Social network business boost

Jim Carmichael-Prince, Hannah Louise Guest and Alan Clare
Jim Carmichael-Prince, Hannah Louise Guest and Alan Clare

A WIGAN firm has enjoyed 50 per cent growth in the past year – and credits social media as the key to its trend-bucking success.

Accountants CPA Associates, which is now based at Wigan Investment Centre in Waterside Drive, has grown steadily since it was established in 2003, but since taking to Facebook and Twitter, has experienced a rapid surge in the number of new clients to almost 200.

Now more than 90 per cent of their major clients have come from relationships built up using social networking.

The company specialises in tax planning, legislation, VAT, payroll and bookkeeping service for large and small businesses.

CPA Founder Jim Carmichael-Prince said: “When we first decided to give social networking a try, I was slightly sceptical and concerned it would be a waste of time.

“However, we have experienced a fantastic year in business and this is mainly down to branching out in to the world of social media.

“We have now been able to establish fantastic relationships with clients that we previously would not have had access to, and now work with companies based as far away as Ireland.”

As a result of the increased workload, CPA has been able to offer former apprentice Hannah Louise Guest a full time position within the company, as practice manager.

Ms Guest, who lives in Poolstock, joined CPA on placement in 2010 whilst studying for her degree in accountancy at Edge Hill University.

Mr Carmichael-Prince added: “I am a huge advocate of work experience and believe it is vital for students to gain industry experience and important for companies to offer it. It has been great to see Hannah grow and I would love to see her become chartered and a partner in the company.”

CPA has been based in the Wigan Investment Centre since May and believes the location allows them to offer clients a much more flexible service.

Welcoming CPA to the Investment Centre, property manager for Wigan Metropolitan Development Company, Alan Clare said: “We are delighted that CPA has seen the benefits of relocating to the Investment Centre, it really is a fantastic place to do business at the commercial heart of Wigan.”

Mr Carmichael-Prince added: “The location of our office was extremely important to us when deciding where to relocate.

“The Investment Centre has been the perfect choice; it is so accessible and offers all of the services we need to run a successful business.”