We asked Alastair Barlow, Founder of flinder about their 2019 hat trick win at Accounting Excellence.

How does it feel to win New Firm of the Year?

“Utterly incredible! We started flinder just over 2 and a half years ago after leaving great careers at PwC. We saw a gap in the SME market where businesses were demanding more from their accountant. We are hugely passionate about delivering value that can really make a difference to a business. As some may know, we started on day 1 with 0 clients, 0 revenue, 0 staff and 0 salary but we did have a dream, a vision and a fantastic strategy to build the flinder brand and business. Winning New Firm of the Year is huge validation of our dream. But it’s just the start!”

How does it feel to win Fast-track Firm of the Year?

“I couldn’t believe it when we were called up for our second award in a row. We had only just left the stage and heard flinder called again – it was just crazy! To win the first ever Fast-track Firm of the Year Award is very special. We have a very clear 10 year vision and supporting this is our strategy which has enabled us to scale relatively quickly, but we want to scale even quicker! Again, it’s validation of our approach and operating model but more importantly it’s a testament to our fantastic team and the passion we share for disrupting the traditional way of doing things.”

 And for the third win… how does it feel to win Innovative Firm of the Year?

“This one was our hat trick win on the night and we were utterly overjoyed; innovation means so much to us at flinder! We feel a strong sense of responsibility to drive the profession forward. It’s what we live and breathe, and the reason we set the firm up in the first place; to do things differently and to continually challenge convention. This one make us incredibly proud that we’re leading the charge on what it means to be an accountant, what we’re delivering to our clients and the way in which we’re delivering it. We’re out to change the external perception of what an accountant is, how they operate and the breadth and depth they have to offer a business in terms of insight and strategy. We see data and technology as hugely important and enabling foundations of the finance function; our investment in our own Data Engineering team to really take advantage of these drivers is just one of the ways we’re innovating.

A big thanks to the flinder team, Accounting Excellence, AccountingWeb, ACCA, CashPlus, Capitalise, ReceiptBank and all the other sponsors!”

How will winning these three 2019 Accounting Excellence Awards impact your firm?

“I sometimes have to pinch myself to realise what we’ve achieved in such a short space of time; winning 3 Accounting Excellence Awards still hasn’t fully sunk in, but is epic! Winning one Accounting Excellence Awards is amazing, winning two is unreal and winning three is just on another level altogether! It adds massive credibility when speaking to prospective clients, makes existing clients feel even better (they feel pretty awesome already) and helps attract prospective candidates in an ever challenging recruitment environment. Overall, it’s a huge talking point and helps to facilitate some key growth ingredients.”

What advice would you give to anyone entering the awards, or thinking of entering the awards next year?

“Do it! Just don’t enter our categories 😉 On a more serious note, I think it’s great for team morale, recognition of hard work, validation of strategy and helps benchmark against other firms. It necessitates taking time out to really think about your business in each of the category sections and how effective you really are. Overall, I would massively recommend it to anyone and it’s certainly helped our focus!”

What does accounting excellence mean to you?

“In fact, one of our team values is excellence; “we pride ourselves on our quality and deliver on what we say we will and to the highest standard possible”, so to win 3 Accounting Excellence awards, back to back in one night makes us feel so proud of the team and what we’ve all achieved together. It’s also a pretty euphoric feeling! While we always strive to live and breathe our values, develop an inclusive culture for our team to develop and deliver an exceptional service to our clients to meet our strategy, we’re very humbled from winning these awards!”


New Firm of the Year is sponsored by   

Fast-track Firm of the Year is sponsored by     

Innovative Firm of the Year sponsored by