Accounting, Taxation, Auditing and Business Advisory firm Shanahan Swaffield Partners takes a three-stage approach to supporting their clients: first they listen; then they digest what they have been told; and finally, they provide advice where required.
This considered and thorough approach has led to the firm being named the winner of the Best Accounting Firm for the Practice Area of Taxation Services at the 2018 NAB Professional Service Awards.
The Professional Service Awards, which were announced in late October, are proudly sponsored by Principal Partner NAB and are adjudged each year by independent comparison company FirmChecker. The awards are based solely on direct feedback from the clients of firms which enter the awards, thereby ensuring that those who know the business get to judge the business.
“We really pride ourselves on taking the approach of: listen, digest and then give advice where required,” Shanahan Swaffield Partners director Mark Swaffield said.
“It is very important to take the time to actually listen closely to what your clients are saying so that you can then properly understand their business and from there ascertain their needs and requirements and provide solutions tailored to their individual needs.”
This philosophy and practice have stood the firm – and its clients – in good stead for decades with Shanahan Swaffield Partners being the result of the merger of two highly respected and longstanding Central Queensland accounting firms – Michael Shanahan & Co and Olive Swaffield & Associates.
The large regional firm, with offices in Rockhampton and Yeppoon, has a strong ‘mums and dads’ small-to-medium-sized businesses client base in Central Queensland but also services other clients throughout the state.
Many of its clients work in primary production but the firm has clients in a wide range of areas including tourism, manufacturing, services, construction and more.
It was as a result of listening to the needs of clients that led the firm to offer a full suite of services including Business Advisory (benchmarking, planning and analysis, valuation, succession planning and virtual CFO); Accounting and Taxation services; Auditing; Self-Managed Super Funds; Bookkeeping; Financial Planning; Finance and Insurance; IT Support; Body Corporates; and Management Buyouts.
“Based on client-feedback we offer what we call a wagon wheel of services – a comprehensive suite of services to meet all the needs of our clients,” Mr Swaffield said.
Hearing how important the firm feels it is to listen closely to the needs of clients before responding, it is not surprising to learn that client feedback received as part of the 2018 NAB Professional Service Awards emphasised the extremely high degree to which they felt that Shanahan Swaffield Partners treated them as individuals and made them feel that they mattered as people, not simply clients.
“We try to be professionals with personality so that clients find us approachable, easy to talk to and feel relaxed,” Mr Swaffield said.
“We try to create a friendly environment not only for our clients but also our staff so that everyone feels welcome and part of the family.”
The Shanahan Swaffield Partners approach of treating people as people, not just clients, is also shown by the strong connections the firm has with the local and regional community. The firm is an active and generous supporter and sponsor of local events, with a particular focus on junior sport, while members of the firm donate to the Rescue Helicopter Service.
“Just as we try to create the right environment and culture for our clients and staff, we believe in giving back to the local community however we can,” Mr Swaffield said.
Another area of strong client feedback Shanahan Swaffield Partners firm received as part of the Awards related to the speed with which the firm responded to client queries and completed work.
“We were pleased to receive this feedback because we strive to find the balance between listening and digesting before responding with the need to respond as quickly as possible,” Mr Swaffield said.
“It is fantastic to be told by our clients that they feel the balance is right.”
Mr Swaffield said the firm was very excited to hear that it had won the Best Accounting Firm for the Practice Area of Taxation Services award.
“A lot of hard work and dedication goes on behind the scenes and we are thrilled that our clients rate our work for them so highly,” Mr Swaffield said.
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