It’s been a few months now since the Exonia HQ moved to Calgary, Canada from the UK. The move itself went, all things considered, very well – although one of the Practice Principals is still heartbroken that his favourite butter dish was lost in transit.
Calgary (for the most part) is seven hours behind the UK, and at first glance it might seem as if this poses a huge obstacle – how could an accountant work from Canada with UK clients?
However, we’ve found that, far from being inconvenient, it actually works very well for the UK businesses we serve. We are available for calls with our clients all afternoon and evening, and we find most small businesses are busy during the day and choose to look over their finances in the evenings well after 5pm. Our hardworking clients have so far been very pleased that they can call us for advice late in the evening and have their questions answered immediately.
Add to that the fact that it doesn’t matter when during the day tasks like accounts preparation, payroll and other finance tasks are performed, the 5 hour overlap has been more than enough to deal with office hours only tasks like dealing with HMRC.
So far, distance from clients has had no effect on our performance or on our working lives at all – at the end of the day, getting up and going straight to a desk is no different to getting up, getting ready and spending 2 hours commuting. Proximity to the Rocky Mountains, on the other hand, is having a huge effect on staff morale!
Not that Exonia plans to have only UK clients going forward – we hope to keep our strong UK client base but also expand our business to offer services locally in Alberta too. CIMA qualified accountants are recognised in Canada due to a mutual reciprocal agreement between CIMA and Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Alberta (although there is a fairly lengthy process of form-filling and reference-gathering that merits a blogpost of its own). All in all, the future looks good from here and we sincerely hope that prospective clients see our location like our existing clients do; as a positive, not a negative.