Friday, 29 April 2022 10:22

AAB - Integration from the Audit front line

AAB - Integration from the Audit front line

I joined Hardie Caldwell in 2018. Hardie Caldwell of course merged into the AAB Group in May last year, but I have worked with AAB teams for some time before the merger.  

I had met a few audit staff at Accelerate events as Hardie Caldwell and AAB were both apart of the Accelerate network, a network of independent accountant firms in the UK. I also had various discussions and meetings with AAB’s VAT team for VAT advice regarding our charity clients. This is perhaps why when I first heard that Hardie Caldwell was to merge with AAB that I was so excited at the prospects! 

After I heard the news, I did some research online about AAB and learned that we had similar values and a similar culture which importantly focussed on team members and clients. It seemed a perfect fit: a great team for us in Glasgow to join and a fantastic opportunity for AAB to expand into Glasgow with a ready-made Glasgow office filled with people it knew incredibly well. 

During the first few months of integration, the Glasgow office met with many people across the AAB team. There were a lot of names and faces to learn and information to take in, but everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. I had been part of larger accountancy organisations in other roles and therefore had real life experiences of being part of a wider team. I knew having more specialist people across our teams to support colleagues and clients was going to mean more success!  

With a larger team and service offering I could not wait to see what the merger would bring personally for my development as well as for my clients. Not only was there change with the two firms merging but also my role changed as I was promoted to Audit Director. To say I was over the moon with my promotion would be an understatement! In the early days of training for my ICAEW qualification and gaining audit experience I wondered if I would be one day signing audit reports. From 10 years ago to this day, I am still one of those ‘strange’ people who really loves auditing and so signing audit reports today really does feel like the cherry on top of the cake! 

My role as a director has seen me step back from the day-to-day management of the audit team allowing me to become a part of the AAB leadership team and having a role in business development, strategy and specifically being part of our charities target sector team which is a key experience area for me and a true passion. My transition to Director has been made smooth due to the support of our Glasgow Audit team. In audit, team work is key to delivering services to our clients and having a supportive, dedication and friendly team really makes the process a success and dare I say it, enjoyable! Yes I do believe audits can be an enjoyable process! 

Our integration with AAB over the past 11 months has been exciting, challenging and rewarding. There have been many changes for the Glasgow Audit team to embrace, such as moving accounting and auditing software, changing timesheet and fee systems and working with completely different people. But the best part is that we have been working through these changes together with the wider AAB family, learning together and supporting each other no matter what office we are working out of.  

With further growth after the Hardie Caldwell merger with Purpose HR and Sagars, it seems nothing can stop us! I am intrigued to see what comes and to take the next steps at AAB with all my colleagues.   

By Natalie Boyle, Audit Director.