Charity champion, Alanna Symphorien is not only on the BDO Charities Committee but is also a regular volunteer at Vale Earth Fair, and additionally helps Living Streets, a charity which works to create safe, attractive and enjoyable streets where people walk. Alanna has been at BDO for almost 6 years but only joined the BDO Drive team earlier this year, we took the time to ask her a few questions about her new role.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and your interests.
A: I like to keep myself busy! I do fusion dance and play hockey and Pétanque in the business leagues. I also play double bass in the Guernsey Symphony Orchestra. I have been helping out at the Vale Earth Fair for many years, particularly running the all-vegetarian food tent. More recently I have been helping the charity, Living Streets, to organise events and assist them with bookkeeping.
Q: How would you describe your role?
A: I have only recently joined the BDODrive team. So far, I have found my role very varied. I prepare accounts for charities, small businesses, and private wealth structures, which can involve inputting bank statements and other documentation into our software, pulling information from a client system, or doing the bookkeeping for clients on a regular basis. At BDO, we use Xero to fulfil bookkeeping requirements which could involve assisting with one off issues, ongoing support, or regular bookkeeping.
Q: What do you enjoy about your profession?
A: I enjoy getting to know clients and understanding the businesses which they are passionate about. I also enjoy being able to help clients with their finances so that they can concentrate on their core business. Each client is different with different needs, however it all comes back to the basics, whether it’s £1 or £1m.
Q: Who is a typical client?
A: Anyone who needs assistance! Every business, big or small, needs a form of accounts, and so our client base is diverse.
Q: What do people need to be thinking about now/ at this time of year in terms of tax?
A: It is important to ensure that you know the deadlines which are applicable to you, especially as the deadlines have moved around recently. It also helps to get your information to your tax advisor as soon as possible to ensure that all the work can be done on time.
Q: What would be your top tip to somebody who is looking to get their taxes in order?
A: Keep your records up to date and in a clear format to help with your taxes.
Using an accounting system such as Xero can help with this as it has built-in reports. You can also use it to store your documents which can be useful if further information is needed by your accountant. It is also important to keep on top of your bookkeeping as it can help with cash management and reduce stress levels at the year end. BDODrive can assist you with this by helping onboard onto Xero, providing ‘ad-hoc’ assistance, and completing the bookkeeping for you.