harriet-sergeant-1For this month’s Made in Sussex, Sussex Business Times caught up with Harriet Sergeant, Partner at online bookkeeping service, Blue Sky Books

Could you give us a bit of background on Blue Sky Books?

Blue Sky Books is a bookkeeping company that launched in April this year, dedicated to small businesses and start-ups. We are based in Chichester and are the sister company of Sheen Stickland Chartered Accountants, who has over 70 years experience in accounting. We use a cloud-based software called Xero – which is really intuitive and easy to use. We bring all the expertise and knowledge of accredited accountants but with the flexibility and simplicity of online bookkeeping software, which is what makes us different from most bookkeepers. This also means that our services can grow with our clients’ businesses as we have the resources and team to scale up their support and services as required.

What was it that urged the set up of Blue Sky Books?

We set up Blue Sky Books to provide cost-effective bookkeeping solutions for all early stage and small businesses that may have previously believed our services were out of their reach. We know that it can be quite daunting when starting a business to navigate the world of tax and VAT returns as well as trying to interpret what the figures mean, which is what inspired us to create this cost effective business solution. Having recently set up this service, we have first-hand experience of starting up in this current market, which helps us to relate to our clients.

Could you tell us a bit about your services?

We offer a whole range of services from initial set-up of Xero and regular bookkeeping through to producing annual accounts and business planning depending on the size and budget of a business. We often find that many small businesses keep track of everything in spreadsheets which works fine until the business starts to grow, making it quite time consuming to file accounts. This software we use streamlines this process allowing a small business owner to spend more time focusing on their day-to-day business. The services are managed via the cloud so that our clients can access their accounts anytime and anywhere as long as they have Internet connection.

PrintWhat advice would you give to other small businesses?

Seek advice and support from others, whether it is invoicing, expenses, marketing or development. Networking is a great way to make business contacts and get an insight in to how others cope with similar obstacles. It will also encourage word of mouth marketing, which will help build your customer base and business.

We are hosting a series of free business workshops in Chichester aimed at small businesses. We will be offering advice and support on business essentials as well as updates on tax. These workshops will also give local entrepreneurs the chance to network with other like-minded businesses that will be in a similar situation.


To find out more about Blue Sky Books please visit www.blueskybooks.co.uk