PracticeAccounting FirmsAwards 2003: Small Firm

Awards 2003: Small Firm

Trustient has pulled off a proud double, by taking the Small Firm of the Year award for the second year running.

In 2002 it claimed top spot after showing a near 80% increase in profit per partner on the year.

That huge profit came during a period of massive transition and a dramatic change in strategy.

At the beginning of 2002, Trustient decided to hold onto its most valuable clients, rid the company of others and focus on clients in the voluntary sector and opticians.

It is a strategy that has paid off handsomely. In 2003, it has taken first prize after consolidating its position in these markets and expanding its client base from 142 to 191 – an increase of 35%.

Fees grew from £502,000 to £661,000, a rise of 32%, and the net profit per partner increased from £86,000 to £105,700, a jump of 23%.

There was also a 43% rise in non-recurring fees from £201,000 to £287,000.

Recurring fees increased by 24% to £374,000.

It received comprehensive backing from the judges.’These people have done really well in a tough market,’ said one.

Trustient highlights the way it has spotted trends in the not-for-profit sector as examples of its success in 2003. For several of its voluntary organisation sector clients, it developed a new product.

With many organisations considering outsourcing the finance director function, Trustient came up with a product known as the remote finance director.

This saves the organisation the cost of employing a full-time member of staff, but also allows them to call up financial expertise when needed.

For example, one academic faculty wanted to recruit its own top-level management at board level, but did not want to have to meet the costs associated with this.

Trustient’s solution was to transfer to new accounting software, provide IT training workshops and supervise the entire finance function, including overseeing the payroll.

‘We get the best of both worlds,’ said the director of the faculty. ‘We receive quality advice, but also benefit from economies of not having a full-time professional finance director in house. Trustient has also ensured that we get best value from the integration of our financial systems.’

It has also developed health checks for charity clients so that they are ready to face the Charity Commission, the watchdog that has embarked upon a programme of review visits to see how charities are run.

The not-for-profit sector has now become the most important for Trustient.

On the optician side, Trustient allowed one of its clients to progress from being a self-employed locum to owning a lucrative practice in London’s West End.

Trustient started life 13 years ago as Jessa & Co. However, with a change of name, overseen by partners Murtaza Jessa and Jagdish Patel, it has seen a change in emphasis and fortune.

Based in Middlesex, the company has recruited three new full-time members of staff during the past year, as well as a number of external associates.

OTHER SHORTLISTED CANDIDATES:

  • Cameron Baum
  • Freeman & Partners
  • SJD Accountancy.

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