Darren Rigden
Ellen Forster

Member Article

A festive chat with… Darren Rigden, partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill

Today’s festive favourite is Darren Rigden, partner at national audit, tax and advisory firm, Crowne Clark Whitehill, which has offices in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells.

2015 – Looking back

What were the highlights for your business in 2015?

“Working with my clients, seeing their businesses develop and helping them to have the confidence to invest for the future.”

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently this year?

“Overall it’s been a good year but I’d like to tell more people about what we are doing! We are committed to investing in our clients and have therefore been able to retain them year after year. However, having the time to continually develop our recognition in the market is a challenge when your primary focus is delivering client service. “

How has your industry changed in the last year?

“The Big Four accounting firms are moving into the small business sector which they could not previously compete in due to their charging structures. This year has seen more use of cloud-based IT systems by the Big Four in particular. Although we continue to develop our IT systems – including cloud-based software – we still differentiate ourselves as a Partner-led service, concentrating on the traditional, personal approach.

“Growing businesses in particular need to have regular hands on advice to help them make the correct decisions, not to mention someone to bounce ideas off and provide advice and support. I’m not aware of a piece of software that can do this at the current time and I don’t look forward to a time when personal advice is substituted by a computer.”

2016 – Moving forward

What are your key focuses for next year?

“Growing our Business Solutions team, which focuses on smaller, growing businesses, below the audit threshold and providing outsourcing to the larger businesses. This will be driven by hands on advisory services such as tax planning, exist strategies and income extraction – along with general ad-hoc advice which won’t be achieved through IT solutions – to help those clients achieve their business goals. “

What are you most looking forward to in 2016?

“Continuing to work with our existing clients is always interesting as well as working with new ones. Helping our clients realise their goals and ambitions is one of the most rewarding things I do.”

What do you expect will be your biggest challenge in the coming year?

“An increasingly competitive local market will always keep us busy.”

The softer stuff

If you could go back in time, which piece of advice would you give your younger self?

“Make as many meaningful connections as you can, the more people you forge links with the more successful you will become in business.”

How will you be celebrating the festive period?

“With my family and the odd glass of wine.”

Take a look at previous ‘festive favourites’ across the South East and London:

Rahul Parekh, CEO and co-founder of EatFirst

Tracy Ewen, managing director at IGF Invoice Finance

Michael Page, joint managing director of Saracen Interiors

Martin Campbell, managing director of fintech startup Ormsby Street

Salman Iftekhar and Michael Gadsby, co-founders of Staffing Match

Graham Marley, chief executive of Let’s Do Business Group

Sarah Anglim, founder and managing director of Gatwick’s I Love Meet and Greet Parking

Kristian Poliszczuk, director of online job portal Workango

James Wyatt, partner of Surrey letting agency, Barton Wyatt

Wayne Treveil, CEO of Tenants Plus

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ellen Forster .

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