In 2018, we were shortlisted for two awards in the Yorkshire Accountancy Awards: Independent Firm of the Year and Best Employer of the Year. We didn't win, but we celebrated our achievement of being short-listed and recognised for these.
Let's look back at the years' highlights from across the team, as well as the charity and the Connection events we've held:
We kicked off January, by welcoming our new Practice Manager, Lucy to the team. She came on board to improve the overall operations of the practice, and has helped us to expand our service offering in 2018. She has done a sterling job and has certainly had a huge impact on the team.
In March, our Director, in her role as President, Carolyn Atkinson hosted the Huddersfield & District Society of Chartered Accountants Annual Dinner. There were over 270 guests from across the Huddersfield business community, including the Deputy Mayor of Kirklees and Cllr Gwen Lowe as VIP guests.
Alice Spencer, our new Apprentice joined us in April, as our 18th member of staff. Her primary role here is to assist clients who are moving onto Cloud Accounting, as well as learning about all aspects of Accounting.
In the summer, Jenny returned from maternity leave, at the end of July, and she came back to an additional 3 team members, and an internal office move!
We attended a Fit to Work event in September at the University of Huddersfield. We learnt that we are all in need of a bit of motivation and encouragement to improve our health and wellbeing. At Sheards, two thirds of the staff are active members of the gym, clubs or do their own exercise routines, which is a great start!
Giving back to the Community
In March, we gathered our business friends and colleagues in and around Huddersfield, to join us in supporting and fundraising for, Kirkwood Hospice, our charity at the time. We raised £1,285 at the Easter themed event and it helped to shoot our fundraising total up to £9,000.
In July, we announced that we had beaten our yearly fundraising record raised a total of £13,283 for Kirkwood Hospice.
Kate Leadbeater from Kirkwood Hospice said:
“We would like to whole heartedly thank Carolyn, Kevin and the whole Sheards team for all their time, effort, support and a truly amazing year! All funds raised will purchase mattresses for our in-patient unit ensuring the comfort and safety of our patients and for this we are truly grateful.”
August saw us announce our chosen Charity of the Year for 2018/2019 – The Welcome Centre. They receive no guaranteed core funding and rely on the support of local businesses, donors, fund raising events and grant applications to run their fantastic service.
We have already held numerous fantastic events to help fundraise for them. Our annual quiz night in October raised a total of £877.00 which was a great start. The bonfire bake-off raised a whopping £95 and the Christmas bake-off added a further £50 to this.
We took part in the 50p pot challenge and got two full pots, which was a fabulous £25.00
In November, we also did the reverse advent where each day in November, a team member bought an item and placed it in the box. On the 30th November, we managed to gather all them together which will help the centre with their shortages over the festive period.
Sheards 2018 Events
This year we continued to put on a calendar of events to help our clients and the wider business community, to inform and share industry news, along with our own updates.
In February, we were due to hold the “Connection18: Are you ready for GDPR?” An event designed to help business owners understand how GDPR would impact various areas of their organisation and what steps they need to take to ensure they would be compliant. However, due to the Beast of the East, we had to delay the event until the end of March, but at least we didn't have to dig ourselves out of the snow!
We were hot on the announcement about Making Tax Digital coming into effect in April 2019 and ran our “Connection18: Making Tax Digital” event to help businesses get up to speed on digital tax, by focusing on the upcoming changes and the importance of cloud accounting.
In June, our Tax Manager, Chris Barwick, and guest speaker, Adam Fletcher from Ridley Hall Solicitors, gave an update on the current legislation regarding the purchasing, renting out, and selling of residential properties, as well as details of other responsibilities that come with being a landlord. This was the first of the two “Connection18: Property Tax Pitfalls” events this year, as we held a 2nd one in September. We will be holding more of these as workshops in 2019, so look out for these dates being announced on the website, or sign up to our newsletter here.
2018 also saw the introduction of Business Mentoring sessions with our clients, with Natasha McCreesh of PiPtoGrowStrong. The feedback from these have been extremely positive and encouraging, so we will definitely be continuing with them into 2019.
With Making Tax Digital hot on the agenda, we began our series of free MTD workshops, to inform and advise local business on the new legislation, and have more planned for 2019, which you can find out about here.
All that is left to say is Merry Christmas from all the team here at Sheards, and Best Wishes for 2019!