Intelligent business insights

Business analytics firm Barrachd – the name means ‘more’ in Gaelic – creates bespoke solutions that allow businesses and organisations to find the information that they need, exactly when they need it. The firm has been a Johnston Carmichael client since 2008. Managing Director Clark Wilson explains why they chose to work with Johnston Carmichael.

“We always had an ambition to grow the business and we were looking for someone who would match that. We needed someone who was big enough to cope with our future needs as well as being able to care about us while we were still a small business.

“Shaun Millican grasped what we were trying to achieve very quickly. He understood the sector and the challenges we were likely to face.”

The relationship between the two firms has been one of constant development.

“Whatever we encountered, as we progressed from start-up to SME, they were able to help us, from managing our bookkeeping and accountancy to more sophisticated constructions as we decided what we were doing strategically with the business.”

Clark admits that, particularly in the early days, there were a number of areas in which they needed assistance.

“We were relying on advice to put the most basic building blocks in place, even something as simple as which accountancy and bookkeeping package we would use. At Shaun’s suggestion, we employed a bookkeeper which gave us someone even closer to our business and saved us some money at the same time.”

The experience which Johnston Carmichael’s team has in technology and life sciences has been a real advantage.

“That gives them a much more rapid understanding of what we’re trying to achieve. Even simple things like the kind of terminology we’d use, they would understand quickly. That allows them to bring certain ideas to bear that might not have been apparent to us or would have taken us longer to unearth.”

As Barrachd has expanded from a three-man start-up to an organisation of over 40 people, Johnston Carmichael’s contribution to the firm’s growth strategy has been invaluable.

“As things developed, Shaun was able to deliver a team which had the right level of expertise to help us grow. That could be a simple scaling of our payroll processes to something more sophisticated such as R&D innovation work, fundraising and due diligence.

“Shaun’s advised us on a lot of things we’ve done to aid that development. He understood what we were trying to achieve and what we were like culturally. His team not only had the right expertise but were a solid cultural fit. It’s been very useful to have that constant partnership throughout. “

The breadth of services offered by Johnston Carmichael has been an important factor in its partnership with Barrachd.

“Some of the R&D tax work they’ve done has been very useful. We were looking at some structural changes and how we might use a statutory demerger to help us with our intellectual property, which is quite a complicated thing to do. Their advice and guidance there was really useful.

“Overall they’ve been a constant help to us as a management team as we’ve gone from what was a start-up, three-man business to an organisation of 40-50 people.”

Relevant case studies