QS Network News – Good Samaritan accountants ‘among world’s most inspiring’

The World’s Most Inspiring AccountantsAn entrepreneur who thought his number was up when life-threatening cancer and a tastelessly-timed boardroom coup put his company in serious jeopardy has helped a Plymouth accountancy firm win global recognition as a Good Samaritan.

The unnamed businessmen turned to Steven Carey of accountants Numbers UK when the cancer diagnosis left him reeling amid fears that his company would crash, leaving his widow in debt and his 15 employees on the scrapheap.

“A key employee left the business under a cloud just as the news of the cancer diagnosis was sinking in, then the man the owner appointed to succeed him as managing director tried to stage a coup behind his back,” recalls Mr Carey.

“It was an utterly desperate situation because the businessman couldn’t afford the cancer treatment he needed to stay alive, the business he’d spent his life building up was leaderless and sinking, and he couldn’t trust anyone to put it back on an even keel.”

The rescue plan that Mr Carey and his colleagues put together to save the company and give the stricken owner peace of mind has won the practice a coveted place in a new book, The World’s Most Inspiring Accountants.

“It’s a real honour for us to be included in it,” says Mr Carey. “We thought we were just doing what any decent accountant would do, but the author and publishers felt the support and guidance we gave the businessman was truly exceptional.”

That would appear to be an understatement, as the book details how Mr Carey and his team shrugged off the risk that they might not be paid and instead put their efforts into identifying an interim successor who was given a stake in the business.

They devised systems that let the owner keep his finger on the pulse throughout his cancer treatment, without having to be present, they reassured him that his treatment could be paid for, and they brought in a new business model that motivated the entire team to believe in its future.

“The man’s stress levels were sky-high at first and he was making poor decisions,” says Mr Carey. “In providing a knowledgeable sounding-board, we helped him vent his frustrations and bring clarity to his thinking.

“As a result, he now sees the future as much less stressful, and is comforted that a suitable management team is being created to succeed him, so he’s able to concentrate on getting well.”

Numbers UK’s intervention has saved 15 local jobs, and the employees are being offered a chance to own shares in the company, securing their financial future and helping them to create wealth for their families.

“We’re especially proud that we were able to help this client and his family through their darkest hour,”
adds Mr Carey, whose accountancy practice is at Parkway Court, Marsh Mills.

The World’s Most Inspiring Accountants is written by chartered accountant Steve Pipe, author of The FT Guide to Business Networking, who decided to include only 57 practices from 10 countries after 18 months of research.

“It’s a richly deserved accolade because they really are making a profound difference to their clients, the community and the wider world,” he says.

“Numbers UK are helping to raise the bar for accountants across the world by inspiring an entire profession and showing it how to make more of a difference by serving clients better than ever before.

“The world would be a much better place if more accountants were like them.”

The World’s Most Inspiring Accountants, by Steve Pipe, Susan Clegg and Shake Lukas (published by Added Value Solutions in hardback, £45) is available from Amazon.

 

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