The face of accountancy is changing at such an incredible rate of knots that you could be forgiven for thinking that if you blink you will miss another major development.
Indeed, the profession has never seen such an incredible volume and speed of major activity before. Six months ago, who would have predicted that the Big Five would have shrunk to become – almost – the Big Four?
The profession is also changing in a number of other ways. LLP status, for example. Consultancy businesses have, and continue to be sold off – and there has been the emergence of accountancy consolidators, or ‘integrators’ as some would prefer to call them.
One of the leading lights is Numerica, the group borne out of mid-tier firm Levy Gee. And at the forefront of the Numerica phenomenon is the ever energetic and enthusiastic chief executive Tony Sarin.
For a man who spends a great deal of time on the road talking to existing clients, integrated firms and potential partners, he is, most of the time, surprisingly easy to contact. This is probably due to the fact he appears to tackle everything that comes his way with gusto, and is always willing to spare some of his time.
In the last year or so, Sarin has overseen the integration of Levy Gee, NMGW, Jayson Newman and marketing and software group Practice Track, a float on the AIM stock market, the unveiling of separate audit arm AV Audit and continual meetings with other firms which may be of interest to the group.
No wonder Sarin says he has little time to get out and enjoy his favourite hobby, golf. Despite not having much time, he still plays off eight – the kind of handicap many of us can only dream about – and he still manages to play the odd round of a Saturday morning.
At the tender age of just 40, Sarin – married for almost 12 years, and with two young daughters – can already claim to have been an executive director of NewMedia Spark plc (he retains a non-executive director roll after selling the business two years ago) as well as being a former partner of Morley & Scott.
But perhaps his biggest challenge lies ahead, that of persuading the profession, and of course its clients, that consolidators have a role to play. Not an easy job, particularly when rival Tenon was forced to issue a profits warning.
However, you can be sure that an undeterred Sarin has the energy and drive to make sure Numerica moves on to bigger and better things.
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