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Interview : Tidal Accounting

Interview with Chris Hopwood, Founder of Tidal Accounting

Tidal Accounting is an accountancy firm located in Leeds with a national reach.


Tidal Accounting provides a broad range of comprehensive financial services. These services range from annual accounting, compliance and tax planning to a more hands-on approach to business advice, management accounts and cloud software advice to help improve business efficiencies.



Part 1: Presentation of Chris Hopwood, Founder of Tidal Accounting



1. Introduce yourself: 


I’m Chris, 29 years old, Founder of Tidal Accounting.



Part 2: Description of career before working in accounting in the firm Tidal Accounting

2. What drove you to become an accountant?


My career started in industry after university where I studied Accounting and achieved a First Class Honours degree. I then worked in the accounts department of an oil & gas health and safety company for around 18 months before moving to practice and begin studying as a chartered accountant.


I then qualified as a full member of the ICAEW on 31 January 2019 and gained my Practising Certificate on 2 February 2021, at which point I made the decision to start my own accountancy practice.



3. How long have you been an accountant?


I have been in accountancy for 9 years of which over 7 years has been advising small and medium sized businesses.



Part 3: Missions of the accounting profession



4. Introduce us to your profession of accountant and your company Tidal Accounting?


At Tidal Accounting our true aim is to provide a high quality service akin to a larger accountancy but with the personal touch of really getting to know your business. We don’t offer a one size fits all approach and as such each piece of advice we provide is tailored to suit your business needs and your unique path. We do this by providing regular catch ups with your adviser to capitalise on opportunities rather than watch them sail by.


Using the latest cloud accounting software, we are able to offer this unique approach at a very affordable rate, giving you peace of mind that you won’t get any nasty surprises when you receive that dreaded accountancy bill.



5. What is your role at Tidal Accounting?


I am the Founder and Managing Director of the business so provide business advice to our valued clients as well as ensuring they stay compliant with their various regulations. I also ensure our clients’ financial data is up to date and accurate so we can provide thevery best business and tax advice possible.



6. What is a typical day like? 


A typical would involve giving Winnie (our labrador) a walk and coming back to a nice black coffee.


I would then check my e mails to make sure nothing is going to disrupt my day, I would then begin making my client calls and video meetings for the day. Ensuring my clients are aware of their business performance and answer any questions they may have whilst ensuring they have an active plan of action we can then discuss at our meeting in a few weeks.


I would then begin doing all the things people love accountants for – some statutory accounts, personal tax returns, bookeeping, management accounts and payroll.



7. What are the most rewarding aspects of your job as an accountant?


Seeing clients succeed and knowing you have played a part in that is a hugely satisfying feeling. I have clients that have gone from start up to almost £1m turnwover within 2 years through our tailored approach which gives us faith that our approach to accountancy works.


Also, seeing businesses that have stayed the same for numerous years and weren’t necessarily interested in changing – seeing these businesses change with quality advice and watching them regain the drive and love of their businesses again is incredibly rewarding.

8. What are the main difficulties of your job as an accountant?


Starting an accountancy practice can be incredibly easy and cheap and there are many small practices and bookkeepers that operate using a very low fee model. However, with very low fees, can come a poor service level leading to non-compliance and issues with HMRC. We set ourselves apart from these firms but it does mean we are fighting an uphill battle to rebuild that trust and confidence that we are acting in their best interests.


We have clients that have used practices like this in the past and have fallen foul of regulations which has led them to penalties, interest and investigations from HMRC through no fault of their own and it can leave businesses losing hope in accountants.



Part 4: Qualities & Skills of the accounting profession 



9. What are the qualifications required to practice your profession?


To be able to sign accounts off as a chartered accountant you must be qualified as a chartered accountant with the ICAEW and hold a Practising Certificate.



10. What are the key skills of your profession?


  • Integrity
  • Empathy
  • And professional competence

11. How do you describe yourself in a professional context?


Trying to change the way the world sees accountants.



12. What advice would you give to someone new to the accounting industry?


Just keep passing those exams and it will be all worth it in the end. 

Part 5: Developments when you are an accountant 



13. How do you see the accounting industry changing in the next few years?


I believe that compliance work (preparing statutory accounts and filings) will become almost obselete pieces of work and that accountants will be charging very minimal prices for it. There will be a more active role for accountants to play in their clients’ businesses and helping them grow which is what we are trying to achieve now.

14. How do you keep up to date with important accounting industry news?


I attend technical webinars, along with other cloud accounting webinars to ensure I can provide the bespoke advice clients need and be able to provide solutions to modern problems faced by businesses in the current world of business.



15. A quick word at the end? 

I’m always happy to help people (clients or not) as I feel that is the best way for all businesses to succeed

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