Chart accountancy team

Running a small business makes you a jack of all trades, especially in the first few years. From business planning to sweeping the floors, paying invoices to customer service, we've given it a go. Making sure your books balance, maintaining cash flow, and being ready for the year's tax bill is critical to continuing to do what you love — that's why you look to the experts.

Accounting (like HR) is heavily tied to legal requirements and is never worth the risk or the stress of getting things wrong. We chatted with Teodora Dimitrova, Director and Practice Manager of Reading-based Chart Accountancy, about her business and her experience as a Leave Dates customer. Her award-winning accounting firm has made a name for itself by offering tailored and cost-effective accountancy services for small businesses, sole traders, and freelance contractors. The firm received The Contracting Awards 'Best Contractor Accountant' in 2020 and placed as a finalist for the same award in 2022; it is also an ACCA Approved Employer in recognition of its dedication to excellent training and development.

Teodora understands the importance of having a flexible workplace and generous leave policies to keep her team healthy and happy. Always looking for the next thing to improve her employees' experience, she knew she needed help managing leave without onboarding an extensive HR system with features she wouldn't use.

Making the switch to Leave Dates

The team decided to introduce a leave management system into the business in 2021. They chose Leave Dates because it was easy to set up and use, and they could try it for free with their small team. "Since we introduced Leave Dates, we appreciate the flexibility it offers our team to book leave when they need it, and it has improved our team culture," she says.

Like many small businesses, in the early days of Chart Accountancy, Teodora used a combination of manual processes to monitor leave for the team. 

"Previously, we used spreadsheets to track leave allowances and a shared Outlook Calendar. This was time-consuming and didn't produce accurate calculations of the leave allowances." 

It wasn't just calculating leave allowances and balances that were giving her trouble; communication from different places was a significant obstacle with the manual process.

"As the manager, I often had to track leave requests through emails, chat history, and text messages. Other team members would come and ask me for the whereabouts of their colleagues."

Since then, every request has gone through Leave Dates to keep communication clear and flowing. By utilising balance summaries, Teodora knows that her team's allowances and balances are completely up-to-date. Day to day, she checks her favourite feature, the almighty Wall Chart, to see who is in the office and who is out.

Keeping annual leave unlimited

Like many modern workplaces, the Chart Accountancy team enjoy plenty of flexibility around time off. Beyond their regular leave entitlements, everyone is welcome to additional and uncapped leave days for whatever they want or need to do. Using Leave Dates to bring flexible time off into the business has significantly impacted building and maintaining a positive workplace culture.

"When somebody wants to book leave, I don't have to ask why; they just book it on the app, and it's done. We encourage everybody to take all their leave and whatever they need for good work-life balance."

Supporting education with study leave

Teodora's team uses Leave Dates for more than just statutory leave benefits; as an ACCA-approved employer, they are committed to their staff's continuous education and offer generous study leave to facilitate it. ACCA approval recognises the high standard of ongoing professional development employers provide regarding their teams' professional, technical, and ethical skills. For Teodora, Chart Accountancy being an approved employer symbolises the high-quality service she and her team always aim to provide.

"Being an ACCA-approved employer allows us to attract and retain some of the best talent in our industry, people who are driven to further their knowledge and skills at any stage in their career," she explains.
"Creating the custom policy for study leave took less than a minute. Now we can track it like annual, sick leave, etc. It has saved me so much time. I can't imagine doing all of this on a spreadsheet."

Chart Accountancy is a great example of how teams can use technology to simplify and improve the efficiency of a small business. By eliminating manual processes and opting for an intuitive leave management system, Teodora and her management team can focus on creating culture-boosting leave policies and implementing them as quickly as necessary. The Chart Accountancy team is finding themselves to be champions of workplace well-being as much as they are superstar accountants.



Ché manages our marketing, communications and partnerships. She helps people find Leave Dates and make sure it is right for them. Her favourite weekly task is sending thank you messages to customers who review us.