The judges said this Aberdeen-based practice had found ways to thrive in a region that’s had more than its share of economic problems. Ingenuity is the watchword for Infinity Partnership. Its advisory service – involved in 20 mergers, acquisitions and investment deals in 2017 – shows the practice’s ability to make a real difference.

In two instances it secured local jobs. In a notable example, it not only helped rescue a subsea business, it helped another client acquire a loss-making business from a former employer. It transformed the separate entity into a multi-million pound turnover company in its first year.

Infinity Partnership’s investments have paid dividends for both itself and its clients. It has developed a process for submitting R&D tax claims, completing 25 claims worth tens of millions of pounds last year. This now accounts for 25% of the firm’s turnover. Admirably, Infinity Partnership is investing in its employees – IT systems combined with a flexible work policy allows staff to work from home, providing work-life balance.

The judges also praised the ingenuity of its Dragon’s Den-style event. Executives were invited to invest in food businesses, and the firm then secured reliefs for the investors. All this activity has paid off. Largely through word of mouth alone, it added 350 new clients in 2017.

How did it feel to win Small Practice of the Year?

Absolutely brilliant. The award win was recognition of the team’s efforts. Our core market – companies in the Aberdeen energy sector – was severely disrupted by the low oil price. We had to adapt from being a leader in mergers and acquisitions to an adviser in how to deal with the change in market conditions. The 2018 Awards were a fantastic occasion to celebrate the success of so many accountancy businesses. I was thrilled to receive our award from Rachel Riley on the night.

How has winning the Small Practice of the Year Accounting Excellence Award impacted your firm or career?

Winning this prestigious accolade raised the profile of the business. The win secured newspaper and digital media coverage and brought us to the attention of directors looking for a proactive and dynamic accountancy partner. It enhanced our reputation as a business with a strong commitment to customer service.

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

The most important thing is that you must have a story to tell. This will involve outlining a series of successful projects or examples of going above and beyond for your clients. Facts and figures should also be included. Our clients were happy to get involved by providing testimonials which really helped tell our story. In addition, we highlighted our commitment to training and recent investment in the business. Sometimes you take things for granted, so it’s good to step back and take a look at recent achievements through the award entry process.