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The feeling is mutual as BHP wins two audit contracts

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Yorkshire’s largest independent firm of chartered accountants, BHP has been appointed to provide annual audit services to two leading mutual societies that have combined investment assets totalling more than £160million.

BHP has renewed its agreement with Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society, which it has worked with for more than 10 years, following a competitive pitch against two national accountancy firms.

The society, which was founded in 1892, employs a 12-strong team at its Tankersley headquarters, and has investment assets of more than £130million. Its 15,000 members invest around £20million each year in its range of life insurance based savings and investment plans within a traditional with-profits fund.

BHP’s specialist audit division has also been appointed by the Railway Enginemen’s Assurance Society. The Birmingham based society, which was founded in 1865, has £33million in investment assets and handles approximately £4million in annual investments on behalf of railway employees and their families, who can choose from a range of products with a joining contribution from just £5 per week.

BHP is now responsible for providing both organisations with full annual audit services, as well as producing reports for relevant regulators which include the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Philip Allsop, a partner at BHP, says: “Both these longstanding, member owned mutual societies are highly successful in their respective areas and we’re delighted they have chosen to work with our audit department. We have enjoyed a long relationship with Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society, so it’s particularly rewarding to renew this contract.  Plus, our success with the organisation played a part in the Railway Enginemen’s Assurance Society’s decision to work with us, which is a fantastic endorsement for the level of experience that we have within our audit department.”

Jamie Bellamy, Finance Director at Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society, says: “We have grown rapidly in recent years, which is largely due to the ability of our small but highly experienced team who provide a highly personalised service. This has seen our assets surge from £20million in 2006 to £130million today, and they are continuing to grow, especially following the ISA allowance rising to £20,000 per individual for the 2017-18 tax-year.

“As a result of this impressive growth, our annual audit, along with our regulatory reporting, is more important than ever. We’ve worked closely with BHP for the last decade and their experience and advice has always been hugely valuable, so we’re delighted to renew our agreement as we continue building a longstanding relationship with a fellow Sheffield based organisation.”

Marc Bicknell, CEO at The Railway Enginemen’s Assurance Society, says: “An important regulatory requirement means key partners carrying out audits have to rotate regularly, and at least every seven years. The size and depth of BHP convinced us that they have the resources to interchange partners, without impacting on service levels, and when this is combined with the firm’s strong understanding of our business and the regulatory environment we operate in, it’s the ideal firm to provide our audit services.”