One of the longest-established independent accountancy practices in north Lancashire, Scott & Wilkinson can trace their lineage back to 1918.
From their offices in Lancaster’s picturesque Dalton Square, the chartered firm provide a comprehensive suite of accountancy services and professional advice to private clients, not-for-profit organisations, charities and, as one would expect, businesses clients from across diverse industry sectors.
The Dalton Square offices is where all the partners and associates are based: “Having the whole team in a single location allows us to make the best use of individual specialist skills and therefore offer our clients a complete accountancy service from under one roof. Lancaster is also an ideal central base to serve Scott & Wilkinson’s clients located across the region – to Carlisle in the north, down to Merseyside and the Wirral and across the Pennines to Leeds.”
The Scott & Wilkinson of today is quite a sizeable operation – eleven people make up a senior team of partners, associates and managers along with more than forty staff on the payroll in supporting roles.
For such a long-established firm with more than a century of service to its many customers, one might anticipate that Scott & Wilkinson are a very traditional accountancy firm; yet their forward-thinking approach is evident in their approach to IT and how it can better support the business and the needs of their client base.
As they state on their company website: The firm remains committed to looking after its clients and is consistently investing in its staff and technical resources so that it can continue to maintain and improve the range and quality of services it offers.
“The IT infrastructure in place at Scott & Wilkinson is as robust and resilient as one can imagine, they really haven’t compromised in any area.” Explains Ben Mitchinson, MD of iTek Computer Solutions. “When so many people depend on the business-critical services of Scott & Wilkinson, they expect nothing less.”
“Scott & Wilkinson were the very first client of iTek Computer Solutions when we set up the business in 2009. They had been a client of mine when I worked for a previous IT firm and we always had a good relationship. When they got in touch in the very early days of iTek I was so honoured that they wanted to continue with my involvement and I’ll always be very grateful of the trust they put in iTek.”
The network designed and installed by iTek Computer Solutions a decade ago was a sizeable investment for the firm, with a completely new servers and network managing the heavy lifting from the demands placed upon it by staff and clients alike.
The server infrastructure is a Remote Desktop Server based environment, featuring thin clients, a relatively lightweight PC that is optimised for establishing a highly secure remote connection with the remote desktop server undertaking most of the work – running accountancy and CRM software and storing client data.
“That particular system was pretty advanced for the time and supported Scott & Wilkinson for the best part of a decade without any significant issues – iTek provided ongoing support and a planned programme of maintenance that kept everything running smoothly.”
“Hindsight is always a wonderful thing, but there’s nothing we would have done differently with that particular system and, for the first major commission for iTek, it was a great project.”
Business continuity was a paramount for Scott & Wilkinson when they approached iTek again in early 2018 to look at the next generation of Business IT Support Lancaster systems for the firm.
New hardware across the firm running the latest software that could support fast response times and 100% uptime – quite a remit, but one which they were confident in placing in iTek’s hands.
“The one significant change we made for the new network was the move of the e-mail platform to the Cloud.” adds Ben. “We had always been able to support Scott & Wilkinson remotely, but taking away the physical local e-mail server to a Cloud-based solution added a whole new level of resilience.”
Once again, planning was key to ensuring the migration of data and configuration of new hardware was a smooth and stress-free process, with clients unaffected and unaware of any noticeable changes in services.
In addition, iTek have also introduced a guest Wi-Fi network to the Dalton Square offices, with high levels of security for client peace of mind.
Scott & Wilkinson provide a highly personal service to all their clients, including direct access to partners – the firm proudly maintains a partner-client ratio which is considerably higher than typical in the profession.
“For a firm with such close and personal relationships with their customers, it would be unthinkable for our involvement to do anything that would jeopardise that through IT systems not performing as desired.” concludes Ben.
“We are under no illusion; we know our own relationship with Scott & Wilkinson is also one based on the trust and understanding that iTek will deliver on their word and provide the professional service that goes above and beyond to support our clients and their businesses.”
The new IT network introduce by iTek Computer Solutions is anticipated to be a trusted part of the team for the next 10 years, with that programme of regular monitoring and maintenance by iTek ensuring that it is always as dependable and assured as the professional services of Scott & Wilkinson themselves.
To find out more about Scott & Wilkinson and the professional accountancy services they provide, please visit www.scott-wilkinson.com