About us

The values of The Helpful Bean Counter are clearly stated in the name. We want to work closely with our clients to provide a helpful, practical and professional accountancy service. We want to be part of their team!

The Helpful Bean Counter is a family run business. Jane and Martin met at Kingston Polytechnic back in the dark ages. Jane has had a successful career working in public practice, whereas Martin has worked in commerce and industry. The practice provides the opportunity to work together and to offer a broad range of services to our clients. Jane leads on the compliance side of the business. In plain English this is accounts preparation and tax returns. Martin and Jane work together on the accounting services, which includes the book keeping, payroll and transaction processing. Given Martin’s commercial experience he is ideally suited to provide what we call the business partnering. This focuses on the client’s business. ‘Where you are now’ and ‘where the business is going’. The service ranges from providing good management reporting to business planning and even our unique ‘virtual FD’ service.

We are regulated by the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants.

Both Directors have been involved in providing mentoring to start-up businesses and we believe this is an area where we can provide excellent support. We are also well suited given our experience to support established businesses up to £2 million turnover and employing up to 30 staff. These are organisations that do not necessarily employ a full time Accountant but still face challenges requiring the support of a finance professional. This is where our business partnering service is useful, helping the business to utilise the skills of a commercial Accountant to add value to their knowledge of the business sector. We also believe that this is an area that is not normally well supported by the smaller Accountancy practices.

Our intention over the next 5 years is to grow the practice by focusing on our target market in East Hampshire and West Sussex. We intend to support business start-ups and will continue our relationship with a number of enterprise agencies and Universities. We believe our accounting services can be expanded with the use of modern cloud accounting software, such as Xero and working with a network of local book keepers. Our business partnering will provide the ‘added value service’ to help our clients take advantage of their business opportunities and to plan effectively for the future.

Directors’ biography

Words FinanceJane Samuel MAAT

She has over 30 years experience working for accountancy practices. The have ranged from the regional offices and firms such as BDO Stoy Haywards and Francis Clarke, to smaller firms of Chartered or Certified Accountants. She is licenced by the Association of Accounting Technicians to run the practice.

Her main areas of expertise are in the audit and preparation of accounts for a wide range of businesses, from sole traders, partnerships and limited companies and charities. She also has significant experience in the management of payroll services and has carried out audit of larger companies. In short She can deal with all the accountancy and taxation requirements for businesses up to £2 million turnover. Please note that our practice is not authorised to carry out audits.

Jane has provided business start-up mentoring and has run workshops for Let’s do Business on the NEA and Start-up Loans schemes. This has extended her inter-personal and presentation skills and provided the incentive to run her own business.

Martin Samuel MBA FCCA

Martin is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (ACCA) and a MBA from Henley Management College.

Martin has had a successful career as a commercial accountant and has worked in a wide range of sector from Retail, Aviation, Financial Services to Healthcare. Since the mid 90’s he has worked mainly as a senior finance contractor and projects have included a number of Finance Director and senior project manager roles. He has a broad range of technical and management accounting skills in preparing board reports and preparing business analysis.

Prior to working as a contractor, Martin established a part-time FD service working with clients up to £5 million turnover. The role involved supporting the clients’ accounting teams and preparing board reports, and working on ad hoc commercial projects.

Since 2011 Martin has provided business start-up mentoring / coaching for a number of organisations, such as Let’s do Business, Virgin Start-up, and Chichester University. The motivation for this was to help start-ups and to get back to working in the SME market, having spent many year working for large corporate.