I have to say this was a most welcome surprise. The firm has been nominated for the 2017 Practice Excellence Awards in the New Firm of the Year category. For those of you unfamiliar with the awards, they are the UK’s largest accountancy awards. What’s more, we seem to be the only Northern Ireland firm shortlisted across any of the categories.

I knew from day one starting the firm that I wanted to do things differently. I wanted the firm to be far more concerned with how much it could help its clients rather than how many clients it had. I wanted clients to have total transparency over fees before I did anything for them rather than springing bills on them 18 months into the relationship. I wanted to move away from billing by the hour and “selling time”. Businesses don’t go to accountants to buy their time; they want to buy their expertise. So that’s what I sell – expertise, experience. I sell clients peace of mind, clarity and comfort. I sell their own time back to them.

Doing things differently can be a burden at time. It can create a huge amount of self-doubt and worry over whether this is the right way to do things. However, feedback from clients has always been the driving force to continuing the path I’ve chosen. It’s my North Star. The shortlisting for the Practice Excellence awards feel like further validation from people within the industry. Whilst it doesn’t hold as much sway as a “thank you” from a client, it is still very welcome. Now, more than ever, I know I’m on to something and that I’m going in the right direction.

The Practice Excellence Awards 2017 will take place on 19th October. Check out the other nominees in the New Firm of the Year category below:

Cone Accounting

The Accountancy Cloud

Soaring Falcon

Hive Business

Adrian Markey shortlisted for Practice Excellence 2017 award