A demanding and challenging year – but a rewarding one for both AdvanceTrack and its accountancy partners.
In a stuttering economy, one held back by high inflation and interest rates, AdvanceTrack celebrated its 20th year in business; a highlight was our annual conference at the British Museum.
Despite the tough conditions, we have seen outsourcing and offshoring appreciated as a key plank of the operational and strategic direction for accountancy practices. And not just in the UK, but across the world.
Practices’ services have been in demand, and we have worked more closely than ever with them to work through resourcing bottlenecks or, more often the case, as the backbone of their core services. In doing so we’re very proud to have maintained compound growth of 60%… Can we do that again in 2024? Well, that’s a tough ask – but not too shabby for a 20-year-old business!
Opportunity and investment
Keeping such a level of growth requires investment, opportunity and ambition. Seasoned accountancy tech pro Dermot Hamblin joined the team in the spring as sales director, and our longest-serving team members were awarded with a five-day trip to Dubai.
Staff numbers have increased, as have our office locations. We expect numbers of both to rise again in the next 12 months.
Speaking of our team – it seems a great opportunity to announce that former EY partner Craig McKell has joined AdvanceTrack. Based in Sydney, Australia, the chartered accountant will support our growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Craig has run a tech business for more than ten years and understands the steps to scale an organisation. AdvanceTrack has a core of experienced professionals managing at both strategic and operational levels. As important, we’re ready to take things to the next stage.
Our conduct and service
What we don’t expect to change at AdvanceTrack is our commitment to both service and our conduct. We consider ourselves as values-based, and we like to think that our accountancy firm partners would vouch for us as living to our principles.
The practice market
It’s been spoken about in recent blogs, but we will say it again: the inner workings of practices must be streamlined, efficient and provide insight to the clientele. Without these things in place then everything becomes much harder for the practice to operate day-to-day or to make a good profit. And, inevitably, margins erode.
Even though the working world is tough, practitioners are in a great position to support their end clients through the sharing of important and timely financial or business information – whether it’s cashflow advice, debt restructuring, credit control or more. My biggest concern is practices not grasping the nettle of automation, process improvement and tech investment to streamline and make efficient their core compliance services. Perhaps more will come out in the wash during 2024.
We see audit as a huge area of growth for practices and, therefore, us too. Our audit services offering will grow in the next 12 months as firms look to manage resources. Management accounts and bookkeeping will also be critical. We will make another big round of investment in our tech – and no doubt there will be more chatter and developments in the AI space too.
The next 12 months will be transformative in the way we deliver services to clients, and perhaps your firm is looking to achieve the same thing too. Let’s see what we can do together.
Vipul Sheth is founder and MD of AdvanceTrack Outsourcing