Having been a partner in a successful local business for over 30 years, Alan MacDonald of Hughes, MacDonald & Davidson (HMD) Opticians says a trusted accountant is essential to every business.

Along with John Hughes and Donnie Davidson, Alan set up the partnership with in 1988. Mr Davidson retired in 2016, leaving John and Alan to run the firm’s four practices located in Banchory, Inverurie, Turriff and Peterhead. The group employs 24 people and during the pandemic the company accessed the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, placing all but four personnel on furlough.

“The directors and managers increased their hours to keep the company going after we had to close due to COVID-19. It was a very busy time as we were dealing with emergency treatments at first, although we were gradually able to open up gradually for essential appointments.

“As an essential service, we urgently put in place strict procedures to ensure the practices were safe for working staff and the small number of patients we were able to see. And as we have gradually opened up to more and more patients, we have continued with this cleaning regime, which includes each optician thoroughly cleaning down equipment and seating after each patient”.

HMD Opticians has worked with Goldwells since its inception, having first engaged Caroline Addison, Goldwells MD Gary Addison’s mother, as accountant in the 1980s before Gary took over the firm. The Goldwells office in Peterhead now manages both partners’ personal accounts as well as the company tax, VAT and accounts. When HMD first established John Hughes managed the wages, but Goldwells now takes care of this labour-intensive task for the partners.

“We have never regretted using Goldwells,” says Alan. “Lockdown meant that we had far fewer customers, and so we were grateful to Gary and the team for keeping us abreast of the different business grants and loans available. We have never once had any bad advice and will always consult Gary when making decisions on company finances.

“I would advise everyone starting up their own business to start from day one with a trusted accountant. Goldwells has been with us every step of the way. We value their advice and in particular we are grateful that they look after the finances, while we can get on with what we enjoy which is examining into our patients’ eyes.”