PracticeAccounting FirmsSmall firm: Trustient

Small firm: Trustient

This year's small firm winner has managed to show a tremendous growth in profit during a period of massive transition for the business - but has still managed to closely look after its most valuable clients.

Trustient started its life as London-based practitioners Jessa & Co in 1990, but decided to change its name as the firm shifted focus. It had to beat off tough competition from Cameron Baum, Mitchells and Raffingers to clinch the prestigious title.

Last year, Jessa & Co decided to do some soul-searching in order to push the firm forward, and after discussions with all the staff drew up a new business plan.

Partners Murtaza Jessa and Jagdish Patel saw an opportunity to offer services to its clients above and beyond those in which most traditional accounting firms would dare to get involved themselves. It also decided to focus its attention on a few key areas where knowledge and expertise would give it a leading edge.

Thus the name Trustient was born. The firm decided to keep hold of its most valuable clients, especially those with which it already had good relationships. It then jettisoned some of the others and focussed its attention on clients in the voluntary sector and on opticians.

Trustient marketed heavily in these two areas and was boosted when one of its clients won the first prize at the Charities Annual Reports and Accounts Awards.It also promoted the range of extra services that it offered and has in the past helped customers to create business plans, find finance for business expansion, recruit staff and create efficient staff structures, streamline working practices, create marketing plans and undertake due diligence.

As one client’s testimony put it: ‘They have become more than accountants, they have become partners.’

At the same time as the refocus of the company, it also undertook a major refurbishing of its IT systems in order to provide a more efficient, streamlined service and promotion on its website.

All these are tricky tasks to carry out simultaneously, but Trustient managed to do it while still recording an 80% increase in profit per partner on the year.

This in particular impressed the Accountancy Age Awards judges and would have helped swing the decision in its favour in an extremely tough category.Apart from this, the judges were also impressed by the firm’s fresh proactive approach to changing the way it operated and attracting clients in a clearly defined target market.

The level of support provided to those clients also pleased the judges while also acknowledging the service provided for the firm’s existing customer base.

The structure of the new organisation and the company’s aim to grow the business by growing their clients’ businesses hit the right note.

Trustient is still a small firm but growing. And if it continues in the same vein it may not be long before we see this highly focused practice nominated for the medium-sized firm of the year award.

Other shortlisted candidates:

  • Cameron Baum
  • Mitchells
  • Raffingers

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