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Bang the drum - Season 1

From cash flow to culture, innovation and mental health, listen to Season 1 of Bang The Drum, a top 20 business podcast brought to you by Azets. Browse the episodes below.


Episode 1: Cash is King

In this episode, host Emma Sheppard is joined by Donald Boyd, Head of Growth at Azets, and Josh Levy, CEO of Ultimate Finance, for a deep dive into what SME businesses must do to protect cashflow amid some of the toughest global economic challenges many will ever face.

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Episode 2: Accounting Tech

In this episode, host Emma Sheppard is joined by Fraser Campbell, UK Head of Accounts and Business Advisory at Azets, and Alex von Schirmeister, Managing Director - UK & EMEA at Xero. They discuss trends in accounting technology and what’s next for the industry, asking how the development of smart new accounting tech can help SME clients to grow.

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Episode 3: Diversity & Inclusion – More Than Just Words

In this episode, host Emma Sheppard is joined by Caroline Hutchins, Group Chief People Officer at Azets, and Raj Ghai, Head of Resourcing and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Scottish Gas Networks (SGN). They discuss how to build a happy, innovative, and productive workforce by integrating diversity and inclusion into your business culture.

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Episode 4: Time to Buy

In this episode, we’re discussing mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and asking the big question: when is the right time to buy? Host Emma Sheppard is joined by Jeremy Fearnley, Azets Group Head of M&A; Warren Munson, founder of Inspire Accountants, a firm based in the South of England which Azets acquired in March last year; and Jo Barry, Managing Director of acquisitive SME Platinum Care Solutions Group, an award-winning care group based in the South of England.

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Episode 5: Green, Green Growth

In this episode, host Emma Sheppard is joined by Paul Clifford, Regional CEO at Azets, and Andrea Hartley, CEO of creative social and environmental impact consultancy Skating Panda. They discuss the importance of ESG and sustainability for SME business leaders; some of the low-cost, high impact initiatives that can be used; and how to turn being good to the environment into profitable growth.

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Episode 6: When Cultures Collide

In this episode, host Emma Sheppard is joined by Chris Horne, Group CEO at Azets, and Chris Herd, CEO of Firstbase, a management platform for remote work. They discuss cross-cultural leadership and how to lead a growing #international organisation, integrating diverse cultures to create a homogenous business.

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Episode 7: UK Spring Budget Special

In this special episode, five of the UK’s leading tax experts join host Emma Sheppard for live reaction to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s 2023 Spring Budget statement. Billed as a ‘growth’ Budget that aims to get the UK economy growing sustainably again, what levers did the Chancellor pull and what support has been offered to business leaders to boost economic growth?

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Episode 8: How to Be Resilient

Times are tough. So, how do SME business leaders maintain continuous operations, protect people and assets, and preserve brand equity in the face of disruption? To find out, Emma Sheppard is joined by Azets UK Partner Nick Parrett, and Ron Wain, Managing Director of Deep South Media, a public relations consultancy based in the South of England, which this year celebrates 25 years in business.

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Episode 9: Getting Payroll Right

Paying people accurately and on time is the cardinal rule of payroll. But what more value can a successful payroll process add, and when is the right time for a growing SME business to seek help? Host Emma Sheppard is joined by Erik Bekkåsen, Director of Nordic Payroll at Azets; Stephen Abbotts, Azets’ Director of UK Payroll Services; and Kirk Boster, Managing Director of M+M Matting, to find out.

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Episode 10: Investing in Innovation

In this episode, we’re discussing business innovation and what incentives are available to research-intensive SMEs. We’ll explore Research & Development (R&D) tax relief and capital allowances, and explain how entrepreneurs can navigate this seemingly complex world. Host Emma Sheppard is joined by Tim Croft, National Head of R&D Tax at Azets; Gurj Sandhu, National Head of Capital Allowances at Azets; and Eliza Eddison, VP Operations at FabricNano.

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Episode 11: Rise of the Franchise

This episode is all about franchises, with the world's largest 24/7 fitness franchise Anytime Fitness. We’re discussing how you decide whether franchising is for you, how to find the right franchisee, some of the common mistakes to watch out for, and the financial parameters to have in place.

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Episode 12: Entrepreneurship and Mental Health

It's the last episode of the S1! SME business leaders are under more duress than ever before, with economic uncertainty, rising costs, and talent shortages all adding to every day stress. So, how can entrepreneurs spot the signs they may be approaching burnout? What positive habits can they adopt to achieve a better work-life balance? And what other support is available to them if they feel they need it?

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Bang The Drum - Season 2

From cyber security and crowd funding to AI and social enterprise, Season 2 of Bang The Drum launches on October 16th 2023. Listen to season 1 now.

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