CA firm testimonial: Arm in Arm Accounting

Make sure your adviser is a CA

By hiring a CA, you get more than an accountant; you get a business adviser. Neil Mackinnon CA, Managing Director at Arm in Arm Accounting, tells us about the value of being a CA and the benefits of engaging in the ICAS initiative ‘Make sure your adviser is a CA’.


Tell us about your firm and what you do?

Arm in Arm Accounting is a firm of Chartered Accountants with 25 years’ worth of experience supporting individuals and businesses and helping them to nurture and grow.  Our three core services cover accounting and tax requirements, business planning and strategic advice. We are based just outside Edinburgh and Glasgow and work in close partnership with our clients who are located throughout Scotland (and occasionally in London too).

The firm was founded in 2015 by Neil Mackinnon (CA). Neil qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PwC in Edinburgh, worked as Finance Director in a global Silicon Valley computer manufacturer, as CFO of a Private Equity backed food business, and has supported many sole traders and small businesses since launching Arm in Arm Accounting.

The focus of the firm is always to add value: from proactively identifying opportunities while helping with the basics; using our expertise to provide the right insight and advice; to being a trusting sounding board in strategic discussions with the senior management team. We want to develop lasting relationships through honest and valuable conversations.

What does being an ICAS CA mean to you and how does this make you stand out from a regular accountant?

I’ve always been proud of being an ICAS CA.  The training that the qualification provided is second to none. It develops you into a highly technical, business knowledgeable professional and it was a real springboard in my career.

This recognised professional credibility is what I believe distinguishes an ICAS Chartered Accountant from others. There is a trust in the qualification, the institute, and its members that’s been proven over time – everyone’s learned to expect us to deliver that trusted professional service.

How have you used the campaign resources?

2017 has been the firm’s most active in terms of raising our profile in the local market. ICAS plays a key part in adding a credibility to our offering with our new website now live. We also include the campaign flyers at all our business exhibitions and customer events, where they are incredibly helpful when speaking with prospective clients. The ICAS marketing team have been hugely supportive in providing ideas to help us raise our profile and I’d like to thank them for that support.

How has the initiative and/or the campaign resources helped your firm?

It’s great to be able to utilise and integrate professionally developed materials with our own to build a strong proposition with prospective clients.  It’s really helped the practice grow from strength to strength this year.

Would you recommend joining the campaign to other CA firms?

Absolutely. The campaign is well thought out, has really effective materials, with a clear message -‘Make sure your adviser is a CA’. It’s easy to understand on its own and it’s also easy to complement our own practice specific messages.

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