Entrepreneurial accountant and international business consultant Ross Boyd is embarking on a major push into Scotland to bring his innovative people- and technology-driven offering to the country’s small-to-medium businesses.
The strategic expansion, which will be led personally by Ireland- and London-based Boyd, will aim to increase his group’s turnover by 50% within 12 to 18 months and will lead to a significant number of high-level posts in the longer term.
The new operation, which has just launched in Glasgow, is designed to capitalise on the successes enjoyed among SMEs in his Belfast and London practices, based on employing the latest technology to improve service delivery for clients.
He said: “A lot of accountancy firms in Scotland are have been around for many years and are still adapting to modern, business led advice and technologically up-to-date practices.
“We aim to give clients a modern, informed, service backed by the latest advances in technology and there is room in the margin created by the Scottish market to allow us to do that while still competing on quality.
“Many traditional accountants see their role as making their clients compliant and safe. Clearly, we subscribe to this doctrine, with one difference – we will also make them wealthier through our quality business insights and advice.”
Mr Boyd, who graduated from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, already has a strong portfolio of clients on the West Coast of Scotland, ranging as far north as Oban.
He sees Scotland as fertile new territory which he is predicting will boost current turnover of £500,000 by £250,000 within 12 to 18 months of launch. He employs 12 people in Belfast and expects that number to be matched in the Glasgow office within a few years.
His business acumen is grounded in shipbuilding, where he cut his teeth after gaining a degree in naval architecture. After a career which encompassed engineering, international deals and costing ship repair work, he progressed to accountancy.
He worked with PKF, now part of BDO, in London and then Deloitte before being head-hunted by the mid-size firm in Belfast with which he had trained. In 2010, at the height of the recession, he established his own firm.
“I knew that if I could get through the rough times of the worst downturn in living memory,” he said, “I would be well set up and established when the economic weather eventually started to clear.”
At the moment, some 60% of his business is in Ireland, both north and south, and the rest is divided equally between Scotland and England. He believes that having endured conditions in Northern Ireland – “during the toughest years of the UK recession” – his firm is perfectly equipped to bring a new kind of accountancy offering to Scotland.
He said: “We already deal with Top 500 enterprises in Scotland on a project basis providing a range of specialist transaction services, but SMEs are the ones who have been most impacted hit by changes to audit and changes to technology and we are offering them a bundled service that makes the clients lives easier enabling them to gain increased profits.”
For Mr Boyd, an added benefit of operating in Scotland will be the expansion of the talent pool available to his wider group.
“We will be looking to recruit individuals who are willing to bring a top level mindset to a smaller firm for the benefit of our existing and future clients”, he said.