Browne Craine - part of the Island's community since 1954
Browne Craine was originally established in 1954 by the late Ron Browne and has seen a fair amount of change on the Isle of Man over those last six decades, but one thing is for certain, Browne Craine continues to play an important role in the Island’s community.
The firm is led by several directors and senior associates who between them have in excess of a hundred years’ of service with the firm. Continuity of service is something Browne Craine prides itself on and having familiar leadership gives the right message across to its staff and clients alike. “It’s that familiar face that gives people the peace of mind that their affairs will be dealt with in a confidential and professional manner year after year which is something we stride towards”. Browne Craine are also very keen on contributing to their community, whether that be providing complimentary business advice to small business owners, raising money for good causes through participating in fund raising events, or providing their skills and expertise to a variety of local charities either as a Board member or as their accountant. Whatever the need, Browne Craine is willing to help.
Browne Craine has recently launched a new venture by setting up a small business accountancy clinic aimed to help and support budding entrepreneurs with their accounting and business needs. The reason behind the clinic is that Browne Craine regularly meet new clients who have had their business ventures suffocate due to the perceived amount of paperwork which they must produce. The idea is to offer those entrepreneurs guidance to streamline those aspects of their business so that they can concentrate on what really makes their business successful. “We believe the clinic will be beneficial for all businesses, new and old, but starting up a new business can be a daunting prospect at the best of times and we believe we can help those new ventures by helping their figureheads understand just what they need to maintain and what might be superfluous”. The accountancy clinic is open every Thursday* between 2.30pm and 5.00pm at Browne Craine’s offices at Burleigh Manor on Peel Road in Douglas, where anyone with a small business can pop into the office and see one of Browne Craine’s friendly accounting team for a free 30-minute chat.
“Not everyone needs professional help but most people do like to at least speak to someone who can tell them what they are doing right, or wrong!” said James Sayle. “The initial idea behind the accountancy clinic was to help new business start-ups with some advice regarding their bookkeeping needs; but we’re more than happy to offer that service to existing businesses as well.”
The accountancy clinic has support from the Department of Economic Development (“DED”). Dan Walker, On-Island Business Development Manager at the DED said, “I am pleased to see more businesses like Browne Craine helping new and existing small businesses grow.”
Over the last 12 months, Browne Craine’s staff has teamed up to do their bit for the community with some admirable achievements. Collectively they have managed to raise over £11,000 via various fundraising challenges for charities such as The Isle of Man Children’s Centre, Manx Cancer Help and Cancer Research UK. “We think that’s a pretty good achievement for an office of 30 staff”. The following are just a few of those fundraising achievements:
- Craig Mitchell completed his adventure of a life-time by climbing to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in October 2016. He did this in aid of The Isle of Man Children’s Centre and with the help and generosity of his friends and colleagues managed to raise over £6,500.
- Two teams took part in the Barclays Step Challenge to help raise money for local charity Manx Cancer Help. Taking place at Barclays’ offices at Eagle Court, teams of four were given 30-minute time slots to complete their steps, mainly running (but sometimes walking) up and down the stairwell in the building. The teams jointly climbed around 30,000 steps over their two allocated time slots!
- Recently, a team took part in the Isle of Man’s 24-hour Relay for Life event which took place at the National Sports Centre. The Relay for Life is a year-round fundraising challenge bringing communities together to beat cancer. Like so many other fantastic teams, Browne Craine set up camp and stayed over for the full 24-hours, taking turns to walk around the NSC athletics track throughout the night to raise over £4,300.
“Myself and my fellow directors are proud of the team for raising a substantial amount of money for charity in the last 12 months,” said David Craine. “It’s great to see we have so many caring people who work at our firm.”
Awards for Excellence
This year is the first year Browne Craine has sponsored an award at the Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence. This provides a fantastic opportunity to support the event as it celebrates our business community in so many ways. This year Browne Craine is fortunate enough to sponsor the Company of the Year Award.
“For an Island, our entrepreneurial spirit is amazing and it’s great that we have such a prestigious event which allows some of those businesses an opportunity to showcase and celebrate just a few of our Island’s success stories,” commented Craig Mitchell. “I’m proud to say that Browne Craine has acted for a number of the Island’s leading businesses and it has been a pleasure for us to work alongside them and help them succeed both locally and beyond our Island’s shores.”
Browne Craine support several sport initiatives on the Island. The main initiative the firm has invested in over the last couple of years is supporting school swimming. Working alongside the Isle of Man Swimming Association and the Department of Education and Children the initiative, which was launched in 2015, aimed to train a number of primary school teachers and parents to become an ASA level one trained swimming assistant. “This is one of our proudest achievements,” said Craig Mitchell. “It occurred to us that it was wrong to have young children living on an island and being unable to swim. So, we paid for 30 teachers and parents to attend these Level One training courses with the aim that every primary school on the Isle of Man had one more swimming assistant attending their school swimming classes. The aim wasn’t to unearth the next Rebecca Adlington but simply to ensure every primary school child was given the best possible opportunity to learn a valuable life skill. The results speak for themselves with virtually every school showing a decrease in their percentage of non-swimmers, and that makes us very proud!”.
Browne Craine has supported the Isle of Man Men’s Doubles Bowls Championships for the last two years which have been a success and it also sponsors Premiership netball team the Browne Craine Toomraiders and Ramsey Football Club’s second team.
Browne Craine also plays a major role on the Island’s Commonwealth Games Association committee. As the committee’s President, Browne Craine director Basil Bielich and a team of staff, organise various fundraising events to help raise money to send the Isle of Man’s Commonwealth Games team to the next Commonwealth Games in 2018. They also recently organised the Queen’s Baton Relay which took place on the Island at the end of August.
“Sport is such a pivotal part of the Island’s community and we believe it’s really important that grass-roots sports and above is supported by local companies on the Isle of Man,” said Basil. “We have all been involved in sport at some point or another, and in different ways; whether that be taking part in the sport ourselves, coaching or supporting from the side lines. At Browne Craine, we really want to continue that trend and help where we can.”
“We encourage all of our staff members to join a committee or to do some volunteering,” explained Lynsey Smith. “A few of us are involved in local charities, some of us are involved in ‘industry’ committees and others are involved with local sports on the Island. We believe that contributing our time, experience and knowledge means we can give back to our community.”
It’s clear to see that Browne Craine is passionate about the Isle of Man and its community.
Each year the firm has committed to choosing a charity to sponsor and to fundraise in a variety of ways for a chosen charity. They can also provide assistance in other ways such as acting on a Board or a Committee. If this would be of interest, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
* except between the Christmas and New Year holiday when the office is closed.