Finance Monthly Global Awards 2021: Interview with Mel Storer

We speak with Mel Storer, Managing Director at BKPS Ltd. and one of the winners featured in the Finance Monthly Global Awards 2021.

Firstly – please give us an overview of BKPS Ltd, the work that you do, your clients and the services you offer.  What are your core values and goals? How do these contribute to your overall success? Have these core values changed at all since your establishment?

BKPS do compliance work like statutory accounts and tax returns but we believe accountants should be far more than a “distress purchase”. We believe we help our clients to get the most from their businesses to achieve their personal goals for themselves and their families. Businesses can be a wonderful thing, providing goods and services to their customers they may not have had if it weren’t for the business, provide regular income for its employees, and of course a good life for the owner and their family. Successful businesses also become a key part of the community, paying taxes, business rates and sometimes contributions to charities and the local community.

We provide strong and extensive advisory services to clients to enable startups to survive and grow, established businesses to get to the next level and help business owners achieve their personal ambitions through their business.

What kind of clients do you serve and how do you approach them? How do you differentiate yourself from potential competitors? What is, essentially, your unique selling point?

BKPS have clients all over England – we have tradesmen, consultants, hospitality (pubs and restaurants), engineering businesses developing underground tunnelling excavators, consultants, haulage companies. Over 90% of our clients are referrals from existing clients.

Our USP are our advisory services. Like all accountants, BKPS provide bookkeeping, payroll, compliance work etc. but unlike most accountants, we provide additional services to make our clients’ lives easier and give their businesses greater chances of success.

We provide strong and extensive advisory services to clients to enable startups to survive and grow, established businesses to get to the next level and help business owners achieve their personal ambitions through their business.

We work with our clients to drill down into the numbers. We start with what the business owner wants from their business, lifestyle, retire earlier, spend more time with their family. Then we look at what the business has to deliver to achieve the business owners personal goals, then we look at where their business is now and devise a strategy through Performance Measurement & Improvement (PMI) analysis to get the business to where it needs to be to satisfy the business owners goals.

What role do your staff play in the success of your firm? What qualities do you look for when recruiting new talent? How would you describe your internal culture and how does it contribute to your company’s success?

Our team are all Client Relationship Managers. Clients have a dedicated named CRM contact.

We invest a lot in training our team, both professional qualifications and practical in-house training to ensure consistency and high-quality service. We all enjoy our work and genuinely want our clients to be successful so we are probably more informal and approachable than other accountants but we never let our service standards fall.

Can you detail any specific industry-based challenges you are facing now and may do in the near future? By extension, if applicable, what impact has COVID-19 had on your industry or operations? Were there any unexpected benefits or advantages to the situation you found yourself in?

The accountancy profession is facing huge challenges from the digitisation of bookkeeping and taxation. Business owners are being actively encouraged to do their own accounts and tax returns because it is “so easy”. This is not true as there are rules to follow and this will be a problem in a few years when businesses get their bookkeeping or tax returns wrong and will need help sorting them out.

But because the accountancy profession is now competing on price, BKPS have opted to become more proactive with clients and offer business advisory services such as our Virtual Finance Director package with budgets, revised forecasts and variance analysis, benchmarking performance against competitors, sensitivity analysis for “what if” scenarios, business valuation improvement etc. BKPS have also co-authored a book – “Simple Steps to Build a Better Business”. During the pandemic, we kept clients updated with monthly newsletters and our BKPS app updates, we have had a fee freeze for 18 months and gave clients who were directly impacted by COVID restructured fee packages.

Do you have any plans for 2022 and beyond that you would like to share with our readers?

BKPS will continue with both professional and in-house training for the team. We will continue to update and invest in technology. We will continue to review our clients’ needs and respond to those needs wherever possible.

We will continue to invest a lot in our advisory services as we believe this will be the most help for our clients to have successful businesses to achieve their personal dreams.

The BKPS mission statement is “We enable our clients to fulfil their personal and business dreams”.

BKPS will continue to invest in our team and technology to ensure we live up to our mission statement.

Any final words?

BKPS do compliance work to ensure our clients fulfil their business legal obligations and pay the minimum legal tax due, that is a given. But it is our great relationship with our clients and advisory work that sets us apart.

We are very good at what we do, we know that and our clients know that.

But we are good at what we do because we work hard and invest heavily in training and technology.

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