Meet Team PKF SCS: Managing Director

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Support, Sales, Consultancy, Marketing and Development. These are more than just departments at PKF Smith Cooper Systems they are teams of people that have brought the company to where it is today.

Many of you may not have interacted with any of these departments or you may have interacted with them all! Either way, this series is intended to introduce you to the people behind the titles and give you insight into the people who make up Team PKF SCS.

Following on from our previous articles in this series, we are talking to Chris Smith. Chris is our Managing Director and someone who many of you may know very well.

Keep reading to find out more about Chris and how his PKF SCS journey began.

We have also featured a range of other team members, so to catch up on our past articles click here.

How did your journey start at PKF SCS?

Back in 2014, I was running the Sage division for a large national business partner and actually tried to headhunt Richard Brewster to come and work with us. However, when I started talking to Rich, I quickly realised that his story was better than mine, so we flipped the conversation and I ended up joining Smith Cooper (now PKF Smith Cooper) and Smith Cooper System Partners (now PKF Smith Cooper Systems) was born!

What are the biggest obstacles PKF Smith Cooper Systems has faced over the past few years and how did you direct the team to overcome them?

On every journey, you have some bumps in the road. Specifically, I recall the ‘MTD’ period not being a fun time and the first lockdown was obviously tough for everyone. However, overall, the biggest daily challenge we have is to keep growing and pushing forwards, whilst staying true to our core ethos and culture. That’s not an easy balance to achieve but is a ‘non-negotiable’ for me and something we work on every day.

Cloud based solutions are a huge topic at the moment. Where do you think the market is currently at on the journey?

Cloud has been a key topic for a while now but there is no question that for a long time the SME market was not as committed to this direction of travel as many would have you believe. But, the pandemic period has been a game-changer in this regard, with the immediate adoption of remote working for pretty much everyone, whether they liked it or not. We are now seeing more cloud and hosting enquiries than ever before and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

In the last few years Sage has introduced subscription pricing, what has the reaction from customers been like?

Initially, it was very negative but I think attitudes have softened as clients appreciate the significant short term savings and the added flexibility. Our mantra was previously “you can always buy more but you can’t give them back”, well now you can!

What has been the company’s biggest successes over the past few years?

Honestly, I think there have been too many to mention. Coming from nowhere to being the Midlands partner of the year in 2015, buying Uniq and establishing our southern operation in 2017, Achieving Top 3 Sage 200 partner status, Sicon partner of the year, Gateshead office, the Price Bailey deal, I could go on. Most of all I’m proud that our company have always been leaders not followers and that we have built an immense team of quality people who make coming to work an interesting & enjoyable experience.

That is all for this time around, thank you very much for reading and a huge thank you to Chris for sparing the time to answer our questions!

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