Medium firm: Clement Keys

The firm’s core beliefs are simple. ‘There is no such thing as a static business,’ reads its entry. ‘At any point in time a business is either progressing or declining.’ And its second central tenet challenges conventional thinking. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. SO WRONG. Plan the change before it breaks to ensure continued business development.’

And this philosophy impressed our judges. ‘It’s an innovative forward-looking firm offering a very good range of services,’ said one. Another added: ‘It has a good profile and range of innovative ideas.’ A third put it more directly: ‘The firm has a competitive view of business’.

With an emphasis on IT and its 45 Black Country-based staff, Clement Keys assumes quality and efficiency of service are a given. It also does not believe rapid and excessive growth is an appropriate target as it can lead to short-termism and quick fixes. Instead it emphasises flexibility – both in a reactive sense by responding to clients demands, and pro-actively in anticipating those demands.

In Clement Keys the judges saw evidence of a firm that had adapted its internal structure to improve client focus, effectiveness and innovation – and that this had improved the firm’s financial performance. To avoid the ‘partner as technician’ mentality that holds back some firms, Clement Keys talks to others within the accountancy industry and beyond.

As a result – unusually for a firm of its size – Clement Keys is also pushing on the international stage.

Other shortlisted candidates:

  • Champion Chartered Accountants
  • Morris & Co
  • Rabjohns

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