Safeguarding Future of Family Businesses

Blog for EQ Chartered Accountants

Family businesses are the backbone of the Scottish economy, with their success attributed to strong governance, innovative family ownership and a focus on the long term.

One local family business which has certainly stood the test of time is Patersons Skip Hire in Dundee.

Founded by Director Kerr Paterson’s Grandfather in 1948, the company provides skip hire for domestic, commercial and industrial customers and employs a team of 16 staff.


Kerr Paterson and Scott Greig – credit Alan Richardson,


Kerr, who took over the company from his late father in 2016 said, “Having taken over the running of the business following my father’s death, it was an opportune time for me to get to the grips with the structure of the business, and to explore whether our finances could be managed more effectively.”

On the recommendation of a close friend and business acquaintance, Kerr got in touch with Scott Greig, Principal Manager in EQ’s Cupar office last summer.

“When I first met Scott, I made it quite clear that finance wasn’t my strong point and he’d need to talk in laymen’s terms. Scott took that on board and really took the time to understand our business, so we quickly knew we’d approached the right person and found a firm we could work well with.”

Scott added, “We started working with Kerr and his team at a critical time for the business, with some time-sensitive work required in the first instance. With the recent changes in the family, it was then a case of examining the bigger picture, reviewing the business structure and understanding Kerr’s plans for the future, and their implications going forwards.”

In an effort to meet Kerr’s longer-term business goals, Scott reviewed the business structure in conjunction with Blackadders Solicitors, incorporating the partnership into a company.

Scott then went on to clarify a number of issues relating to tax, VAT and capital allowance planning.

Meanwhile, EQ’s Amber Accounting department began providing bookkeeping training and payroll support, as well as resolving various matters relating to staff pensions.

Looking to the future, Kerr is confident that his business is on a much stronger footing – “These first few months of working with EQ have been quite an eye-opener and so refreshing – I feel so much more knowledgeable about the businesses finances now. EQ have taken a major headache away and simplified the whole process for me, allowing me to focus on the day-to-day operations to continue to expand the business.

“In many ways, EQ feel like they’re part of our business, as opposed to just scrutinising our figures a couple of times a year. They aren’t just there for the compliance issues, they are supporting and steering us as we go along, always there to meet up or talk on the phone, even if we’re just looking for some guidance. It’s also fantastic having Amber managing our day-to-day finances, meaning everything is streamlined and in sync. I have every trust in EQ as we move onto the next stage in the business.”

Scott added, “Working with family firms is a real privilege so we always go out of our way to build and maintain strong relationships, ensuring that clients trust our guidance, and really understand why we provide the advice we do. Patersons Skip Hire have a bright and exciting future, and we are looking forward to supporting them as they take the next steps.”

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