Growing businesses and the changing role of the accountant

Growing businesses and the changing role of the accountant

23 May 2018

Adrian Dunkley – chartered accountant and head of tax at MGRW – runs Limited Company workshops every quarter for us at Business Sheffield for pre-start and start-ups in the city. The next one is on 4 June.

Together with monthly mentoring sessions, they form part of a larger programme of events and free support arranged by Business Sheffield to help businesses set up and grow.

To give you a taste of what to expect in these workshops, we asked Adrian for his views on how the accountancy needs of a business change through its lifecycle and how, as an accountant and tax adviser, he can make sure he’s giving people the right service at the right time.

This is what he had to say…

“It is clear that the challenges faced by people setting up and growing a business evolve over time and so does the advice and support required from their accountant. This journey can be much smoother if people have a long-term vision for their business, consider the type of support they need to achieve their goals, and choose their accountant accordingly.

“The role of the accountant has changed considerably in recent years. Gone are the days where it was about preparing accounts and tax returns in isolation. In today’s market, individuals in business should expect their accountant to be a business partner, providing all aspects of financial advice to develop the business and to assist in overcoming any ‘growing pains’.

“So what do businesses need from their accountant? In the early stages, you might have questions about the legal structure of your business (sole trader, partnership or limited company?). You might need advice and support with your bookkeeping and basic accounting. But as your business grows, your needs will change and you'll more than likely want help with your projections or be thinking ahead to VAT registration. You might even be thinking about taking on employees, or want to understand how to re-organise the business to become more tax efficient.

“In short, as your business matures, so will your accountancy needs.  The most successful businesses start off by thinking past their basic needs, at a time when they are trying to minimise costs and increase sales, and look ahead to the bespoke services that will help them structure the business, finance and people in such a way that supports growth. Businesses should therefore consider what value they can get from an accountant, rather than just focusing on the cost involved.

Adrian will cover all of these issues in his next Business Sheffield Workshop on 4 June, so if you are thinking about starting a business or have been operating for under 2 years and would find this useful, please contact us to book. The sessions are completely free, held in Sheffield city centre and usually last around 3 hours. We run them in small groups of around 13 so there will be plenty of scope to talk about your individual needs too. Contact us on or 0114 224 5000.


Business Sheffield delivers the Launchpad Service in partnership with Sheffield City Region Growth Hub.   The Launchpad project is supported financially by the European Union and has attracted £2,358,962 in investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic growth