Diary of an Entrepreneur: Peter Taaffe, managing partner of accountancy firm BWMacfarlane
The Liverpool Post
IN 2011, I undertook the huge step of merging my practice with another firm, a decision supported by the firms’ similarities in shared traditions and the ethos of client centered service.
The partners of both firms felt that coming together in this way would give us critical mass to continue to offer new and existing clients an affordable excellence of service, yet still with the client at the heart of what we do.
This instigated a move to our new premises here in the heart of Liverpool’s financial district in keeping with our tradition of a quality, modern and efficient service.
Another step forward has been the recruitment of a very experienced and highly professional in-house business development manager to help us continue to grow and sustain the business.
In short, it’s been an eventful time of late and the outlook is set to be even busier, yet change for me with my entrepreneur’s hat on (if you want to call me an entrepreneur) is the key to ensuring we remain at the cutting edge of client service for the future.
I’m equally happy that during this period of change, we also have a firm that’s relaxed and informal in culture while still being professional.
I think the process to achieve that starts by leading with example.
Some may cite that culture being reflected by me having my dog Emer in the office.
I would also say that, because of our link with charities, having more than 140 on our books, we encourage our staff to get involved in fundraising activities on a voluntary basis too. That adds to the team ethos of the firm.
As well as our charity bias, we have a diverse client base comprising well-run organisations and private individuals and this has helped us remain strong and grow. It also makes my day incredibly varied and keeps things interesting.
Even though my focus is almost unrelenting now, I originally fell into accountancy by chance. I found my place partly because of the retirements of other partners but my drive was always to run things in a smaller firm to keep the experience real, in being in contact with real people and real businesses.
Perhaps running is a theme for me. I like keeping fit.
It’s high on my agenda because of all the productive and feel-good benefits it brings to my working days.
I’m proud to say that I’ve completed the New York, London and Liverpool marathons.
I planned my training carefully so that I could sustain the distance.
Sustainability is a key word for me because I think the only way to sustain your performance mentally is to keep fit, plus of course, be passionate about what you do.
I love what I do in leading the team and helping clients and hope that shows.
Helping others has been instilled in me by my family growing up. It has served me well in life and in business.
Peter Taaffe, managing partner of accountancy firm BW Macfarlane