Leeds-based Northern Accountants is one of only four firms in the UK to have achieved the prestigious Six Star Excellence rating from industry association AVN – and the only business in Yorkshire to have ever been awarded the accolade.
Widely recognised as the profession’s highest honour, Six Star Excellence acknowledges best practice accountancy models that help clients grow. Accounting firms can nominate themselves, before being rigorously assessed, interviewed and evaluated. Northern Accountants is the only business to have attained this premier status on the first attempt.
The achievement comes on the back of 600% business growth over the last four years. In 2010, Northern Accountants was a one-man operation with £50,000 turnover. Now, based in Howley Park Business Village in Morley – where the company moved in March 2012 to facilitate expansion – Northern Accountants has six employees and secured £300,000 turnover last year. With clients throughout Yorkshire, plus an increasing number in London and even overseas, the practice is forecasting £350,000 turnover for 2014 and plans to recruit at least two more members of staff within the next 12 months.
Commenting on the AVN recognition, Northern Accountant’s founder Phil Ellerby said:
“We are absolutely delighted. ‘Six Star Excellence’ may be unheard of by non-accountants, but it really does position us in the industry’s premier league.
“Our ethos has always been to deliver proactive advice and down to earth customer service and it is fantastic that this fresh approach has been acknowledged. Now, as we look to the future, we will concentrate on continuing to help our core client base – owner-managed businesses with turnover of up to £6m – to grow or improve their return.”
Having previously presented to over 400 of his peers regarding his approach to best practice, Phil is passionate about changing the perception of the accounting profession.
“Gone are the days when accountants exist purely to crunch numbers and complete mandatory paperwork, and I am keen to change this antiquated stereotype,” he said. “Yes the numbers are still important, but so too is forecasting, strategy and progression. Those that are not providing a value-adding service to nurture their clients’ growth will get left behind.”
As a result of the Six Star Excellence achievement, Northern Accountants has been nominated for AVN’s Firm of the Year. A Small Firm of the Year winner in 2012, the team will find out if it has scooped this larger award, in September 2014.
Reflecting on Northern Accountant’s accomplishment, AVN chairman Steve Pipe added:
“The AVN Excellence model is based on 15 years of research into what makes accounting firms world class. Northern Accountants is the first firm ever to achieve a Six Star Excellence rating in Yorkshire, and one of the first four in the entire country. This is a fantastic achievement, that is richly deserved and confirms their status as one of the most exciting, dynamic and innovative accountancy practices around”.