When it comes to offering a range of business services that make a difference to their clients, the numbers add up for Baldwins.

In these uncertain times, when businesses must quickly identify opportunities while simultaneously mitigating risk, the input of finance professionals who can think outside of the proverbial box is a strategic asset.

Today more than ever, businesses need finance and accounting professionals who can deliver far more than processing the company accounts and tax payments.

That’s where Baldwins, with their friendly local service with access to global experts, stands out from the crowd.

Predictive insights to leadership? Tick!

Ability to drive data-based business decisions? Another tick.

Expert counsel on a wide range of business issues? And that’s another tick.

The good news is that Baldwins, who now operate from 95 offices across the UK, have just cemented their investment in the region with a new 12,000 sq ft office at Belmont Business Park on the outskirts of Durham.

Now part of business service specialists the Cogital Group, Baldwins can call upon their 3,000-strong team of experts to offer specialist knowledge no matter what the industry or business challenge.

Being part of Allinial Group, a global association of accounting and consulting firms, means Baldwins can also offer expertise on an international scale.

And their new Durham office is ideally primed to take on a forward-thinking role, creating a team of expert business advisors to offer real added value to business owners in the region.

It means businesses now have easy access to global expertise on a local basis.

“As the business world becomes increasingly competitive, it becomes more important than ever to surround yourself with the people and information needed to make informed decisions,” explains David Nairn, a partner at Baldwins Durham.

“While there’ll always be a demand for the services accountants traditionally offer, ambitious, forward-thinking companies are looking for experts who can provide a more integral role in their business.”

Businesses are increasingly demanding advice, not compliance. As a result, Baldwins has evolved to bring together under one roof a team of expert advisors in a wide range of specialisms including audit and accountancy, tax advice and compliance, corporate finance, banking and finance, restructuring and insolvency, forensic accounting and probate.

“The added value advisory services we offer are an important and increasingly growing part of what we do,” says David’s fellow partner Lesley Stabler. “We’ve become increasingly more ingrained within our clients’ businesses.”

As an example, Lesley describes a new client who came to Baldwins for support with their back office. From the outset, Baldwins put a member of their team into the client’s office one day a week to take over their book-keeping. The client was moved onto cloud-based accountancy software Xero to make them compliant with Making Tax Digital, while Baldwins now produces the firm’s management accounts.

“The client then asked us to attend their board meetings to share our insights and help them to make informed decisions,” continues Lesley. “We also provided additional tax advice, as they were looking to set up a new business.

“As we built their trust, they asked our corporate finance team to help explore possible acquisitions, we explored EMI (Enterprise Management Incentive) schemes so they could offer shares to their staff as an incentive, and we were able to provide expert advice on an R&D tax claim.

“These additional projects would usually have to be outsourced to several different external advisors, but we have all this specialist knowledge under one roof. This not only benefits the client, as it guarantees a joined-up approach with all our advisors working together in parallel, but also ensures the client has a single point of contact, allowing them to focus on running their business. That’s the real added value.”

David interjects: “Sometimes it isn’t even accountancy advice our clients call us about. They may ask about operational issues, cash flow concerns or they might want to discuss a particular product which isn’t doing so well. We’re in the perfect position to act as a sounding board.”

As you may have surmised, the job title of an accountant doesn’t truly reflect the vast spectrum of roles Baldwins staff now have to play – which is why they are motivated to learn and continually push themselves to improve, whilst keeping up to date with the latest changes in tax, reporting standards and technology developments.

“Technology isn’t just changing our job function,” says Lesley. “Technology itself is changing rapidly. So instead of expecting to use the same tool for the next decade, we are training our teams to be ready to use new technology every year. This requires not just a basic understanding of technology itself, but the ongoing cultivation of flexibility and adaptability.”

With HMRC demands meaning Making Tax Digital is now mandatory for all VAT-registered companies above the VAT threshold, Baldwins has diversified to meet the challenges of cloud accounting.

They now offer a full range of services through a virtual finance office, including CoZone, enabling clients to outsource their finance function via the cloud, allowing Baldwins to carry out their clients’ daily financial operations.

Baldwins prides itself on being at the cutting edge of technology – a key driver in their decision to open a Durham office.

“Our new hi-tech office not only allows us to house our team of specialists together for the first time, fostering collaboration and upskilling across departments, it has also given us a platform to improve our service to clients and grow,” explains David.

With four new staff and seven trainees recruited since the opening of the Durham office, Baldwins are raising the bar for the accountancy industry with their extensive range of value-added services delivered in a way that keeps it personal, tailored and individual.

Baldwins have transformed into business champions and future thinkers, pivotal in supporting the growth of their clients’ businesses.

“Across a wide range of industries, we are the champions for SMEs in North-East,” says David. And it really is hard to disagree.

For more information visit www.baldwinsaccountants.co.uk or call 0191 411 2468 to speak to one of the team.

Proud to be Durham

A strong affinity to Durham city inspired Baldwins to sign up as gold level corporate partners of Durham Cathedral.

The firm sponsored both the cathedral’s tower regeneration project and stone auction, held to raise funds to support the ongoing maintenance of the historic site.

“The cathedral is such an iconic building, not just for the city but the entire region,” says Baldwins Durham partner Lesley Stabler.

“So when we heard they were looking for businesses to support their campaign to create a £10m endowment fund for essential maintenance work, we were the first to sign up.

“We’ve built a fantastic relationship with the cathedral and we were honoured that its dean, The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, blessed our office at our opening event.”