“I started in February and within weeks I was working from home, helping clients with this unbelievable situation and providing as much practical support and advice as I possibly could,” said Steve. “I’ve been an accountant for 20 years and I’ve never known anything like this in terms of workload and clients needing help.”
James Sweeney founded J Sweeney Accountants four years ago and the firm, which has offices in Preston Deanery in Northamptonshire and in London, has grown steadily throughout that time and is now six-strong. James and Steve had worked together a decade or so ago and at the beginning of the year Steve made the move to the firm, being appointed Practice Associate.
J Sweeney Accountants focuses on the full range of services for SMEs, including year-end accounts, tax planning, company formation and business plans, and also offers outsourced financial directorship for those who don’t have an in-house FD.
Steve added: “It’s been an incredibly busy and interesting first few months. I brought clients with me, so at least I was familiar with their businesses, but had to get to know my new ones very quickly. At first it was a case of staying up to date with what were almost daily announcements from the government on what help was available, and guiding clients on how to access help. As it settled down, we’ve been looking at coping short-term, with grants, loans and furlough, but also looking at the longer term and what the future looks like for businesses.
“It hasn’t all been negative, of course. J Sweeney acts for a wide and diverse range of clients and while some have struggled, others have been busier than ever. One client sells fishing gear online and has seen a real surge as people have had more time to do that kind of thing.”
Now that businesses are starting to return to normal, the emphasis is on building for a future that might look very different to what went before. The approach at J Sweeney is to help business owners think ‘outside the box’, even seeing opportunities that might not have been there previously.
“There’s no doubt that this has been a difficult situation, but we are expecting to see business start-ups as the result of redundancies and in people seeking new ways of doing things,” said Steve.
Contact J Sweeney Accountants on 01604 950034
or visit www.jsweeneyaccountants.co.uk