We caught up with Alastair Barlow, founder and partner of flinder, to find out what it means to be an Accounting Excellence Finalist and Top 5 Firm.


What does it mean to you to be one of the Accounting Excellence Top 5 firms in the Innovative Firm of the Year category this year?

This is huge for us! We set out just over 2 years ago with a complete blank canvas but a very clear vision of what an accounting business should be doing, and how it should be doing it, in this day and age. It’s huge validation of our vision and that we’re on the right trajectory to be at the forefront of innovation in SMPs.

It creates a huge buzz within the team, and they feel hugely proud to work at such an innovative business recognised by Accounting Excellence. It’s also great from a recruitment perspective as so many candidates want to be part of the future.


What achievement in the last year are you most proud of?

To be honest, our whole journey so far has been pretty awesome. Last year was our first full year and we’ve grown from just 4 people in August 2018 to 17 people as of today (June 2018). We really focused on our brand and profile, which has enabled us to grow the team quickly. While we’ve done some amazing things with our methodology and proprietary technology across the business, what we’re probably most proud of is our people – watching them develop as a team and grow together is incredible.


What are you going to be focusing on in the next 12 months?

We have a pretty well-defined plan for the next 12 months; it’s all about continued growth across all service lines and hiring in line with that. We’re ramping up our focus on developing proprietary technology and leveraging robotics (RPA). The rest is top secret at the moment!


What would be your top tip/tips for firms aspiring to achieve excellence in the profession

Excellence can have different meanings for different stakeholders, so I think it’s important to, first of all, define what excellence means for the business. Second, assuming it relates to clients in some capacity, asking them what excellence means to them is important. But overall, my top tip would be around leadership; have a well-defined strategy and be fully transparent with the team on the strategy, after all, they will be executing much of it!