers for Xero. They pick up clients because of that.


They use Xero as a core. There are loads of applications. A whole ecosystem of applications. This enables Pentins to give real insight. One of those applications is FLOAT, listen to our episode on Float with Colin Hewitt.


It is great to be able to measure your accounting performance, but if you don’t act on it, then the information is pointless. They look at a whole spectrum of things that arise out of the insight, such as marketing.


When the client comes on board, they look at the value of their business. Then, what potentially their business could be worth. This might be trying to get the business owner out of the trenches so he can focus on the business. Part of their role is to look at systems, policies and procedures that would enhance a business. They use Infusionsoft.

They advise you to implement systems now as though you are a big business. It is very hard once you get big, to suddenly start implement systems. Are your systems fit for your growth purpose?

Call centre like system, Kevin mentioned was Zendesk.

Pentins can help you free up your behaviours you created for yourself as a business owner. This refers to non-value adding processes – listen to our 7 Wastes episode.


Ideally, clients will go A to V, and once to the final E. Sale to a competitor, closing the business.

Summary of ACHIEVE

Every new client would start with A. It is imperative that Pentins takes on their ideal avatar. They are not traditional accounting providers. For Pentins to add value, it takes buy in from the business owner. So the ACHIEVE programme is a 5 to 10 years programme.

Productised Accountancy and Advisory Services in Accounting


ACHIEVE helps Pentins to repel businesses that would not be good for them. They are looking to add value for money. Cash-Flow and Compliance is a given.

Achieve starts from Insights and Enhancements to get the most value in terms of business growth.

Client visits are monthly and quarterly. It is a 2-way street. The objectives per meeting keep them both honest.

Is This the Future?

It will and it has to change again. Don’t fight against it. Making Tax Digital will have a big impact.


What Type of Clients Are Pentins Looking For?

  • Not specific about the industry
  • The mindset of the owner
  • Have a good foundation, but dont know how to run it into a big business
  • They have an aspiration
  • They have a realistic aspiration.
  • Entrepreneurial mindset
  • NOT a start-up.
  • 2 years in business
  • Steady growth, but maybe have become a little stuck.
  • Their spirit has been swamped by the work
  • Turnover sweet spot – £250k to £10 million (that’s the point they take things in-house)

How much would clients pay?

  • fees are charged annually
  • that is chunked into 12 instalments
  • assessment, cashflow and compliance is roughly £250 per month, up to £3k per month.

Accounting Tip

KPI – key performance indicators. Get under the skin of your business and KNOW what drives it.

About Chris


Contact: Book a Discovery Call