News & Views

Ashton Bentley

24/05/2017

PKF Francis Clark client, Ashton Bentley design and manufacture an innovative range of integrated, technologically advanced, presentation, and telepresence systems that maximise the performance of today's leading video conferencing engines.

Simply put, hardware and software developed by Ashton Bentley connects people and applications remotely while avoiding the familiar delays at the start of meetings in getting the required audio-visual and IT infrastructures to work. Furthermore, all systems, from a single room to a global estate, can be remotely managed and controlled providing the user with reduced operation and support costs.

Their products are flexible and designed to be very simple to operate, overcoming techno-fear often experienced by users. Ultimately this saves a lot of wasted time in meetings. This is brilliantly explained through some short animations on Ashton Bentley’s website (www.ashtonbentley.com).

Developing new technology, owning the IP, and then selling to the market as finished goods or licensing to other manufacturers and resellers has been central to Ashton Bentley's growth and success. The combination of the management team’s experience, expertise and innovation meant that Ashton Bentley was quickly successful at establishing worldwide interest in their products and a portfolio of blue chip clients.

After engaging the team at PKF Francis Clark, it soon became clear that the existing business structure was not maximising the opportunities available to the business and that imbalanced cost allocation between different entities could be storing up future difficulties. For instance, had the business been incorporated, it would qualify for R&D Tax Relief, as a partnership it didn’t.

The PKF Francis Clark team stripped the operation back to basics and developed a group structure that was fit for purpose and would support the operation as it sought to diversify, enlarge and protect its future.  The result has been a more solid foundation on which to build and to plan for succession.

Tony Leedham, Ashton Bentley’s Business Development Director said: “Sean Grinsted and his team at PKF Francis Clark brought a fresh pair of eyes to what we were doing and completely invigorated the operation enabling us to build a business that is cost and tax efficient.

“He helped us recognise the underlying value of the component parts of the business including how to maximise the benefits from our Intellectual Property.”

PKF Francis Clark partner Sean Grinsted added: “The new corporate group means that Ashton Bentley will be undertaking research and development activities, product development and registering any resulting patents directly in the name of the company rather than using the previous sub-contract arrangement under the partnership structure. This enables a more coherent, manageable and tax efficient enterprise".

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