A leading Huddersfield cloud accountancy firm, My Management Accountant, has set up a peer support group for local businesses as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Founder Martin Bown set up the peer group to offer free financial advice to firms during the crisis, from cash flow management to accessing loans and grants, as well as providing a supportive space for business owners to voice their experiences and concerns.

Taking advantage of virtual meeting technology, Martin and his business partner Sara Whitton hosted their first ‘Zoom’ call this week, which saw 30 local business people dial in, with firms ranging from a market research specialist to a domiciliary care agency.

Speaking about his reasons for setting up the support network, Martin said: “I think many accountants take for granted the tools and information they have access to, not realising other business owners may or may not have access to the same information – whether it’s cloud accounting know-how, access to finance or simply a wide network of professional services experts.

“The only way we’re all going to get through this health and economic crisis is by talking regularly, and helping and supporting each other, whether we do business with each or not. We had some great interaction during our first Zoom call we hosted for clients and received some really positive feedback afterwards.”

Martin and Sara will be hosting a weekly call from now on, with the next one taking place on Monday morning. They have also set up a Facebook support group called ‘Businesses supporting each other mitigate the economic effect of Covid-19’, alongside the calls.

For information on how to join the call and peer support network email martin.bown@mymanagementaccountant.co.uk.

Normally based in the Media Centre, Huddersfield, the nine-strong My Management Accountant team has been working remotely since 13 March. The firm specialises in cloud-based accounting services, from year-end accounts, tax returns and payroll through to management accounts and finance director support.