SJD Accountancy was set up in 1992 by prominent British businessman and entrepreneur Simon Dolan. After a range of jobs including everything from selling cheese and eggs on a market stall, to selling photocopiers and timeshares, he eventually trained as an accountant and started offering his services on a fixed fee basis, running ads in the local paper and operating from his spare bedroom.

His real breakthrough came when he realised that the early nineties’ growing world of contractors and freelancers needed a specialist type of accountancy service, and so SJD Accountancy was born. The theory being to develop offices throughout the UK, so that customers are never far from their dedicated tax expert or accountant, and to offer services on a fixed-fee basis, so that his customers never need to worry about calling their accountant for advice and then being sent an unexpected bill. All SJD Group companies now offer services which take the stress out of operating as a freelancer or contractor, whether you choose to do so as a limited company, a sole trader of through an umbrella scheme.

Simon is quoted as saying that he built the company up through customer services, and as the first UK firm of accountants to offer a money back service guarantee, this still holds true today. More than 14,000 contractors and freelancers choose SJD Accountancy as their preferred accountant – and in a recent survey 98% of them rated SJD as ‘better than other accountants’. Simon is, of course, trying hard to convince the other 2%!

When it comes to choosing staff, Simon insists that you don’t need fashionable management techniques and instead focuses on employing people with a ‘special spark’ who have the same customer service ethos as he does. This seems to work for his staff as well as his customers, as SJD Accountancy is now 26th in the Sunday Times ‘Best Companies to Work For’ list – cited especially for its ‘low stress environment.’