We have been very privileged to work with AH Jackson and Co for more than 10 years. We first engaged AH Jackson and Co for tax planning and advisory support. As we got to know each other, we were also privileged to support them with recruitment for key roles in their business. The reason they have become one of our favourite clients and service providers is they practice what they preach. The calibre of their clients, their ethics, their loyalty and how they strive to provide a workplace that encourages both individual development and career advancement, really makes them stand out. The tenure of people we have placed into the business has been phenomenal and we believe this is largely due to their leadership prowess and genuine “care factor.”
See our interview with AH Jackson Partner, Emmanuel Georga, below.
1. How has COVID-19 impacted the businesses you support?
COVID-19 has impacted all our clients differently. It has affected some, and some not as much, with April and May the most challenging period for most. We found many clients contacting us to seek advice regarding Government support on offer, for reassurance or simply to reconnect and talk with someone. We listened to our clients as we found they needed a trusted advisor in their court that would advocate and support wherever possible while providing a consistent flow of information.
“As a firm, we decided not to charge for any COVID-19 related support as we wanted to see our clients succeed on the other side of the pandemic.”
2. How has COVID-19 impacted you and your business?
Albeit in unfortunate circumstances, our workload significantly increased as we put compliance on hold to provide much-needed support to any of our clients that needed it.
On a positive note, internally, we witnessed our staff build stronger bonds with their clients and each other.
3. What have some of the biggest challenges been?
The biggest challenges we faced were keeping up with the everyday compliance work that we do whilst helping with COVID-19 support measures and the impact felt on our client’s businesses.
The other was ensuring staff morale was kept, and the team felt engaged, reassured, and connected. This was particularly hard between March and August as our staff were working remotely without those much-needed water cooler conversations in the office.
4. What has been the strategy you have implemented in the last 4 months to keep things moving in the business?
“We had to create a sense of normal, routine and structure so our people could adapt.”
During this time, we developed new processes and systems to ensure communication was there; this became more important than usual as we all felt a little disconnected at times.
5. What (if any) have been the positive surprises from COVID for your business?
We had many positive surprises from COVID-19. The first was seeing our junior staff adapt in a way we wouldn’t have expected them to for a few more years. As a result of COVID-19, our junior staff were thrust into the limelight quicker than expected and kept up with client and staff communications in one of our most difficult situations.
Our whole Firm’s adaptability and flexibility towards the situation we were faced with showed enormous strength and commitment to their clients and co-workers. Our level of outstanding service has continued despite the pandemic.
“During the beginning of the pandemic the changes in how information was shared, changed, and we made a step towards social media as a new way to keep our clients informed.”
We began developing informative guides so our clients could better understand the incentives being offered by the Government and publishing information and reminders to our social media accounts each week. With all the confusing and different information online, this adaption to communication proved invaluable to our clients, with many getting in touch to say thank you for keeping them so well informed.
Due to the impact COVID-19 has had on our clients, we identified that something needed to be done to connect businesses. We launched AHJ & Friends, a community platform for our clients to advertise their services and connect, in early October. Since launching, we have had quite a few clients take up the offer and reach out to us for an introduction.
However, one of the biggest surprise positives that came from COVID-19 was not only maintaining our business but continuing to grow it with new clients each month. This is a testament to the commitment of our staff as they showed our clients compassion, support and outstanding service throughout the past seven months.
6. What are your expectations for the future of your business?
We expect that the growth will go further from the external engagement we have had as people become more aware of who we are and that we can do more than they think. Our clients have further seen that we can add further value to their business. Given the opportunity, we can show them that we can provide a variety of different service offerings to enhance their business.
7. What kind of advice would you give to other businesses during this time?
Our biggest advice would be to always give of yourself to your clients and your staff regardless of the outcome as you will receive much more back, sometimes by double.
We believe that focusing on our clients’ businesses by providing them with outstanding service further adds to their success. We are passionate about building long–term relationships with our clients and we pride ourselves on being transparent, open, and friendly to everyone we do business with.