AA Awards 2008: Medium Firm of the Year

They refer to themselves as the accountants who cater for the Dragon’s Den
generation. Shelley Stock Hutter aims to be the entrepreneur’s accountant: a
traditional accountant and a management consultant rolled into one.

The judges said: ‘Shelley Stock Hutter was inspiring and stood out from
everybody else for the work it had done. The firm’s financial performance was
outstanding, it made incisive observations about the marketplace and had
capitalised on them ambitiously.’

SSH grew its fee income by an astonishing 24% this year. For the first full
year SSH had Denver Chase International (DCI) to thank for that surge. DCI is an
outsourcing business that manages bookkeeping, payroll, VAT compliance and
management information.

Integrating DCI has seen the firm transform what it offers existing clients
and add 239 more. It has contributed 79% of their growth.

SSH says its success is down to understanding clients and not talking down to
them: ‘SMEs are particularly uncomfortable with jargon and buzzwords. We want
our clients to be confident that our expertise is relevant to them – not
bamboozle them with acronyms at a first meeting,’ the firm’s awards entry says.

The firm has redesigned its website, including a video on the homepage
explaining their services through the words of clients.

HSBC recognises SSH’s skills, the firm says. The global bank put the firm’s
name on a central London ‘golden circle’ list: ‘a list of accountancy firms –
just three in total – to whom HSBC passes on referrals.’

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