Jane and Julian Speed
Based in Saltney near Chester, Deva Disposables distributed a full
range of disposable items to the catering trade across Cheshire and
beyond, including Chester Zoo and Manchester United Football Club.
Husband and wife team Julian and Jane Speed acquired the company in 1999
and sold it almost eight years later in 2007.
According to Jane Speed, Dufton Kellner was integral in book-ending
the process, helping them through the acquisition of the company, and
its eventual disposal. They also prepared annual accounts for every
year the firm was in operation. It was the high level of consistency
offered by the firm that impressed Jane.
"The continuity was wonderful," she says. "The accountants always
made themselves available for us, and we were secure in the knowledge
that we could pick up the phone at any point and talk to the relevant
person about any issues whatsoever that we were having. One of the
remarkable things about the firm is their phone response manner. They
are a pleasure to talk to and are happy to point you in the right
direction for your query. As a firm they work very well together."
Jane first encountered the firm after she was referred to them by
Stuart Kellner's mother! Jane ran her own practice as a
state-registered chiropodist, and Stuart's mother worked as a
receptionist. When Jane and Julian first acquired Deva Disposables,
Jane felt that there was a lot to learn to achieve the right level of
"Julian was in his element, as he has always worked in a similar
capacity, but I was a little raw on the financial matters so I attended
some of Stuart's motivational classes. Over the years I learnt so much
under his tutorship, and from the rest of the team. Dufton Kellner even
taught me how to prepare more valuable accounts which actually reduced
my audit bills - and their fees. The fact I didn't feel as though they
were keeping me in the dark in order to squeeze every last penny out of
me is reflective of the level of service they provide.
"We had management accounts prepared by Dufton Kellner on a quarterly
basis for a period of time. They didn't once make me feel intimidated,
as I had experienced with previous accountants."
Although they have sold the business, Julian and Jane intend to
retain the services of Dufton Kellner for their personal tax returns,
especially since Dufton Kellner saved them a significant amount of
capital gains tax in the final business disposal transaction.
"We ended up paying a lot less CGT than we thought we would," says
Jane. "They saved us a hefty lump after making the correct
calculations. Across all levels they provide the same with every member
of the staff, they are a pleasure to talk to."