Imagine a friendly and efficient bookkeeping / accounting service that is cheaper than an in-house team and smarter than a one man band.

Bean counters – a mildly derogatory, idiomatic term used to describe the irritating precision of accountants and bookkeepers. That’ll be us then!

We could be your super efficient accounts department…

Imagine an accounting service that is more capable than most, less costly to run than a dedicated in-house team, and one that speaks the kind of plain English that you’ll readily understand.

…or we could rip through
your bookeeping a few times a year!

We’re equally happy interacting with corporate business systems and in-house accounts assistants, as we are sorting out jumbled piles of receipts and invoices and cutting through the paper trail of nastiness that the Tax and VAT people demand.

We are fully accredited by the AAT and we’ve been in business for over 20 years – so we must be doing something right!

The Team

We are currently seven people: Kate Graham, Ashley Jayne, and Richard Peel are the directors, and Ryan Cotton-Shutt, Phoebe Hughes, Lara Fear and Helen Dallimore complete the team.

Kate Graham - Director

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Kate started the business in London in the 90s, shortly before moving west with her young family. Prior to that she worked as a nurse and in retail. The commercial highlight of this period was doubling the turnover of the highly successful ice-cream parlour in Harrods. In her spare time she enjoys hammering bits of metal, she calls it silversmithing.

Ashley Jayne FMAAT - Director

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Ash is a Penzance lad! He started out working in a builders merchant before joining the Backroom in 2014. Since then he has smashed his way through AAT and ATT exams and is now our Operations Director. Outside work and family commitments he is passionate about old VW buses and runs the local VW club which, it would seem, mostly involves partying.

Ryan Cotton-Shutt MAAT - Director

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Ryan completed a degree in Business Management in 2012. He joined us following a variety of management positions in retail in London. After recently completing his AAT exams he is now a qualified accountant and our office manager. He and his wife have a young family, so in his very limited spare time he likes to play basketball, golf and enjoys walking the beautiful Cornish coast.

Phoebe Hughes MAAT - Accountant

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Leaving university with a degree in Environmental Resource Management Phoebe chased the dream and travelled the world surfing, but in 2015 she settled down to develop a career in accounting. She has now completed her AAT and is a qualified accountant. She stills spends her free time chasing the sun and camping in her old VW with her partner and their two whippets at every opportunity.

Lara Fear - Accounting Technician

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Lara joins us having moved, with her family, to the delights of West Cornwall. To date she has had a varied career in retail, banking, training and accounting, primarily based in the Midlands. She is currently studying AAT and when not doing this, her collection of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, biographical and historical reading continues to grow and grow!

Helen Dallimore - Accounting Technician

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Helen was a tax inspector with HMRC for 36 years!!! What she doesn't know about tax isn't worth knowing! Nevertheless she is working her way through the AAT qualifications in order to qualify as an accountant. She enjoys coastal walks with her dogs, playing euchre, gardening, collects first edition books, and on a Saturday night she can be found in her local pub pulling pints.

Rick Peel - Director

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Rick joined the company in 2009 following the sale of his design / web development company, Designamite. He has been the FD and MD of several creative businesses and brings marketing and systems expertise to the Backroom, as well as a practical understanding of what fiscal reporting directors need to manage their businesses. Rick lives for windsurfing, if it's windy he'll be at a ‘board’ meeting!

Our Clients and Specialisms

Our clients typically work in the creative sector, although we have businesses of all shapes on our books. They vary in size from individual artists, and makers to London based businesses with up to thirty members of staff.

  • Creative businesses
  • Artists, actors and directors
  • Holiday letting / Airbnb
  • Small businesses & sole traders


First and foremost we always communicate in plain English – there is no accountants technobabble here!
Along with the usual accounting and bookkeeping services, we do everything we can to help your business run smoothly.

General Bookkeeping including:

  • Bank and credit card reconciliations
  • Supplier bill processing and / or payment
  • Sales invoicing and debtor management
  • Project profitability and management reporting
  • VAT Returns
  • Payroll management
  • Workplace Pension administration
  • Preparation of books for 3rd Party Accountants

Accountancy Services including:

  • Management accounts and business performance reporting
  • Self Assessment, Partnership, and Corporation Tax Returns
  • Annual Accounts

Other Services include:

  • Project management systems
  • Database systems development
  • Marketing advice and business mentoring
  • Training clients how to bookkeep and use software

Contact Us

Much of our work comes from London and the big cities, we also have a growing local client base in West Cornwall.
You’d be welcome to visit our offices in Penzance – just drop by and say ‘hello’.

Tel 01736 364 330

Feel free to give us a call, email us at, or fill out the form below.

Contact Us



Address and opening hours

31 & 32 Causewayhead, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 2SP

9am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Working with us

We are currently looking for an Accounts Assistant to join our team.

Accounts Assistant, £20,000 – £25,000

Join our expanding bookkeeping and accounting business. Central Penzance location. Excellent career prospects. Experience and AAT Level 3 or equivalent necessary.

Job Description

Duties may include: 

  • Day to day bookkeeping for a variety of clients
  • Preparation of year end accounts for Sole Traders and Limited Companies
  • Completion of Self Assessment Tax Returns
  • VAT returns and payroll processing
  • Creating management accounts and performance reports
  • Liaising with clients and HMRC

Personal Attributes

The ideal candidate will be an organised self-starter, who is also articulate, efficient, adaptable, accurate, and dependable.


Experienced with accounting software; QuickBooks preferred. Proficient in Microsoft applications and IT skills (Windows 10) will be helpful. Good keyboard skills and tidy handwriting essential.


AAT Level 3 or equivalent required, with at least 1 year practice experience. Degree and A’ Levels helpful, 5 GCSEs including English Language and Maths essential.


The office has one flights of stairs and several steps.


Depending on experience and qualifications: £20,000 to £25,000 per annum.

Full-time position, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5:00pm, flexitime. As workload dictates, further paid hours may be required from time to time. Great office atmosphere, small friendly team, weekly staff lunches, Summer and Christmas parties (Subject to Covid!).


20 days, plus bank holidays, plus a loyalty scheme for continued service after one year.


Please submit your CV with a letter of application to

Even when there isn’t a specific job advertised we are always keen to meet people that are looking for work and have suitable experience, so you’d be welcome to send your CV and a speculative letter of application to: