Driving growth through uncertainty
IFA member Kishor Parmar says that strong accounting practices will benefit from any upheaval and uncertainty that precedes and follows Brexit.
Tell me about the work you do – your job role and responsibilities
We have an accounting practice oﬀering a full range of bookkeeping, accounting and tax services, including investigation work. I am a certiﬁed practising accountant and a joint director in the practice.
What is the current business and economic climate like in the south-east of England? Are there sectors or areas performing well, and why? What more can be done?
The current climate is slightly subdued but still better than most parts of the UK. This is mainly due to the Brexit uncertainties: some sectors such as construction are unable to make adequate plans. I view this as a positive for micro practices like ours because in the past under similar conditions we have actually gained more clients. Inevitably some businesses will suﬀer, but their staﬀ usually break away to start a smaller outﬁt on their own. We focus on this potential with a view to expanding our practice.
Accounting practices can be prepared for this by being ready for these changes as they happen. In order to do this, we need to embrace technology.
What does being an accountant in the region mean to you?
It means I can help those businesses survive and thrive; it’s not always about cash ﬂow or proﬁts – some businesses are driven by passion and high emotion. Our job is to help the clients to maintain that passion but help make their business more productive.
How does the IFA work with business, people and communities in the south-east?
The IFA is very helpful. We have regular branch meetings in London and Crawley. I support them both. They provide up-to-the-minute speakers to help us in our knowledge and understanding.
I try and contribute by participating as well as making suggestions and introducing speakers from companies I have dealt with that have been helpful to us. They also allow our clients and accounting students to attend our meetings. They beneﬁt from the presentations and mix with other members and branch ambassadors.
REGION IN FOCUS: THE SOUTH-EAST
Despite what Kishor Parmar is seeing at ground level, new research by BDO says that real estate and construction firms are the fastest growing businesses in Sussex, Surrey and Kent.
Its Best in Business Sales report 2018/19, in association with LDC, shows that a quarter of the top 100 growing businesses in the region are from those sectors. The majority of these are family- or privately-owned.
BDO’s Kevin Cook said it was “no surprise” these areas were performing well considering “the infrastructure, excellent transport links and demographics of the area”.
- A three-acre greenfield site near Crawley is the latest place for Scania to build a £6m services hub for transport companies operating in the area.
- Mid-tier practice MHA MacIntyre Hudson has merged with Margate-based Percy Gore. This brings MHA MacIntyre Hudson to nearly 100 partners and staff operating from its Maidstone and Canterbury offices.
- The University of Brighton is working with entrepreneurs and community groups to improve health by introducing innovation and new models to care and health.
- Garden centre company Haskins has refinanced to the tune of £21.5m, which will go towards the redevelopment of its Snowhill branch in west Sussex.
- Two new restaurants have signed up to the multi-million-pound regeneration of Sittingbourne town centre.