Sole practitioner of the year: Michael Dunkley of Dunkley’s

Dunkley’s award-winning submission for the new sole practitioner award began
with the following description: “passion, stamina, sexy”.

Not exactly the words most outside the profession would associate with
accountancy, but Michael Dunkley’s work at the business he started in 1991
certainly demonstrates a boundless enthusiasm for client care and a strong drive
to provide the best possible service. We’ll leave the sexy remark to your

Based in Bristol, Dunkley’s has seen turnover grow by 50% in the past two
years to £1.5m, significantly ahead of the practice’s five-year plan. That rise
in fees has come from a 50/50 split of organic growth and retained fees of a
practice purchase in October 2007.

It is one of only two sole practitioners to feature in the Accountancy
Top 50 + 50 survey and 9th highest in terms of fees per partner. But
what makes Dunkley’s really stand out is its combination of dedication to
clients and how it looks after its staff.

Its core values of providing timely, informative advice, reacting promptly
and efficiently to requests, sticking to time scales and fees, and working with
clients to develop opportunities have stuck a chord with customers.

“Dunkley’s staff are always willing to help and resolve issues when needed
and take a real interest in our affairs,” said one client. Another said the
practice was “always at hand to answer any queries we had, even when we called
out of hours”.

Of Dunkley’s 32 staff, nearly half have been there over five years, with ten
having registered more than a decade at the practice. A shining example of how
staff feel about Dunkley’s is that all six team members taken on during a
practice purchase have stayed at the business.

Having such stability within the team has also helped with client service,
with always at least four members of staff having knowledge of the client’s
affairs and able to serve their needs.

The next task for Dunkley’s is to branch out further into various business
sectors, including healthcare, construction and catering and develop new
services in tax and software hosting. The practice has also taken on its own
in-house IFA as part of its expansion.


The judges were enthused by Mike Dunkley’s unique style and
entry.“Extrovert and idiosyncratic, the entry from Mike Dunkley of Dunkley’s
stood out for its energy and his total commitment to both team members and
clients. He is clearly a driven man and knows exactly what he wants and where
he’s going.”

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