Insight101 Blog

A strategic consultancy that understands that your success begins and ends with a powerful brand message and vision


What name hangs above your door?

October 23, 2020

Is there a long-winded collection of partner names ‘& Co’ creaking above your office door, or a modern one-worder packed with promise?

Now, more than ever before, the name of your accountancy firm needs to tap potential clients on the shoulder and make them turn around. It needs to start a conversation and signal what makes you stand out.

We’re not suggesting that traditional accountancy firm names be torn down and thrown out altogether: Legacy and experience is valued by many.

But in 2020, whether a firm name is rooted in tradition or takes a more modern approach, it’s important that it embodies meaning, clarity and is more than an assumption or an afterthought. An accountancy firm name must be centred around brand values and hold your story and ideal client at its heart.

Traditional names have their place

It’s common for professional service firms to name their organisation after their founder or partners.

Research from Prosper shows that 57% of names are based on the founders' name, while 22.6% of firms named themselves after the services they provided. Initial based names made up 6.6% of the firms surveyed.

Trust and credibility are essential for the success of any accountancy firm, and the more traditional ‘Partner & Partner’ style names can signal reliability and integrity.

For some they also provide a sense of familiarity and imply the business is long-standing and established.

A traditional name suggests a traditional approach. If you know your ideal clients want that, then there is value in a traditional name. But this could also alienate fresh talent and limit sustainability - there is a fine line between being perceived as traditional and credible, or simply stuck in old ways.

What’s important is to take an honest, fresh look at your company name and consider whether it is really doing your firm justice: Is it fit for the future in our complex, modern world?

A name fit for the future

Our sense of what is of value, and what isn’t, is changing. The new generation have different perceptions of tradition and heritage and a flourishing focus on the future.

There has been a shift away from an emphasis on the partners, towards a focus on the brand promise: The experience, the customer service, the emotional connection. Many firms consider their firm name an essential part of that package.

A modern, memorable name that forms an impression and helps communicate your brand values will help your accountancy firm stand out and signal a new type of accountancy. The right name can help you be clear about what you offer, attract your ideal clients, and make your firm a leader in this highly competitive market.

A successful name will be born from a story and an ethos. It will instil trust while appealing to the emotions, create intrigue while stating a point of view. It may not appeal to everybody, but it will reach out to your ideal clients.


There’s no doubt that a name change is a big move and comes with challenges.

A new name can’t simply be drawn from the air. Finding the right name for your firm is a carefully crafted process of reflection, self-interrogation, and close examination of the firm’s direction for the future.

It is essential to find a name that is unique, a domain name that is available and to consider international implications.

With a new name, come new marketing assets and fresh, targeted marketing to carry it forward. You will need to take your existing clients on that journey with you.

And of course, all that carries costs.

But these hurdles are far from insurmountable and the rewards can be infinite.

It is an exciting process, a fresh start, and can bring new energy to the team and the firm.


2020 has been a challenging year. Many accountancy firms have already had to adapt and change to meet the needs of their clients as they navigate the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has also meant a rise in clients shifting from one accountancy firm to another, thus creating a more unpredictable and competitive market.

Whether or not now is the right time to invest in actioning a name change, it certainly is a good time to begin a process of reflection and consider the inherent meaning and intent of your firm’s brand values.

The right decision for your firm

If you want to signal that your business is taking on a new direction and updating itself for new and better beginnings, a name change could be an integral part of the process.

That process should begin with self-reflection and a quest to uncover and embody the story behind your brand. A name based on a solid rationale, that has meaning in its roots, will work hardest for your brand and propel you into the future.

To find out more and start the process for your firm, get in touch now for an initial brand assessment consultation.

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