A growing Cumbrian accountancy firm has moved into larger premises – undaunted by the impact of coronavirus on the business landscape.

MoynanSmith Chartered Accountants and Tax Advisers had outgrown its previous base and has now bought the former offices of Handelsbanken in Clifford Court on Carlisle’s Parkhouse estate.

The business was all set to sign for the premises just as Boris Johnson announced the lockdown in March. Now, after a period of working remotely, they are set up in their new offices.

Partner Darren Moynan said: “We were due to complete on the Friday when the Prime Minister announced the lockdown the Monday before. That was a moment.

“But in truth, we didn’t consider not completing the deal. We have absolute faith that the economy, here in Cumbria and elsewhere, will bounce back and in truth this has been a very busy period for us.”

The move to new premises, which will enable the recruitment of additional staff, was supported through Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growing our Potential fund.

Darren has run the business with partner Jamie Smith for five years. They’ve grown from working in Darren’s kitchen to now employing eight staff at the two-storey premises.

And while the pair, who are both chartered tax advisers, are keen to continue their expansion, they want to retain what has brought them success to date.

Jamie said: “Our clients do say that we offer a great service and for us it will always be about quality over quantity. We would never want to grow to a size where Darren and I lose sight of what’s happening with our clients.

“We are very proactive with tax planning for our clients. Growing the team means we have more time to work on the advisory side, enabling us to offer a better service.”

Darren added: “Preparing accounts for a business is obviously an important service but we like to look holistically at a business and understand their problems and issues.

“For instance, to his surprise a new client was hit with a £35,000 tax bill. However, after taking the time to understand the position, this was an error and we dealt with the matter, getting the bill reduced to just £167. Now that doesn’t happen every day, but the client was certainly very grateful.”

The impact of the lockdown means MoynanSmith has been busy handling queries round the furlough scheme, VAT changes, Government loan schemes and helping businesses with revised cashflow projections.

Jamie added: “I think that with the redundancies we are seeing there will be a rise in people going self-employed and we’ve got plenty of experience in helping start-up businesses as well as larger, corporate clients.”

MoynanSmith believe that individuals and companies should take care when choosing an accountancy firm so offer a free initial meeting for individuals and businesses.

Darren added: “It’s all part of getting to know a potential client, what their circumstances are, their particular concerns and any outstanding issues they have. It certainly gives a client the time to look at us and decide whether we are the right people to act for them, as a lot of our work is about giving confidence.”