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Accounting firm counts blessings after smashing 2020 growth targets

Yorkshire-based firm of chartered accountants and businesses advisors Shenward has smashed its 2020 growth targets, announcing its largest revenue increase since founding in 1989.

The family-run firm, which owns offices in Bradford and Leeds reported a 25 per cent increase in turnover for FY 2019/20 making it the ninth consecutive year of growth.

The significant growth follows the firm’s recent acquisition of Leeds-based Cox, Costello & Horne in 2018 and is said to be the result of the introduction of a four-year growth plan developed and launched in 2016.

Sherad Dewedi, managing partner at Shenward said: “In 2016, we sat down as a firm to review our branding and positioning, developing a plan for how we wanted to drive the practice forward.

“We recognised the demand to become a multidisciplinary practice that met the needs of both the traditional and modern-day businessperson and created a strategy that put the future of accounting first.

“Whilst we knew that there needed to be an element of traditional bookkeeping, we tried to ensure that existing and new clients were prepared for the future digitization of accounting by adding a three-fold digital strategy into our plans.”

Throughout the four-year period, the firm diversified into a multitude of service lines including company secretarial, tax planning, forensic accountancy, R&D tax credits, COP 9 investigations, tax investigation insurance, and onboarded a host of new clients from across the globe.

In 2018, Shenward successfully implemented the planned three-fold digital strategy, developing three online accounting tools; KashFlow, AccountantGo and OpenSpace, which has helped to enhance the service to its clients.

Sherad added: “Since the acquisition of our Leeds office and the introduction of our digital strategy, we’ve continued to expand our footprint across the UK.

“We are seeing success in appointments from outside the UK, particularly Europe and SE Asia, and those who wish to establish/develop their UK operations.

“After welcoming clients from the real estate, retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, we now proudly support businesses and individuals from within almost all sectors.”

The boosted client portfolio has also opened opportunities for employment, allowing the firm to increase its headcount from eight to twenty-six and appoint four trainee accountants through an apprenticeship scheme.

The firm is now pursuing plans to diversify its service portfolio as they seek to expand their market share across the UK with the acquisition of future practices and multiple junior and senior hires.

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