Keeping one step ahead in the numbers game

Dynamic accountancy practice Baldwins is staying ahead of the technology curve as it looks to the future and offers clients the latest digitally driven services.

Specialising in a wide range of accountancy and business advisory services, Baldwins offer expert corporate finance and specialist tax advice in a variety of sectors.

Part of the CogitalGroup, whose strategic goal is to become a leading, technology supported international business services group, Baldwins has always prided itself on being at the cutting edge of technology.

The firm is one of the UK’s fastest growing accountancy businesses, with more than 90 offices and 3,000 employees, including a modern office at Wynyard Business Park employing over 60 staff.

Baldwins has used cloud-based accountancy innovations for the best part of a decade and is future-proofing once again as it moves further away from traditional paperwork by incorporating technologies that collate data and provide real-time information at the touch of a button.

The company has introduced its own smart web-based portal CoZone to help streamline business processes on one platform, invested in award-winning new cash flow management software ‘Fluidly’ and is using tools such as Receipt Bank to capture invoice information.

The additions are exciting news for both Baldwins and clients, say Joanne Regan, Wynyard office managing partner.

Fast-paced changes to the industry, such as the Making Tax Digital government policy, have influenced the firm in staying ahead of the game as well.

“The old accountant-client relationship of turning up once a year to “do the accounts” has completely changed. Now it has to be instant, and it has to be up to date so that we can concentrate on current issues whilst being reliably informed with the most up to date historic information. At Baldwins, we’re always looking for advisory tools and how to make the advisory process slicker and quicker.

“What we offer now is much more of a virtual finance director role. By utilising technology, we can add value to businesses, where a traditional accountant couldn’t.

“We are not just doing accounts six months after a year-end, we are doing it promptly and in-depth, and we are future-proofing.”

“The profession has moved from being just about processing numbers to being able to advise businesses in a language they can understand,” Joanne added.

“The tech allows us to present easily digestible information and frees up time to help us work more closely with clients on matters that are important to them.

“So while the image of technology can be that it’s impersonal, it allows us to offer the best of both worlds and move closer to our goal of being the go-to advisers in Teesside and the wider North East region.”

Baldwins’ technology also means their clients can devote more of their working day to running their business rather than number-crunching, Joanne says.

“Sometimes a business owner’s time is constrained by the fact they are busy doing things that can be efficiently carried out by a piece of software rather than concentrating their talents on growing the business,” she added.

“Invoices and receipts, for example, can now be scanned and sent directly to us to take care of.

“It’s about using tech to make life easier for everyone, from small to large businesses, where we are introducing technologies in auditing which can be far more efficient and produce useful business insights.”

Given the firm’s commitment to the latest tech-savvy ways of working, it should perhaps come as no surprise that Baldwins is getting involved with Tees Business and our first-ever Tees Tech Awards. Baldwins also have a digital hero within every office and every region has a digital transformation leader.

Having already radically altered their own operations and those of their clients, Baldwins is sponsoring the Digital Transformation category at next April’s inaugural awards.

“For us, it was a no-brainer,” says Joanne. “Teesside was at the heart of the industrial revolution and we want to play a full part in our area’s tech revolution.”