Matthijs van Dorssen
+31(0)88 253 3208 | firstname.lastname@example.org
2 mei 2023 | Door: Matthijs van Dorssen
Alfa Accountants and Advisors achieved their 100 million euro turnover target in 2022. According to last year’s annual report, this growth is mainly due to a substantial influx of new customers. A further increase to 118 million euro is expected for 2023. But growth cannot only come from regular accountancy services. As a broad business service provider, Alfa has been focusing on expanding its package in recent years. Ambitions for growth in sustainability advice are also high.
The 7.9 percent increase in turnover was also reflected in the result: 13.2 euro million before tax (2021: 11.1 million euro). The customer base grew by 500 companies. Despite optimistic expectations for the current year, Arnoud Bosch, CFO on Alfa’s board of directors, also sees challenges. To quote a frequently used phrase, “Change is the only constant these days”. It is difficult to get good people from the market, even though we have been able to make a nice leap to 1,100 employees in the first quarter of 2023. We are dealing with ever-changing market conditions, such as the war in Ukraine which has affected some of our customers. And the effects of corona have not completely disappeared yet. We are dealing with a nitrogen crisis, more expensive raw materials and cautious purchasing behaviour.”
Alfa has traditionally held a strong position in the agricultural sector. It is expected that the consequences of the nitrogen problem for Alfa will remain limited in the coming years. Arnoud Bosch qualifies: “The sector has been under pressure from laws and regulations as long as I have been working at Alfa. But nitrogen will certainly have a major effect on our customers.”
Reducing workload is a high priority. Alfa is therefore continuing to invest in ICT for the automation of tasks and to deliver work more consistently and more efficiently. On the other hand, the range of services is growing and Alfa is increasingly taking on an advisory role. “As an accountant, you are already in the position of coming by once a year to go through the annual accounts. It is a small step to then initiate a conversation about what the customer’s future looks like. As a broad business service provider, we can offer solutions for this from a customer perspective.”
Offering sustainability advice in particular is the tip of the spear. Alfa has B Corporation certification, an international hallmark for companies and organisations keeping an eye on people, the environment and society. “The transition facing companies in the Netherlands is no small thing. We are making great strides in that direction. For example, we are strong in the transport sector. We are working with external parties to connect knowledge. But sustainability is a very broad playing field. I am very sure that, as accountants, we can add reliability to sustainability information. But of course there are limits for us technically or in terms of content.”
A particular highlight in the annual report are the high scores for employee and customer satisfaction. In the MT500 of 2022, Alfa held on to its premier position for the law and accountancy firms category from a year earlier. Our own research also confirmed this last year when we achieved a score of 7.6 from our employees, which is above the industry average. One in four of our customers even gives Alfa a 9 or even a 10. There is also something to note when it comes to personnel. The works council has made a plea for more diversity. This led to the introduction of a diversity and inclusion task force in the year under review. Alfa underlines that no matter who you are or where you come from, colleagues will be accepted and valued in the organisation.
Alfa is a network of local offices with active specialists who work for entrepreneurs working in small and medium sized business and the agricultural sector. Founded by and for entrepreneurs, and active for more than 80 years. Alfa believes in the power of local entrepreneurship. This is where the engine of the Dutch economy is kept running. It is the result of an interplay between driven entrepreneurs and a network of involved families, enthusiastic employees and many supply companies. With more than 30 branches and 1,100 employees, Alfa offers (local) support for accountancy, taxes, salary and personnel, subsidies, business advice, financial services and anything else related to that.