A north-east accountancy service has been among those to have “thrived” in lockdown after taking swift steps to diversify its operations.
A crisis can have many implications for businesses, but right from the beginning TaxAssist recognised clear communication was crucial in order to survive the Covid-19 pandemic.
The firm – which has branches in Aberdeen, Banchory, Dundee and Inverurie – took steps to ensure its workforce remained at hand for people who required their services.
It was established in 2009 and acquired by current co-owners Steven Mearns and Cameron Allan in 2017, who have helped it to grow over the past three years,
Mr Mearns has backed the North-East Now campaign recently launched to help promote businesses and share inspirational stories encouraging people to buy local.
Driven by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, the initiative is also supported by creative agency Hampton, Aberdeen Journals and VisitAberdeenshire.
He said: “We wanted to make sure we understood the key concerns of our stakeholders, and this approach was pivotal as we worked hard to assist and support business continuity and reputation beyond the Covid-19 infection.
“We kept everyone working, using our hosted desktop environment along with Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Skype for meetings, and it’s something we’ve decided to build into our day-to-day practice.
“The team got comfortable with video-conferencing and really value its benefits and this, in part, enabled us to be productive from home and allowed us to keep our clients engaged and informed. And, as a result, our business grew – not just in financial terms but staff numbers too.”
TaxAssist is a professional services firm offering a full range of business support services to small businesses – from book keeping to corporation tax returns and everything in between.
Mr Allan said: “TaxAssist offers tax advice to individuals who need help with their tax returns and organising their affairs in a tax efficient way.
“For small businesses and their owners, we offer all sorts of advice, as well as support services such as payroll, tax, accounting, book keeping and VAT returns.
“It benefits the people of the north-east because we offer a very high quality, professional support service in local settings at affordable prices, so we are doing our bit to ensure the success of the small businesses in our area, which benefits us all.
“We adapted our practice during the pandemic and we’re still here to support, guide and provide the best advice and information throughout the new normal and beyond.”
“We feel very fortunate to be in a position to support people during challenging times.
“It was very challenging having to adapt our services. As we operate from shop fronts, it’s a big part of our DNA that we have face-to-face interactions with potential and existing clients.
“It was very challenging for the staff too, being removed from the social settings of our offices and placed in the isolation of their homes.”
Looking ahead,the business partners are planning to open two further north-east-based offices in the next few years.
And they are backing the new North-East Now campaign, describing it as a “very positive” addition to the region.
For more on the North-East Now initiative, visit northeastnow.scot.