A LEADING NORTH East firm of accountants is continuing its expansion plans after banking on the success of a move.

JFS Torbitt has recently transferred the headquarters of its company to the former Barclays Bank at Durham Road, Birtley, after a complete refurbishment.

The organisation started to look for a new base after its former office – also on Durham Road – proved too small.

And although having just been at the former bank for a number of weeks, its prime position has already led to a number of new clients using the company.

“We decided to move office because our growth means we needed more space,” said Jane Freeman, Director.

“But what we didn’t expect immediately was that because of the visible position and the amount of passing traffic, we have already had a number of individuals and businesses coming forward to use our services.”

Jane Freeman and Derrick Hutchinson started the company – which also has an office in Blyth– in 2009, working with clients ranging from small companies and individuals to large businesses.

In 2014 the company acquired Torbitt & Co and was renamed JFS Torbitt, which now has a staff of 14.

Practice Manager Derrick, who looks after business development, said the success of JFS Torbitt is also down to the expertise of its key staff.

“Both Jane and myself have also run other businesses so we understand the challenges people with businesses face from both sides,” he said.

“Our clients find this very refreshing and like the fact that we can give them expert accountancy and tax efficiency advice but at the same can empathise with their general business needs.”

Jane and Derrick met when working for a practice in Jesmond but then decided to go it alone, initially working in Seghill and then Pelaw before moving to Birtley, along with opening a Blyth office.

Now the company boasts more than 1000 clients and an almost perfect retention rate.

“We are very proud of our client retention rate and we hope that the new move will ensure that we continue to be successful,” said Jane.

Derrick added: “Jane and I have worked together for a number of years building up the practice and it’s very exciting for us both to see how we have grown from a relatively humble start to where we are now.”