Exciting changes to the management structure at HSJ Accountants, a prominent, independent accounting firm located in South Wales.
HSJ Accountants has established a reputation for providing exceptional financial and tax-related services to individuals and businesses alike. They have a wealth of experience in the compliance and business advisory field and have worked alongside many of Wales’ successful businesses, with support being tailored according to each business owners’ needs. Based in South Wales on the M4 corridor, strategically placed between Newport and Cardiff, they are focused on innovation and excellence for their clients and team alike.
In July 2023 HSJ celebrates its 20th anniversary of providing independent personalised services to it’s client base. In the dynamic world of finance and business, where innovative ideas and technological advancements shape the landscape, it is crucial for businesses to stay agile and forward thinking. The 20-year anniversary of this forward-thinking firm marks not just a milestone but a significant turning point in the firm’s history. By entrusting the reins to the younger generation, the practice is embracing the future with open arms. The 3 Directors, Leanne Owen, Andrew Hill and Natalie Vvind have completed buying out the original partners Kim Jackson and Robyn Hughes.
Two decades ago, the founders of this accountancy practice had a vision of creating a firm that would focus a strong belief in technology, and a customer centric approach, they set out to deliver comprehensive financial solutions tailored to each client’s unique needs. Throughout its existence the firm has never wavered from its commitment to innovation. Embracing cloud-based accounting and streamlining processes, allowing their team to focus on higher-value tasks. This dedication to staying at the cutting edge of technology not only enhanced client experiences but also optimised internal operations. Now the baton is passed along to the next generation to continue this ethos for the next 20 years.
In the new structure Leanne focus’s on innovative new products emerging, driving efficiency and steering the business into the future, as well as maintaining a close relationship with the clients she helps. Andrew has transformed and modernised the audit approach and is continuing to grow this side of the business, and really focuses on developing the inexperienced team members to help them flourish in their career. Natalie overseas all things tax related, her fresh approach, constantly pushing boundaries for modernising practices to ensure clients are brought along the digital journey with us is impressive.
Leanne was keen to point out that this has been a well thought out and planned hand over, which has been executed over a number of years. All 5 Directors have worked alongside one another for the last 5 years, planning and collaborating on the future of HSJ and ensuring everybody’s objectives and values were aligned. It was important for everybody involved to ensure no disruption was created during the handover and clients still experienced the same quality of service with a seamless handover.
This has worked well for all parties involved with everybody achieving their objectives. Robyn and Kim were keen to ensure their clients were looked after well into the future as well as the whole team at HSJ. By working together for this prolonged period, it created an environment where this could be achieved and the quality of client service and team environment within the office continued to evolve with the wider climate in a positive way.
The 3 remaining directors, all under 45 years of age are very dynamic and forward thinking in the way they approach the business and client service delivery. They have emerged as the driving forces behind the firm’s continuous growth and evolution. Their contributions have been instrumental in securing new clients, spearheading innovative services and expanding the firms reach. The recent move to handover the reins of their practice exemplifies their trust in the new generation but also aligns perfectly with the firm’s philosophy of embracing change and staying ahead of the curve.
Andrew Hill commented that they believe their independent nature gives them a competitive edge of being able to adapt quickly to market demands, and to tailor their service to each client’s needs. When speaking on the latest trend of consolidations in the accountancy sector Andrew said that he believes there is still a very strong demand for Independent firms in Wales that are large enough to cover the full range of services but client’s can still deal with an owner directly. They see this ability to retain a personal approach and know their client as a competitive advantage in their field. This has certainly been an advantage to Andrew as he has continued to grow and develop the audit services for the firm.
HSJ Accountants is known for their attention to detail and personalised approach to client service. This culminated in them winning the Award of Excellence for Business and tax Advisors 2023 which demonstrates their commitment to excellence and innovation within their field. The award is a glowing endorsement of the quality of services they provide and further cements their reputation for providing clients with a high-quality experience in this sector.
Natalie Vvind liked to point out that this level of service is not possible alone. Natalie says It is a real team effort, with a team of 37 all contributing to a shared goal of delivering client focused solutions. Recognising that fresh perspectives and ideas are vital to staying ahead in the competitive market, HSJ are consistently reviewing their offering to ensure they are an attractive proposition for young talent. The culture at HSJ is very open and friendly with ideas and personalities being encouraged to thrive. We believe this has encouraged a strong bond throughout the team, we encourage this bond by encouraging team activities, for example, 15 of the team recently completed the Porthcawl 10K for the charity Prostate Cymru, with many more team members coming along to cheer them on and helping to raise funds for the charity.
Andrew says that with all of the difficulty in the recruitment market that has been experienced in the last couple of years, we are actually really fortunate to have retained and attracted team members and we believe the culture at HSJ has a lot to do with our success in that area. We provide a rounded positive package that we think is very attractive. This includes things like a funded social committee budget, team members getting their birthday off and remote and flexible working policies along with the more traditional health and life policies available. By providing a positive environment to work within, it has resulted in attracting and retaining team members. Retaining our talented team allows for consistency for our clients and building on client knowledge year on year. The 3 Directors all agree that the whole team is the key to their success.
All 3 Directors are committed to ensuring that the successful career paths they have forged for themselves are available to the upcoming talent within their organisation who have ambitions to become shareholders in the future. Leanne said it Is very important to all 3 of us that there are no glass ceilings and opportunities for ownership are available for those people who feel this could be the right path, for them to lead an innovative independent practice into the future. Our 3 paths were slightly different to get to this point with a mixture of qualification routes, and professional experiences, it is important to us that the door is open for this in the future.
The challenges faced by all business’s in the future are also opportunities, this ranges from understanding and working with AI and actually using the technology around us to work smarter and work for us to exploit opportunities within the market place. HSJ look forward to working side by side with their clients to navigate through this new world and help them achieve solutions that drive their business and their personal objectives. HSJ remain totally committed to ensuring that the firm remains an independent practice that continues to grow, nurtures its team and offers the best and broadest service to our clients.