AskAbaqus Celebrates 5th Anniversary


Five years ago on 1st February 2017 Tom Payne took the leap and set up his own accountancy firm, Abaqus, and what an exciting journey it has been. 

Over the years the firm has gone from strength to strength, starting off with no clients, to now boasting a client portfolio of over 200 clients; across different industries, from cleaning contractors to financial advisors and from sole traders to limited companies with a few charities too. Turnover for the client base varies from £10k to £1.4m, so a wide variety of clients that span the South West. 

When Tom realised that he just didn’t have the skill levels to play rugby for Gloucester or become the lead guitarist in a successful rock band he had to look elsewhere.  His dad was an accountant and so he decided to follow in his footsteps. Leaving school after A-Levels in 2000 Tom worked for local accountancy practices to gain experience and obtain his qualifications. 

After working at many different places, always moving for progression, the last two jobs had the dangled carrot of becoming a partner, but for various reasons it didn’t quite work out.

Over the years Tom had learnt how – and how not – to run an accounting practice. As time went by more and more people asked if he had thought about setting up on his own. The seed had been planted and the wheels were set in motion for the practice and Abaqus was then born. 

Initially the business was called Cotswold Business Solutions and a local designer was asked to work on my branding etc.  During this process we decided that the name didn’t represent what we were trying to achieve.  The designer came up with a few ideas, but the winner was always Abaqus. Our tagline is Modern Accountancy with a Traditional Twist, and the intentional misspelling of abacus represents this. 

There’s a great feeling of accomplishment when you get your first client signed up, so that must be one of the first ones. I’ve been lucky with growing the business. We started off offering quite limited accounts and taxation services and now can offer bookkeeping, management accounts and payroll in addition to name a few. Growth is something any business owner wants to achieve and up to date figures is a must for this to happen! 

Tom has also been fortunate to win the SME Finance Awards for the Best Accountancy & Business Advisory Firm in Gloucestershire. 

As with most businesses the biggest challenge has been cashflow. When starting with no clients you do wonder how you are going to pay the bills at the end of the month! Tom was very fortunate to have a supportive family at the beginning as they got me through those opening months. 

One of the reasons he wanted to set up on his own was to find out what mistakes businesses can make and to learn from them. We live in a world where there is a lot that can be purchased, and Tom has invested in some products that he later learnt weren’t for me.  He always gets his clients to think about what they are about to buy and does the business really need it. 

The plan now for the future is like many business owners and it is to continue the growth plans.  Last year Sarah joined as the office manager, and Tom is keen to add to the team even more, so that they can continue with the same high standards. 

If AskAbaqus can help with any of your accountancy needs, please give us a call on 01452 596765 for a chat or take a look around their website.