Interview with Steve Taylor: Firms of the Future
Updated: Feb 16
The accountancy landscape we know is rapidly changing – demanding client expectations, new technology, increased competition and endless changes to regulations mean the firm of the future is unlikely to be the firm of today. We’ll be speaking with Directors and Managing Partners of firms nationwide to find out how they are preparing for the future. We spoke with Steve Taylor, Managing Director of Murray Taylor to find out more about their culture and the importance of the team when transitioning through change.
1. How would you explain the Murray Taylor culture to a new employee?
“Put simply, our culture is customer-led. The most significant thing for a new employee at Murray Taylor to understand, is the importance of getting to know the client. We start our trainees learning about our clients and their business as early as possible. This is so that we can build them up to be the business advisors that our clients are looking for and want. When we bring on board a new client, we prioritise meeting with the client so that we understand their business and their needs properly. We will then meet with clients at least once every quarter, to continue to build that relationship and help them meet their goals. Our ultimate aim is to identify how we can make clients more profitable and to present all of the opportunities that will enable our clients to keep as much of their hard earned profits as possible. We are not one of those of firms who only allow partners to meet with clients, this isn’t sustainable. In fact I can’t understand how these firms get anything done! When our client’s phone we want the person who answers that call to be competent and to deal with the clients query – not only that, we want that individual to learn how to get the rights answers that they need. This means we introduce trainees to our clients as soon as we feel that they are comfortable speaking with clients and we support them to get to that position ASAP. We want to continue to build a confident and cohesive team, that will work together to deliver what the client needs.”
2. Has your culture always been like this or did something happen that prompted you to change?
“I’m really proud to be able to say this has always been our approach. Both myself and Tom completed our training with Henderson Loggie prior to establishing Murray Taylor. As trainees we were involved with clients from day one and we couldn’t imagine it any other way.”
3. What are the kind of people you look for at Murray Taylor?
“Our clients are at the core of everything we do and we want people that work for Murray Taylor to live by this. Employees of Murray Taylor must be driven to go the extra mile for our clients. They should take it upon themselves to ensure they understand our clients business. To do this we need people with a can do attitude – those people who want to get involved and deliver what the client expects. At Murray Taylor, from day one, we have always recruited school leavers as well as graduates. We found that working with young trainees, you can really develop them into your way of thinking – to live and to breathe the culture. Many of our managers and senior staff today were those young trainees not all that long ago. Andrew, who is now a partner at Murray Taylor, joined us from school some 13 years ago. We have also found that through recruiting young trainees, we are bringing in a new technically aware generation which is important for the success of our firm in the future. As a firm who offers cloud accounting to our clients we recognise the importance of staff being able to work with new technology. But, as well as fresh young minds, we also have a lot of very experienced staff and it is vital to us that we have this balance. ”
4. Do you think culture has an impact on implementing changes to your strategy?
“It’s all about your people. Unless you have your team on board your strategy is unlikely to be a success. Our approach is to make sure we involve everyone from the word go and to make sure we have their support. With Diagnostax we have involved the full team and identified one of our rising star trainees, Meghan, to lead the way. The tax team will front Diagnostax but all client facing fee earners will know how to use the software. When introducing change we make sure all of our staff understand why we are doing what we are doing – we make sure they are involved every step of the way. If everyone is behind our strategy, wanting to make it work, we and our clients can only win.”
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