Shenward LLP is a modern-day chartered accounting and business advisory firm based in both Bradford and Leeds, Managing Partner Sherad Dewedi, defines their way of doing business
What do you currently do?
Shenward LLP is a chartered accountancy and business advisory company focused on delivering excellence to clients through a full-service accountancy and business advisory offering. Using our wealth of experience and knowledge of the challenges that businesses and individuals face, we’ve developed a modern outlook on how we offer support with a variety of everyday financial compliances, leaving clients free to focus on achieving their financial goals.
As Managing Partner, it is my responsibility to continue developing that vision, tailoring our services to meet the needs of the modern-day client, whilst also ensuring clients who favour the traditional methods have a smooth transition through to digital accounting.
In 2018, we launched a new Digital Transformation Strategy to allow the busy businessperson to remain compliant in today’s technologically focused, and fast-paced world. Through the launch of our mobile app, online accounting software, and electronic approval platform, we’ve been able to support clients through a variety of challenges, one being HMRC’s introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD).
Business development is something that remains at the forefront of my mind and so I find myself actively seeking acquisition opportunities. The latest acquisition was in 2018 when Shenward LLP acquired an office in Leeds in order to grow our client base outside of Bradford. We now work with clients on both a national, and international
What was the inspiration behind your business?
My parents, Rajeev and Sarita Dewedi founded the practice in 1989 – although back then known it was known as Rajeev Accountants. Their exceptional service to clients and the tremendous support of the firm’s associate, Arif, meant that Rajeev Accountants soon became a leading accountancy firm in Bradford. Since then, we’ve become established as a family business, with my wife Sonal also joining the team in 2016.
In January 2016, I joined the practice as a partner after being inspired to support the SME sector – the very backbone of the UK economy – with the next stage of business growth. I knew that in order to bring that dream to life, I had to take the firm on a rebranding journey and develop a more attractive, modern-day offering.
By instilling a partner-led approach throughout this period and beyond, we have invigorated our practice and achieved significant client wins, which has led to the further expansion of our team of experts. We also now offer the chance for aspiring accountants to advance their careers through our Trainee Accountant Apprenticeship, providing financial and mentor support throughout.
What defines your way of doing business?
It always comes down to exceptional client service, alongside an appreciation of our team. The success of any business is down to the clients and the team that drive it forward. We are proud to have a fantastic team who also believe in that ethos and are committed to delivering excellence day in, day out.
Because of their dedication, we try to introduce flexible working for our team members that isn’t rigid and is adapted to their individual lifestyles. This not only shows we value our team but also ensures that the client has a better experience when dealing with a happy advisor. Plus, if some of the team opt to work past 5 pm, or before 9 am, then it adds value to our client offering.
We’re often approached by new/prospective clients who are frustrated that their advisors are never available when they need them. We pride ourselves on being approachable and contactable always, whether that’s by phone or email.
To let you into a little secret, I hate having unread emails that haven’t been dealt with, so I will sit at my desk until they are resolved.
What do you admire?
The most admirable people in life are those who have achieved great things despite having nothing to start with.
I meet so many clients who run multi-million-pound turnover businesses that have grown from humble beginnings. It’s inspiring!
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
I don’t regret my life choices, but it’s a normal human reaction to think there’s always something else we could
have done and didn’t. I guess if I had to pick one, I would say it would be to have joined the practice as partner sooner and implemented the digital strategy at a time before others started doing it.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Plan and plan ahead. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. If you do come across unplanned problems, which you will, don’t let them hinder your progress. Use your plan to make them into an opportunity. If you win a new client,
savor it. But on the same hand, learn from client losses.