Intermediate Power Index Profile: Moore Kingston Smith

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In September, Accountancy Age proudly launched the inaugural edition of the Mid-Tier Power Index (MTPI): an all-new ranking designed to highlight excellence in the middle market of the accounting industry.

MICT seeks to go beyond typical financial measures. While profitability and growth were considered as one of four categories, participants were also assessed on strategic planning, professional excellence, and people and community.

Moore Global member firm Moore Kingston Smith took 3rd place in the ranking. In a conversation with Accountancy Age, Managing Partner Maureen Penfold stresses the importance of prioritizing what the client wants rather than “what we want to sell”.

Professional Excellence – Clients must “have a voice”

deputy : One of our main pillars is “customers at heart”. And so the kind of stuff we’re building around is the customer care program. We are constantly collecting formal customer feedback and looking for how to improve this system and get a mix of quality and quantity from each customer.

This has been very interesting because we get insight into whether or not the customer is happy and then we use KPIs to monitor that and look at trends. So it’s usually to make sure that a quality control system is in place and that customers have a say.

Most of the developments we’ve had in the business have been about what customers want rather than what we want to sell to them. And that actually helped us develop different service lines, the latest being ESG. And we’ve actually upgraded our ESG skills based on what our clients say they want.

We also have a culture of learning both internally and for our clients, and we have a very deep knowledge of individual industries, as opposed to just our service lines. Sure, we understand accounts, audit, tax and all that, but it’s about really understanding the client’s business journey. And that, I think, really has a huge impact on our professional excellence.

People and community – “The human touch is at the heart of our concerns”

deputy : We are a people-oriented company – these are our main strengths. And if you have good people, you can serve good customers. So what we’re really trying to do around that is make sure we’re an inclusive place where everyone can thrive and reach their potential.

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to customers, but neither does it for people. You need a mix of people, so we’re trying to modernize how people are treated within companies, so they’re trustworthy and it’s more of an open forum.

Everyone talks about purpose and values, but it’s equally important to make sure we’re all aligned with those values, because then people can be individuals, not clones.

So we’re thinking like online surveys, and I’ve started doing a managing partner update during COVID, and it’s impressive how many people are signing up for this kind of thing so they can keep abreast of what is happening in the company. I think it’s important because otherwise people don’t feel part of it and don’t identify with you.

The other thing is the human part. Because as a company, we make sure to be on the cutting edge of technology, but we want to retain that human touch. In a profession dominated by data and numbers, the human touch is at the heart of our concerns and sets us apart. Clients and talents choose us for our authenticity and the care we bring to our local communities

This therefore feeds into our culture of learning and ensures that the training covers both sides. We’ve all done technical stuff before, so actually we focus more on the soft skills that help our team grow as individuals and improve their social skills and become a business person. more complete.

Yes, there is a war on talent, but people will stay if they are on a development journey and build relationships and enjoy what they do.

Strategic Planning – ‘Strength in business is communication’

deputy : Our goals and objectives guide our strategic pillars and their underlying actions, which in turn guide the annual growth plans of each business line and operating team, all underpinned by quality and consideration for the public interest. .

We therefore have five strategic pillars, with quality as the driving force in each of them. So one of them is about growth, and we go through a thorough planning process for that, where we make sure that every team in every area of ​​every business in the network is aligned and working together to develop their plans and goals.

And again, it’s about communicating our strategy to everyone. So we have annual offsite visits for each team, I do inductions every three months so everyone in the company has the same conversation in terms of strategy and direction of the company.

I think the strength in business is communication. So one of our pillars is to have a strong philosophy, and that means you have to communicate, communicate, communicate or everyone is on a different side.

Profitability and growth – Sustainable success “flows into our way of thinking”

deputy : We’re at around £75m this year, which I think is around 14% growth on last year, which is nice. But if you look at that over five years, we’re just under 50%.

We also added over 800 new customers in the last financial year, which generated over £10 million in new fees. Our range of industry-specific business development campaigns, in addition to client referrals and relationships with Moore Global member companies, have had a huge impact on this.

Fees are improving, as is our average fee per client, which has increased nearly 18% over the past year. We have tried to win more important customers, and if we add value by truly understanding their goals, then we can share their success with them.

And that really comes back to strategy – our first strategic pillar is sustainable success. And the first reason, in my opinion, is that unless you’re a successful business, you can’t take care of your staff or your customers. You have to be profitable to be able to do anything. So I think that point of enduring success stems from our way of thinking.

What is the company’s biggest challenge right now?

deputy : I’m at a global conference right now, and there isn’t a single country that isn’t talking about talent and resources. So I think resourcing is definitely the biggest challenge we face.

So we have a whole new recruiting and resourcing team, and we’re investing in the tools so that they modernize and be able to have the right tools to help them.

But the challenge is finding the right people and enough people – hence the importance of everything we do. Because when you have good people, you want them to stay. And that’s why it’s such an advantage that we have developed a wide range of services, because then we can ensure that when someone is qualified, they can move.

I’ve been here for many years because I’ve always been able to reinvent myself and find something new to focus on, and that’s the environment we create for our employees.

Ultimately, you have to differentiate. It all comes down to making sure you appeal to these people. And one of the reasons we go into something like this mid-power index is that we need to communicate what it’s like to work for us.


The full ranking of the Accountancy Age Mid-Tier Power Index 2022 can be viewed here.

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