Growth and Modernisation: An Interview with Craig Maxwell
Alex Allen, Head of Public Practice recently sat down with Craig Maxwell, Audit and Assurance Partner with Mazars in Glasgow. Their discussion covered several topics including; last years’ office move, Mazars growth plans for the Glasgow office and his thoughts on the impact of technology.
What impact has the new office had on Mazars’ business and staff in Glasgow over the last year?
The office move at the beginning of 2018 is part of the national ‘modernising Mazars’ strategy which has seen office moves in other cities such as Leeds and Manchester as well as Glasgow. There is also a widescale refurbishment program of existing offices, with the aim of ensuring the right locations for the offices and them looking and feeling the same across the country.
The new office in Glasgow has been a game changer – allowing the firm to realise its full service offering to our clients. Having no fixed desk, no fixed team areas and no specific departmental areas has allowed a real sense of teamwork develop and has created an environment where information and ideas are freely exchanged leading to a vibrant and energised atmosphere.
Staff feedback has been really good across the whole workforce,who have fully embraced the flexibility and teamworking that having great internal work and social spaces has created.
Our clients are also really enjoying the fact that they can hold board meetings in the office and that we are now hosting a lot more cmarket facing events. The new office has really helped raise the awareness of Mazars in Glasgow.
What is Mazars’ growth strategy for Glasgow?
The growth strategy for Glasgow is aligned and part of the wider national strategy, based around modernisation, a relentless focus on client service, retaining and recruiting high calibre staff and embracing technological advances in our profession.
Our approach with our clients is to understand their needs and the challenges they face at different stages of their lifecycle and via specific platforms, such as Elev8, Optimize and Voyant, work alongside our clients to support them face and meet these challenges. We are a firm that is embracing the technological advances, evident by our partnership with Xero and recent MTD and Cloud-based technology seminars have really added practical value to our clients.
We also see the upcoming audit reform as being a huge opportunity for Mazars and other challenger firms. Mazars has been proactively involved throughout recent legislative consultations and as a firm with a French background, where we are already involved in dual audits, we are able to put forward alternatives to the Big four monopoly on large company audits to more effectively spread the risk.
What do you think makes Mazars stand out from the competition in Glasgow?
At Mazars we make a great effort to get to know and understand our clients. We really want to go on the journey with them, understanding their needs and be with them through each stage of their businesses’ journey. Given the full service offering our clients enjoy at Mazars, we can service and support them on both a personal and corporate level. Additionally, we are also able to tap into specialists at a national and international level, means that we enjoy a high degree of loyalty from our client base
How is Mazars handling the rapid advances in technology impacting the accountancy profession?
Mazars is looking to be at the forefront of these technological changes and the truth is that these changes are going to happen anyway so if you don’t embrace them you will be left behind.
We have developed new software and partnered with others to ensure not only are our teams up to date and knowledgeable of what the market can offer, but look to ensure our clients are kept abreast of the technological advances they can take advantage of to not only ensure compliance, but that enhance their systems and controls and business information they use to develop their business.
Embracing technological advances is allowing us to provide real added value to our clients by providing the personal wrap around and support.
What would you say to someone thinking of joining Mazars?
There is obviously a big difference between the Big Four and a mid-tier firm like Mazars and one of the main reasons people enjoy working for Mazars is how ‘hands-on’ we allow our people to be with our clients. You will get to see the whole picture of a business and gain great commercial exposure rather than seeing limited areas of a business.
The culture at Mazars is extremely important to us and we believe we have an energised and open culture within the practice which is fundamental to our growth. We are also big proponents of agile working which has helped us attract talented individuals to the business and also keep our retention levels high.
Because Mazars is a growing firm we can offer great opportunities for people to broaden their experience whether that be involvement in projects, gaining exposure to different areas and specialisms or even the opportunity to move internationally within the firm.
And as we grow in Glasgow, and elsewhere, we can offer real opportunities for career progression within the firm and we have a great number of examples where newly qualified accountants have stayed and progressed quickly within the firm and now hold senior positions. We like to promote from within and hopefully that will mean a number of new Partners in Glasgow in the foreseeable future.
If you are interested in exploring career opportunities at Mazars please get in touch with Alex Allen, Head of Public Practice; firstname.lastname@example.org or 0141 648 9150