Colston & Colston

Colston & Colston is an independent firm of Chartered Surveyors and commercial property consultants with extensive contacts throughout the West Country and South Wales. Their clients include companies, asset managers, developers, private property investors, landowners and pension funds.

The Problems & Frustrations

Colston & Colston had a bookkeeper using Sage desktop accounting and an accountant dealing with year-end filing and tax advice. They had numerous files of paper in the office; sales invoices, purchase bills, expenses, and bank statements to name but a few. They were receiving the compliance side of an accounting function but not any management reporting and wanted to be in touch with their data to start tracking how various areas of the business were performing.


Angela Ashworth of Purple Lime met with Alistair Colston and his fellow partners. They reviewed how the flow of information and paperwork could be improved upon. Angela introduced the firm to the world of Xero cloud accounting software and some of the associated apps which could be used to run their business. If a painless cloud based system could be set up whilst maintaining regular communication with an accountant this was appealing to the business partners.


Angela set up Xero cloud based accounting initially and worked with the partners to track the different areas of the business that they wished to monitor. Live bank feeds were integrated with Xero. Following on from that Receipt Bank was integrated with Xero for all costs and expenses to be captured and finally, Re-Leased was integrated at the front end which is a commercial and residential property management system.

The Result

The business now has a tailored cloud based system and the office is free of many files of paper. All documents are stored in the cloud.

Monthly management reporting includes a full profit & loss tracked by areas of the business the partners wished to report on, along with balance sheet, debtor and creditor analysis. Comparative figures monitor how the business is doing. Payroll, VAT, year-end accounts and compliance are seamlessly taken care of by Purple Lime. Employees have the relevant functionality within each software application according to their role.

A Note From Colston & Colston

Since working with Angela and Oli we have had nothing but expert, smooth and accurate output. We are embracing the new technology that Purple Lime have implemented and we are already seeing the benefits.
Testimonial by Allan Lloyd
Allan Lloyd
Colston & Colston

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