Away Day 2023

Published on July 30, 2023 by RPG Chartered Accountants

We were delighted to welcome all of our colleagues from Manchester and St Asaph to our Annual Away Day learning session. This year our focus was on client service and we were delighted to be joined by two guest speakers, Jennie Johnson Founder and CEO of My First Five Years (MFFY) and Robert Levy Executive Partner at Kuits.

To kick things off, this year’s ice breaking session involved teams competing to create the longest paper chain – the twists being that full sized newspaper was provided (no neat packs of paper chain paper!), dominant hand only to be used (ie one handed!) and for the first 5 minutes, there was no talking. Unsurprisingly the teams were all able to work much better together once talking was allowed. Amazingly the winning chain measured over 30 feet!

Our objective for the day was to understand what makes great client service and there were initial discussions on each table so that each person had the opportunity to contribute their own thoughts on what is important for clients.

Jennie Johnson and Robert Levy then joined us for a discussion about how to achieve outstanding client service. Chaired by RPG’s Managing Director, Jonathan Brownson, Jennie and Robert shared their own expectations of client service and explained what they do within their own organisations in order to achieve the best possible client service for their clients.

Follow up sessions were put in place to ensure that the discussions continued away from the Away Day meeting and the findings implemented.

Jonathan Brownson explains: “We were very grateful to Jennie and Robert for taking the time out of their hectic schedules to support us in this session. Hearing the message from the “horse’s mouth” was immensely powerful.

“We have a strong year-round approach to training but it is important to extend that training away from the technical elements of accountancy, tax, financial planning and business recovery and into commercial areas.

“At last year’s Away Day, colleagues all came together to work on a case study to identify different ways in which we could help the client through our various service areas. The teams contained people from each discipline and it was fascinating to see the outcomes. Everyone learnt a great deal and we continue this “soft skills” learning through our regular Learning Lunches.

“This year, the client service focus has been equally beneficial to everyone as we strive to provide the best, commercially aware service for our clients. This can only be achieved through educating, supporting and empowering all of our people.”

Serial entrepreneur, Jennie Johnson MBE, is Founder and CEO of My First Five Years (MFFY).

She was the first female to win the UK Private Business Awards CEO of the Year (2017) and was voted UK’s Businesswoman of the Year (2019).

Jennie founded Kids Allowed in 2003, growing it to become one of the UK’s largest nursery groups, before successfully exiting in 2020.

Working with tens-of-thousands of parents, children and childcare professionals gave Jennie the insights which led to her eureka moment in January 2021 – where she saw the opportunity to bring-together technology, science, and research to create an app to support and empower parents through the unique challenges of those first five years of their child’s life.

Within a year of founding, MFFY had raised over £1.5m in seed-funding from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and a number of high profile North West Entrepreneurs. 

Robert Levy is the Executive Partner at Kuits and is responsible for the strategic management and development of the firm.

Robert specialises in all aspects of corporate and commercial transactions, including corporate and commercial, corporate finance and M&A. Chambers UK recognise Robert as an Eminent Practitioner in their rankings for Corporate/M&A: SME/Owner-Managed Businesses.

Robert has particular expertise in serious tax investigations and has been a regular media commentator on this subject for media outlets such as the BBC and the Daily Mail.  

Robert also regularly presents and trains on the subject of professional services business development focussing on the belief that client service excellence is an essential ingredient in driving the success and reputation of the firm.



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