Bishop Fleming’s Centenary positions the firm for the future.

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Bishop Flemming

Top 30 accountancy firm are using their centenary year to position their business for the future.

Starting in Torbay in 1919, it is no question that the historic values of the business have paramount significance to the firm, which is now the 29th largest firm in the UK by turnover, with 370 staff across seven offices in the West Midlands and South West.

But as it continues its year-on-year growth, the centenary has become much more than a historic date. The centenary has been a year-long programme of activity which is central to the ethos of how the firm shapes itself, not just for the foreseeable future but for the next 100-years.

Focusing on its relationships and business connections, as well as its membership of Kreston International, is helping the firm evolve from a regional practise to an increasingly national and internationally focused one.

Its strategy to use the centenary to position the business for the future has brough about transformational changes in many ways. At the start of the year, the business rebranded, evolving a fresh corporate image, signalling its ambitions and values. The rebrand has underpinned a new intranet for its internal communications, a redesigned website, and an investment in its social media and video content.

It’s ‘one firm’ culture has seen its connections and relationships develop not only externally but internally, with staff engaging across all offices to support one another in their individual and group fundraising activities.

At the heart of its centenary plans was a pledge to raise £100,000 – a target they smashed in just six months, with the total amount continuing to grow. As Ian Smith, Bishop Fleming’s Chair and colead for Corporate Social Responsibility added: “Rather than raise £100,000 for just one charity or cause, to encourage our people to engage in our activities, we’ve allowed them to raise funds for causes which are personal to them. As a result, we’ve generated nearly 3,000 donations, from over 100 activities, which will benefit over 60 charities.”

“Whilst raising over £100,000 (and counting) is a fantastic achievement, what is most pleasing has been the way these activities have brought different people from different offices, whose working paths may not have crossed previously, to come together.”

The firm believes that its ‘giving back’ and ‘one team’ culture will enable Bishop Fleming to become a dominant and nationally focussed practise, whilst supporting the regions, communities and clients that sustain the firm.

The 31-partner firm have seen the likes of management, all the way down to trainees taking part in extreme fundraising activities. The firm came together in March as title partner of the Bath Half Marathon where it fielded 120 entrants – the largest corporate team in the history of the 13.1 mile race. In June the firm joined together again, where four teams endure the National Three Peaks challenge.

The firm has ambitious growth plans too and has seen its headcount grow by 10 per cent in the last 12-months alone. Central to this has been the launch of Launchpad – its new Apprenticeship scheme – designed to offer yet more accounting career routes to candidates. As a result, this year the business has recruited a record number of trainees, a mixture of school leavers and graduates.

Bishop Fleming’s centenary is proof that strong relationships deliver remarkable results. As a thriving business with a heritage that has been forged on delivering exceptional client services, it’s clear that ethos will be key to the firm’s future growth. Not only is 100-years in business being celebrated throughout the year, so are special relationships. The firm celebrated being in partnership with Worcestershire Cricket Club for 100-years in July, the special bond was marked with a school’s cricket competition for the local area and was very fitting giving the importance of the education sector to Bishop Fleming.

A plastic-free firm wide journey has also begun at the start of its centenary, within just six months the firm had removed over six single-use plastics and were accredited as ‘plastic free champions’ by conservation charity, Surfers Against Sewage.

The firm will celebrate its centenary year with an all firm event for its staff in Bristol in December. However, the 12-month centenary campaign will not finish at the end of the year but will be the start of propelling the business into its next 100-years, and a focus on building relationships which will set the firm apart.

Appointment of new audit director boosts growth ambition

Ryan Southall is an audit director in Bishop Fleming’s West Midlands office and has joined the firm at an exciting time as it continues its year-on-year growth.

Having a keen interest in accountancy from an early age, Ryan knew it was the career that he wanted to pursue, and since completing his professional studies he has experienced a number of different mergers of firms, gaining a wealth of experience in various top 10 firms.

Ryan then joined Bishop Fleming as an audit director knowing it is a great place to work for aspirational professionals.

The firm has been listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to work for, for four consecutive years and just this year alone, as it celebrates its centenary, its Worcester office has won regional awards for its commitment to employee wellbeing.

Joining the firm amid its centenary year, Ryan said: “I have been overwhelmed by the focus that the firm puts on its people and their development and I look forward to being a part of this.

“Moving to Bishop Fleming also provides me with a fantastic opportunity to build working relationships with clients and be part of something great. There are fantastic growth opportunities within the Midlands and feel that Bishop Fleming have the approach, ability and commitment to deliver fantastic client service to this market.”

“I am really looking forward to playing my part in delivering on the growth strategy of the office and the wider firm.”

Ryan will work to help the firm to deliver the next stage in its ambitious growth plans.

West Midlands Partner in Charge, Chris Walklett commented “We are committed to the West Midlands and supporting the businesses that are part of the Midlands Engine. Key to that is attracting and retaining the best people. Ryan has been a key hire for us and brings with him a wealth of experience from his time within top 10 accountancy practices.”

The firm is ranked in the Top 30 of the UK’s national league table of accountancy firms, and has offices in Truro, Plymouth, Torquay, Exeter, Bristol, Bath and Worcester.

Bishop Fleming LLP, 1-3 College Yard, Worcester, WR1 2LB

T: 01905 732100 |