Awards 2005: medium firm of the year – Adler Shine

This year our Medium Firm of the Year Award goes to Adler Shine, an
accountancy firm which has taken a customer-centred approach, with great

In 2004/05, it earned a fee income of £3.5m, up 20% year on year, and
maintained a profit ratio of 50%. These figures speak for themselves, but there
are other testimonials to the firm’s success. Ernst & Young has given it
preferred supplier status, and much of the firm’s growth comes from client

back to
list of award winners

‘They’ve shown good growth, good focus and delivered good levels of profit,’
said our judges. ‘It sounds like a fun business with a lot going on, an exciting
place to work.’

Adler Shine has applied marketing techniques to accounting know-how, with
impressive results. While it tries to reduce clients’ tax liabilities, it also
boasts that its ultimate aim is to increase the amount of tax its clients pay,
through boosting their rate of growth.

It recently created a sports and media group which acts for high profile
individuals. Among the firm’s clients are test match cricketers, including Ian
Bell of England, and the Premiership football managers Chris Coleman and Alan

The firm has also successfully developed its outsourcing and corporate
finance departments. In its first 18 months as an LLP, Adler Shine has acted in
nine AIM admissions and its corporate finance partner sits on the boards of
three AIM-listed companies.

Through its relationship with software solutions provider MYOB, Adler Shine
is moving towards operating a paperless office in a bid to increase its
efficiency as growth continues. All documents are scanned, allowing them to be
viewed on a PC, and caller display recognition allows client details to appear
on-screen as an incoming call is received.

The firm prides itself on maintaining excellent client relationships, but it
has also
made efforts to keep staff happy.

A staff committee meets monthly and is allowed to broach any subject, while
employees are also rewarded with quarterly dinners.

Although new systems have been implemented, the firm has made efforts to
ensure that the rate of change is not too fast for the company to manage. An
electronic procedures manual is available to each employee via their PC,
ensuring that everyone has access to the most recent version.

Recent restructuring has seen the firm change its profile from three equity
and three salaried partners in 2002 to six equity and four salaried partners
this year. It
is hoped that this, together with new work processes, will allow the firm to
produce an even greater income per partner.

Client retention and steady growth have been key to Adler Shine’s success.
The firm has been careful not to take on more business than it can handle, and
has been gradually increasing its graduate recruitment, ready to take on the
forecasted growth in fees.

The firm now faces a difficult decision:does it remain small but highly
profitable, or does it expand to try to compete on a national scale? On the
evidence of past performance, the outcome will be worth watching.

Related reading