First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jibran Qureshi: If you had asked this question at the start of this year, I would have answered, anxious, apprehensive, and frustrated. Fortunately, we have not experienced COVID-19 in our family yet and hope to stay safe by following all the rules and protocols effectively. Now I can say that we are coping with it in a proactive way by introducing innovation and novelty in our personal lives as well as professional responsibilities.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Clear House Accountants.
Jibran Qureshi: I have more than 15 years of experience in finance in different roles and in a variety of different industries. I founded Clear House Accountants with the vision to become a firm that provides startups and businesses with a one-stop platform, where they can acquire services for all their business management needs and problems, with a huge emphasis on growth as the underlying factor.
How does Clear House Accountants innovate?
Jibran Qureshi: Our core innovation is done through creating smart solutions, but it’s not just limited to that; we also drive innovation by creating complete ecosystems for businesses within which they can grow and prosper. We do this through exceptional services, intuitive tools, futuristic methodologies, and by partnering with the best of the industry. This enables us to cover a wide range of pain points that businesses struggle with. These ecosystems which have been created around a business, help in nurturing innovation and interconnect different areas of a business through technology, resulting in advanced functionality and greater security. The team at Clear House Accountants envision the company to not just offer services and resources related to Tax, Business Advisory, Corporate Finance, and Management Accounting; but to be a platform that can also cater to holistic business needs around business growth and optimization.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jibran Qureshi: Seeing some of our clients’ businesses struggle to remain open, making employees redundant, and struggling with personal finances has been extremely painful. However, the primary purpose of being in this business is to help our clients be prepared for such economic uncertainties, and that is what we have always prepared our clients for, with our expert business advice. We have always been open to new ideas and innovations that we can implement in our business structure, planning, and services that we offer.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Jibran Qureshi: During this pandemic, my team and I have learned how to effectively take steps and transition into a working environment that is quick and entirely online. It was relatively easy for us to shift to remote work as we have already implemented digital innovations for day to day tasks and activities from the day the firm started. There were no hard decisions to take that were directly related to the COVID-19 situation.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Jibran Qureshi: Planning is the key to dealing with stress and anxiety, as it helps in overcoming unforeseen issues and mitigating risk. Other things that I have found useful are having a good diet, exercising regularly, and taking time off away from work every now and then.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jibran Qureshi: For me, the past progress of my business is my competition. I tend to focus on what should have been achieved in a particular period and what could have been better than what we have achieved in the past. I believe in self-progress and also encourage the same mindset in my staff. I believe in developing an accountancy firm that becomes the leader of the industry, and for that, my team and I have to be better than what we are and what we were. Competing with other businesses would only lead me to a certain point of success but does not ensure the ultimate position of industry leadership. I believe our innovative and specialized services are what no one else has replicated yet.
Your final thoughts?
Jibran Qureshi: At the moment, we all are going through another difficult time as the second wave of COVID-19 has hit the UK. Therefore, businesses that are resilient to its impact should contribute more towards bringing society, as a whole, back to a sense of normalcy through social and economic measures. We need to work together as a nation to face this challenging situation.