The major accountancy firm MHA MacIntyre Hudson, which can trace its lineage back to 1880, is very well known. Now we have the announcement that not only has it shortened its name to MHA but it is opening a brand new office in Gatwick that will cover the South East, alongside its Kent office and the London HQ.

MHA is the UK independent member firm of Baker Tilly International, which is the ninth largest accounting network globally.

We thought it only right that we sat down with the Group Chairman, Rakesh Shaunak; head of the Gatwick office, David Boosey; and Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, who will be supporting both Kent and Gatwick offices, to learn first-hand of their exciting plans.


Maarten Hoffmann: Why have you decided to open a Gatwick office?

Rakesh: We recognised the huge market in the Gatwick Diamond area with significant companies based there, and it was obvious that we should launch in the region. Many accountancy firms are struggling with staff and, therefore, to fully service their clients. We are in an excellent position to capitalise on that as, with the Baker Tilly Group behind us, we do not have the same turnover of staff.

David: I am quite new to the firm and l am hugely impressed by the culture of the company; how the partners work together collaboratively with one goal - the satisfaction of the client. With 19 offices, and access to professionals in 145 territories, we have the depth of knowledge and a vast range of expertise that can be brought to bear. We have experts across every field, working around the globe. If l have a planned meeting with a firm that has offices in Scandinavia, for example, l am able to call on an in-house Scandinavian expert to accompany me. That makes all the difference.


MH: Your growth rate is excellent, what do you expect the Gatwick office to be turning over?

Rakesh: We expect the Gatwick office to be turning over around £5 million in fees and, with around 100 staff, in quite a short time. There will also be five partners in that office. We are open to mergers with smaller firms – as and when, and we are open to all conversations. The group grew by 25% last year, which is excellent considering the state of the economy last year, and we plan to continue growing either at that rate, or an increased rate.


MH: What makes MHA different to other similar sized firms?

Mark: I trained with the firm and there is an overwhelming culture of ‘can-do’. Whatever it takes to service our clients is intrinsic in everyone you speak to, and that is the differential. The scale and size of what the firm has become has been achieved through organic growth and acquisitions. The level of service our clients experience is superior – that is the word used by many of the said clients. Ethics and integrity are two words that come up time and again, and we are enormously proud that such words are attached to our company.

Rakesh: The culture is so important to us – and any successful firm – and that comes through loud and clear to the clients. Take flexible working, we have been encouraging that for over seven years, and it actually transpires that our team really enjoys coming into the office exactly because we accept that flexibility.


MH: Regarding the new Gatwick office and your target clients, where’s your sweet spot?

David: MHA offers a wide range of services and work with lots of different types of clients to help them achieve their business goals. For me, as an audit partner, my ideal clients typically have a turnover of £10 million and up, but it’s not quite as clear as that. Take start-up fintech firms for example, who might have a turnover of a couple of million but actually require a lot of audit work to ensure everything is right before they scale and may have FCA or debt audit requirements. We also recognise the incredible potential of such start-up firms that can become unicorns, and we love to grow with companies starting out.

Rakesh: And of course it’s not just audit work, as many of these firms can be cash strapped in their early days and require work on share schemes, taxation and the like, and we can assist with all of that. Then there’s the SMEs who require our channel 2 services such as accounts, taxation etc and when they realise the power we can bring to bear on their behalf, that can be a game-changer for such companies. We are primed to be a full service firm.

Mark: And with so many experts across our network, we are able to speak their language and fully understand their business and sector – not just today but into the future assisting with their growth plans.

In my time with MHA at their London headquarters, l was certainly convinced of the special culture prevalent in the office, and l have no doubt that will transfer to the new Gatwick office.

As noted in the News section of this issue, the UK’s top ten companies have been revealed, and it is not surprising that four of the ten are accountancy firms. I certainly would not bet against seeing MHA climbing the list of top companies in the UK.


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