Tozer Seeds is Britain’s largest independent vegetable breeding company. It was first founded as a local supplier in Surrey in 1939, but by the 1970s was supplying seed across the UK to commercial growers. Today, the company is an international operation with offices in Spain and the USA and their seeds are sold and grown across the globe through a large network of distributors.
In 2011, Tozer Seeds undertook a strategic review of the business and the relationships they held with external providers, including accountancy and auditing services, focusing on how to improve costs and value for money.
Says Steven Winterbottom, Managing Director of Tozer Seeds: “We interviewed a number of different accountancy and auditing firms as part of our aim to streamline Tozer’s financial functions. Ours is an extremely complex business, so as well as assessing their costs proposals, we wanted to appoint a firm that we could work easily with on a day-to-day basis and get good timely advice whenever needed.
“Most accountants do ‘what it says on the tin’, but they should also have the human touch. It was important that we engage a firm with whom we could build a personal relationship and Rothmans partner, Andy Miller’s calm and collected manner immediately felt like the perfect match for our company.
“Since engaging the firm, we have worked closely with both Andy and his Tax Manager. We are frequently in contact and know that they are also always at the other end of the phone when needed.
“We thoroughly enjoy working with Rothmans – they give us a first class service and have been instrumental in helping us to move our company forward financially.”
Prior to working with Rothmans, the group audit was a complex process for Tozer as their overseas subsidiaries were audited independently. Now Rothmans oversee the group account audits for Tozer’s offices in Spain and the US as well as in the UK. Rothmans have also restructured the way that the company’s corporation tax is handled.
Andy Kirby, Tozer’s Financial Controller, says: “Rothmans have helped us to make as many efficiency gains as possible as well as assisting us in identifying various processes to streamline the audit.
“This gives us better control on a monthly basis and minimises the time that Rothmans need to be on site, enabling us to prepare annual accounts to a tight schedule and speed up the process.
“Rothmans have also been able to help us to maximise the tax benefits of our international research and development function. This forms a large proportion of our work and we qualify for R&D credits from HMRC. Rothmans have overseen the claim process since being engaged and have helped us to minimise our tax exposure.
“Rothmans’ international tax and audit expertise ensures that we get the best tax treatment possible for our company’s profits, particularly in the US, which is one of our main growth markets. This specialist service from Rothmans is also valuable for our other expanding markets, such as Australia and the Pacific region, where we already have established dealer relationships.
“We have also completely outsourced our payroll function to Rothmans. As well as resulting in considerable cost-savings for our company, using this service has freed up our own resources, allowing us to concentrate on other accountancy work in-house.”