Goringe Accountants Short-Listed For Prestigious Award
Goringe Accountants has beaten off competition from hundreds of entrants to be short-listed for “Small Employer Of The Year” award in the National Apprenticeship Awards 2014 Thames Valley final.
The National Apprenticeship Awards, now in their eleventh year, celebrate the achievements of the country’s most outstanding apprentices and Apprenticeship employers. The award winners will be announced at a ceremony organised by the National Apprenticeship Service which will be held at The Hilton Hotel Lydiard Fields, Great Western Way, Swindon on 18th September 2014.
Sue Husband, Executive Director Apprenticeships and Delivery at the Skills Funding Agency says:
Apprenticeships are thriving in England, and it’s not hard to see why. They offer ambitious young people and adults unrivalled career prospects, and give businesses an exceptional route to grow a highly qualified and motivated workforce.
The National Apprenticeship Awards recognise the best of the best and are an excellent opportunity for individuals and employers to gain the credit they richly deserve for investing in their own futures.
I am delighted that Goringe Accountants has been short-listed, and would like to congratulate them on this success. All of the finalists should be extremely proud of their achievements.
All the Thames Valley winners will proceed through to a final national judging stage and the highest scoring Apprenticeship employer entries nationally will have the additional honour of featuring in the acclaimed England’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list, which will be produced by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with City & Guilds. The national award winners will be revealed during an awards ceremony at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham on the 13 November 2014.
Nicky Goringe Larkin, Managing Director of Goringe Accountants says:
We think it’s very important to train the next generation of accountants. Investing in apprentices is very much in line with our overall business strategy: to support growing businesses and grow with them. Our apprentices have this opportunity to grow with us and our clients.
Nearly one third of the current Goringe Accountants Ltd. staff started as apprentices. One of our senior account managers qualified through the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) training route, so we know how well apprenticeships can work. We have looked at hiring new graduates, but we found that new apprentices were just as intelligent and keen, so our new strategy is to hire apprentices.
We see apprentices as an integral part of our team. Here are some examples of apprentices:
- Two of our accounting apprentices each work in an account manager’s team, so they get lots of on-the-job training. As their training progresses, they’re given more complex tasks. The idea is that once they’ve finished their apprenticeship they then go on to complete one of the chartered accountancy qualifications (another 2–3 years training to become a fully qualified accountant).
- One of our business administration apprentices is part of the operations manager’s team. Once her apprenticeship is finished we hope she’ll continue to work within the ops team.
Our apprentices take on the more junior tasks for a client account, so it frees up our account managers to do higher-level work for bigger, more complex clients. As a company we’re able to offer both business/accounting strategy and day-to-day accounting services. Since we took on apprentices, our turnover has doubled — I believe they’ve contributed to this growth.
We intend to take on new apprentices every autumn. With the more experienced apprentices helping the new intake.
Our apprentices have devised, documented and implemented a ‘new client process’, which means every new client experiences the same high levels of service, all the appropriate information is gathered and everything runs efficiently. This also makes it easy for new apprentices to slot in — everything is very clearly set out and process-driven. Our team has always been process-driven, but I don’t think this would have happened without the apprentices; they have the time and enthusiasm to complete this sort of exacting but vital task.
We’ve been able to increase our margins (as our apprentices handle the bulk of the more junior accounting tasks), whilst still delivering a very high standard of service to our clients.
We’ve recently taken on new clients where an account manager and apprentice work on it jointly. The apprentice handles typical accounts clerk activities (like bookkeeping and payroll), which frees up the account manager to work with the client on planning and direction. Previously this more cerebral work might have been limited as the account manager was too bogged down in the detail. The client benefits from this as they get to spend more time with their account manager. Plus this improves our margins on our fixed-fee clients. For example, previously an account manager might have spent 10 hours on management accounts, whereas now they only have to spend 1 hour reviewing them because the bulk of the work has been completed by an apprentice.
As a growing practice with multiple career opportunities available, we aim to hire all our apprentices in the long term (subject to certain criteria). We’ll spend less time (and money) on recruitment because we’ll only be hiring at that level and then training and promoting from within. We plan to reap the benefits of our investment as we’re ‘home-growing’ staff who will already be versed in the ‘Goringe Accountants Way’!
We’re nearly two years into our first apprenticeship and the whole experience has exceeded expectations. They’re all very quick learners and it didn’t tak