The Northern Ireland Executive must continue to work together strategically to create long term economic growth, according to leading accountancy practice Harbinson Mulholland.
Founding Partner Jeremy Harbinson, speaking at the opening of their new offices, said a new spirit of optimism and innovation among local SMEs was helping to drive economic recovery.
“In the last 12-18 months, after years of credit crunch and recession, people are more positive about taking a risk and trying something different,” he said. “There is no doubt we’ve turned a corner, but there’s still a lot of pain around and more needs to be done to speed growth.
“Owner Managed Businesses, the backbone of our economy, must have the confidence to seek readily available funding to help them lift their game beyond these shores, while lower corporation tax must be introduced at the earliest opportunity to stimulate inward investment.”
The Finance Minister, Simon Hamilton MLA, officially opened the firm’s new home at the Centrepoint Building in Belfast, around the corner from their old Dublin Road offices.
The move represents a £300k investment by the firm, a home-grown business which has been operating since 1998, with an ambition of increasing their staff of 50 to 100 over the next few years.
The Minister welcomed the move, saying: “This significant investment is evidence of a commitment to growth and continuous improvement by Harbinson Mulholland. I am hugely encouraged by the firm’s aspiration of doubling their workforce over the next few years.
“The Executive’s number one priority remains growing a sustainable economy. Harbinson Mulholland are not only a thriving practice in their own right, they are dedicated to helping SMEs grow their businesses and reach their full potential, providing a boost to our local economy.
“I am particularly impressed by the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit demonstrated by the practice that has led them to this important milestone.”
Harbinson Mulholland, which also announced their patronage of the SME Centre for Business Development at the Ulster University in 2015/16, represents more than 2,000 individual, SME and third sector clients across Northern Ireland.
Jeremy Harbinson added: “As a specialist in the SME/OMB space, we have found that attitude of mind is the most important factor in seeding and growing a successful business – but other things are important as well.
“We are one of the few, if not only, accountancy practices to boast IT services which are fully hosted in the Cloud thanks to the Superconnected Broadband scheme, but every SME in Northern Ireland needs to be able to access this level of technology to compete in a global marketplace.”
Kirsty McManus, Director of the SME Centre, thanked Harbinson Mulholland for their patronage during the 40th anniversary year of the Ulster Business School. The Centre was established in 2012 to help signpost sources of support and information for SME owners.
“We wanted to bring on board an accountancy firm that would guide our support to Northern Ireland SMEs,” she said. “Harbinson Mulholland fulfils this criteria to the fullest extent and has demonstrated a clear commitment to the growth of our indigenous SMEs.”
Harbinson Mulholland are one of Northern Ireland’s leading firms of accountants, with a team of chartered accountants, forensic accountants, tax and business advisers offering a full range of services dedicated to local businesses and the people who run them.
Owner Managed Businesses are a specialty, with tailored approaches to fit the needs of individual businesses and families. Services provided by HM to these businesses include problem solving, future planning, managing succession and advising on complex tax issues.