Tax & Accounting Blog

Secrets of an award-winning accountant

Accountancy Practices, Accounting, Business Strategy & Development April 5, 2018

Thinking of entering your practice for the Accounting Excellence awards this year? Sharon Pocock, founder of Kinder Pocock and winner of the 2017 Client Service Firm of the Year Award, shares her experience of the entry process and what difference taking home the award has made to her business 6 months on.

Hi Sharon, thanks for speaking with us. Tell us about Kinder Pocock.

I established the firm in January 2005, and moved online 2012. We have about 150 business clients of all sizes up to £4m turnover. They are all on Xero and we use lots of other apps too including Receipt Bank, Spotlight etc. Business sectors we cover are technology, security, professional services and indie retail.

What makes good client service at Kinder Pocock? Were there any specific interactions with clients which made you think you should enter?

We really do focus on our clients and their needs. We talk to them regularly and aim to understand them and what’s important to them. We discuss extraordinary and not so good client service every week to learn and grow from this. We also do little personal touches like sending cards if they’re moving house/if they’re poorly etc.

Is there a company you particularly like for its client service?

I have to say that my experiences with EE have been really good, although I’m sure some may not agree. They’ve always been really helpful and friendly, have given me options for lower prices that would suit me better not them (not sure if they’re meant to), and I get regular updates for deliveries etc. And an easy to complete satisfaction survey by text.

What was involved in the process of entering for the award ‘Client Service Firm of the Year’?

We’d been working hard on reviewing and improving our Client Care processes and getting some really great feedback from clients and staff. When the award categories were announced we just thought ‘well why not?’

Entering really helped us to focus on what we do best. It’s easy to take for granted or get used to things we do that turn out to be pretty cool, and writing the award application allowed us to shine a light on those. We were already sending our Client Happiness Survey to clients, so this also gave us lots of information for the award.

What was your reaction to winning the award, and has it affected staff morale?

Oh my gosh! Totally overwhelmed! I think I just sat there for a while trying to take it in! It was amazing to gain the recognition from the accountancy profession. I didn’t take the team either as I didn’t think we’d win, plus I’d just taken the whole team to Xerocon, so it really was a surprise! The team were all thrilled and we had a good celebration in December!

Has winning the award helped to grow your client base?

It has yes, and has reinforced our service levels and commitment to current clients. But I’m going to be totally honest and say that we went straight into a ridiculously busy couple of months as a result of staff shortages, so I didn’t shout about it immediately. We’re now all caught up and I have a good strong team so it’s time to go large!

What’s 2018 looking like for Kinder Pocock?

We have a clear plan for 2018: Q1 was all about ‘storming and forming’ with new team members and tweaking our processes. Q2 is all about marketing, to put us on a firm footing for our Q3 and Q4 growth plans. I’m sure we’ll enter the Accounting Excellence Awards again, and get the whole team to Xerocon in November. I’m also looking forward to speaking at Accountex in May on Future Proofing your Practice.

Enter your practice today

If Sharon’s experience has inspired you, why not enter your practice for an award this year? You have until Friday 20th April to write your submission to be in with the chance of winning an award on 20th September. With 8 categories to choose from, take your pick!

See more tips from Sharon Pocock and other successful accountants in our blog Starting an Accountancy Practice from Scratch: 5 Top Tips.