January 21, 2021 @ 10:00 by Steven Hugill
A Chartered accountancy firm has refused to rule out further expansion after experiencing greater demand for services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mullen Stoker says it has seen “a rapid increase in calls from businesses keen to ensure IT systems are properly and securely set up for home working.”
And despite the challenges of the third national lockdown, bosses say they remain confident of enjoying further growth in 2021, which could include opening a second office in the north of the region.
“Since the very first lockdown in March 2020, many businesses have had to implement more flexible working policies,” said Gary Stoker, who heads Durham-based Mullen Stoker’s IT department.
“This sees business’ implementing IT solutions they hadn’t fully considered previously and having staff either fully or partially working from home.
“This new way of working has presented many advantages to these businesses in these unusual times.
“Many are seeing increased productivity from staff, and in some cases, reductions in their monthly overheads.”
Gary added: “Following the second four-week lockdown late last year, and more recently with the announcement of the third lockdown, we’ve again seen a rapid increase in calls from businesses keen to ensure their IT systems are properly and securely set up for home working.
“This includes things like bespoke software solutions.
“For example, we’re working with one company that has reviewed its administrative processes and felt the existing set up wasn’t as robust or streamlined as it could be.
“We’ve helped them implement a system that is much more automated and accessible, so that whichever member of staff needs to access it, wherever they are, the process is simple, fool proof and continuous.”
Mullen Stoker was founded 11 years ago, and Gary says it has enjoyed year-on-year growth.
Although primarily recognised as a Chartered accountancy firm, the company has a growing reputation for its IT services, which includes a dedicated department that manages clients’ needs.
He added: “Over the past couple of months we’ve definitely seen an upsurge in the number of calls we’re taking from businesses that are realising home working is here to stay, and feel they need to invest in the proper infrastructure and systems to enable them to continue operating efficiently.”
Based at Mandale Business Park, the firm was co-founded by Gary alongside Neil Mullen.
It currently employs 14 people.