New Firm of the year award winner Pay Keeper has a wider remit than a normal accountancy practice. Having commanded a niche in the franchise sector, PayKeeper offers everything from training and coaching to accountancy.

Using founder Kieran James’s background in software and training, PayKeeper has created trainers out of every one of its staff. Through this, the staff members are empowered to help clients embrace accounting software, enabling Pay Keeper to truly be a digital firm, rather than an accountancy firm that has digital customers.

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

Sometimes when you’re on your own it can get challenging. There were sleepless nights, there were difficult challenges with changing the ways that I worked and the personal and mental challenge of changing our business from targeting contractors to franchises. So winning the award was a benchmark to say you’ve done alright.

How has winning New Firm of the Year Accounting Excellence Award impacted your firm?

It’s definitely made a difference. We were already growing quite quickly, but winning the award has accelerated our pace. From about April 2018 we were moving quickly and then from about October/November (Awards night) time we doubled our speed of growth.

If a new business starts and somebody says to them, “what’s your USP?” you respond: “customer service”. Right, OK, everyone says customer service. So having the credibility to back it, validates that it really is customer service and this is what we won and proof of our innovation. It’s proof that what you’re saying isn’t just your opinion.

What advice would you give to anyone entering the awards? Or thinking of entering the awards?

You’ve got to start off long before the award entry. One of our KPIs was testimonials. A lot of our award entry was built up with things like customer testimonials. So I would say track and measure from day one, so when it comes to things like this, you’ve got the stats there because it’s hard to blow your own trumpet. Whereas if there are facts about it, you throw them in there and they’ll help make the application a lot easier.

Message from Cashplus – New Firm of the Year sponsor for 2019:

“Cashplus is proud to sponsor the Accounting Excellence New Firm of the Year Award.  As a leading digital business banking provider, already helping 120k+ businesses and supporting hundreds of accounting practices open accounts for their clients in minutes, we welcome every opportunity to help new firms excel.” – Nick Biggam, Commercial Director, Cashplus