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BLICK ROTHENBERG - AN HONEST REVIEW

This site is owned by Jericho Writers Ltd and has not been approved by Blick Rothenberg. Users wishing to find the BR corporate site should go direct to blickrothenberg.com

 

BLICK ROTHENBERG, ETHICS - AND YOU

Jericho Writers was, until March 2022, an accountancy client of Blick Rothenberg.

However, our experience with them was so bad, that we came to question the most basic ethics of the firm. It makes you ask: Is Blick Rothenberg a good company?

This site shares our story. (As does our "Blick Rothenberg - the truth" video.) If you are thinking of becoming a client or an employee of Blick Rothenberg, our advice would be to just say no. There are lots of other accountancy firms out there, after all.

Here's what happened to us ...

Brainstorming

OUR STORY

In April 2020 we hired a new bookkeeper.

By October 2020, our senior management grew concerned at the quality of figures we were seeing and we asked our accountant - Blick Rothenberg - to give those numbers "proper scrutiny".

They did some work and made some technical adjustments. They declared our bookkeeper to be "intelligent", "focused" and "hard-working".

In actual fact, from April to October 2020, about 20% of our revenues had been stolen. In some months, the total was well over 25% of revenue. We can't identify the perpetrator, because criminal proceedings are underway.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT

Inevitably, having already escaped detection, the fraud in our company proceeded unchecked. In total, we lost well over £300,000. Most of that loss came after Blicks had delivered their version of "proper scrutiny".

Our company is, now, thankfully stabilised and back on a profitable growth path -- but there were three months when we didn't know if we would escape bankruptcy. Three hundred grand was a lot to lose.

Of course, we contacted Blicks. The broad thrust of that communication was: "We asked for proper scrutiny of the accounts and you failed to notice a hole amounting to around 20% of revenues. Please pay us some compensation, so we can save the company."


Honestly? We assumed this was an easy, obvious ask.

Business Meeting
 

WHY THIS SITE EXISTS

Jericho Writers was until March 2022 an accountancy client of Blick Rothenberg.

However, our experience with them was so bad, that we came to question the most basic ethics of the firm. 

This site shares our story. If you are thinking of becoming a client or an employee of Blick Rothenberg, our advice would be to just say no. There are lots of other accountancy firms out there, and plenty of them mean it when they talk about integrity.

Here's what happened to us ...

Chatting Over Coffee

BLICK ROTHENBERG RESPONSE

Blick Rothenberg considered our request, then wrote back to say the firm "does not believe it has done anything wrong ... or that we should in any way be held to a duty of care to have identified and prevented such fraudulent acts given the terms of our engagement".

Huh? As we understand it, they're telling us that (A) a client can ask for proper scrutiny of numbers that they do not trust (B) Blicks can charge handsomely for that scrutiny, (C) the firm can fail to notice the loss of 20% of revenues (and much more in some months) and (D) claim that they've done nothing wrong.

We think that is shocking - and utterly inconsistent with their proud declarations of corporate integrity.

BLICK ROTHENBERG CLIENTS
BLICK ROTHENBERG JOBS

If you are a potential client of Blick Rothenberg, we'd advise you to go elsewhere. There are a ton of accountancy firms out there. We'd prefer to work with a firm whose corporate integrity we can trust.

If you are a potential employee of Blick Rothenberg, then much the same applies. Do you really want a job with a firm whose basic integrity you don't respect? Probably not.

If you are a current client of Blicks, you have a harder decision to make. How much do you trust your partner and the advice you get? If you're really sure your current support is bulletproof, then fine. But our concern would be - what if things do go wrong? Can you trust Blicks to do the right thing and look after you? Our view (based on our very limited experience) is that they are liable to abdicate responsibility. It's our view that they'd rather sacrifice a client than their bottom line. We wouldn't want to be a client of such a firm.

Brainstorming Session
 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT DOES BLICK ROTHENBERG DO?

Blick Rothenberg is an accountancy firm with a range of skills across audit, taxation, financial services, international and cross-border services, private client service, investment advice, business support and more. Blick Rothenberg is one of the larger accountancy firms in the UK and its services are broadly comparable to those of its peers (outside the top 4, whose services are particularly extensive.)

HOW MANY EMPLOYEES DOES BLICK ROTHENBERG HAVE?

The US financial reporting firm, Dun & Bradstreet, reports that Blicks has about 600 employees across its UK locations.  The firm boasts around 70 partners in total, including Nimesh Shah, the CEO. Blicks is owned by Azets, and Accountancy Today reported that Azets has total staff of 3700 and 327 partners in total.

IS BLICK ROTHENBERG A GOOD COMPANY?

In our opinion, clearly not! But bear in mind that your dealings with the firm will be highly influenced by the quality of the partner you are dealing with and the quality of the staff working in that partner's immediate team. You also need to ensure that the firm's corporate values align with your own. As you will have read, we advise current or potential clients of Blicks to move their business elsewhere.

WHERE ARE BLICK ROTHENBERG'S OFFICES?

Blick Rothenberg has its Headquarters in Covent Garden at:
16 Great Queen Street
London WC2B 5AH

It has a secondary location in the City of London at:

85 Gracechurch Street
London EC3V 0AA

Until recently it had a third location (at Palladium House in Argyll Street) but the staff from that office have now relocated to the Great Queen Street address above.

WHAT IS BLICK ROTHENBERG'S REPUTATION

Blick Rothenberg has a mixed reputation. As of 18 April 2022, Blicks had a star rating of 3.1 on "Google My Business" with a total of 30 reviews. Some of the reviews are very hostile, others very positive. By contrast, however, other firms in a similar size bracket have much stronger ratings. For example, HW Fisher has an average rating of 4.4 (over 37 reviews), Buzzacotts has a 4.4 rating (5 reviews).

WHAT ARE BLICK ROTHENBERG'S SALES?

Dun and Bradstreet reports that Blicks has turnover of around $90 million, which would equate to around £70 million. But as notes above, the firm is wholly owned by Azets. Accountancy Today reports that Azets itself generates around £270 million in turnover and lies just inside the top ten accountancy firms in the UK. The same source reports earnings per partner of around £830,000.

IS BLICK ROTHENBERG A TOP 50 FIRM?

Yes. The revenues attributed to Blicks alone by Dun and Bradstreet would place Blicks comfortably within the top 30 players in the UK. Combined with Azets, however the firms is one of the ten largest accountancy firms in the UK. Do note that at this scale, the services provided are always broader than pure accountancy and will include tax advice, investment advice, consultancy, and more.

DOES BLICK ROTHENBERG HAVE A GRADUATE SCHEME?

Yes. You can find details of it here. The training scheme (which moves towards an ACA qualification) runs for three years and promises immersion in the company culture. Since the company culture is (in our opinion) sadly missing in any ethical heart, you do risk being apprenticed to a firm that prioritises money over people. Other high quality ACA graduate training schemes are common right across the industry.

 
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