ICS’s specialized services are the key
When it comes to decision-making and problem-solving in the ICS (International Corporate Services S.A.) office, simplicity and efficiency are the keys. “At the risk of sounding cliché – I really believe that one plus one actually equals three because we energize and inspire each other,” says Managing Director and Founder Gina Empson of her ICS team.
The independent, privately owned Swiss fiduciary firm provides outsourced back office services to local, national, multinational and international small to medium-sized companies. In 10 short years, the 10-person advisory staff has extended ICS services to over 200 clients across 18 countries.
Geneva-based ICS tailors its accounting, fiscal, financial, payroll, human resources, and back offices services to fit each individual company’s needs.
Always providing consistent, top-quality service to a wide spectrum of clients, ICS is determined to make their business experience as productive as possible while suiting all of their business preferences. Ultimately, it is within the ICS job description, according to the company’s website (www.icsglobal.ch), to “make data interpretation simple for businesses that are not.”
Three pillars to success
“Competency, international background and customer care are the three pillars on which ICS success is founded,” asserts Gina Empson, who started the fiduciary firm in 1999. The growth of ICS can be attributed to its dedication and determination in dealing with its varied client portfolio, ranging from private equity investment companies to hi-tech international businesses. Even in this cut-throat market, the ICS staff – who represent eight different nationalities and six languages – continue to strive for excellence.
From small private banks to “Big Four” accounting firms, the professional backgrounds of ICS staff allow for a diverse understanding of an even more diverse clientele. “But everyone brings something to the table,” according to Ms Empson. “It is the marriage between the great training ground of the large accounting firms and smaller industries that develops our most pragmatic skills.” Having already served as executive director to a 40-person commercial company, ICS Managing Director Gina Empson knows this skill firsthand. The dual British and Swiss national has managed financial and commercial operations in France, Asia and Switzerland, and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales as well as the Chambre Suisse des Experts Comptables.
Highly specialized services
“We take pride in providing our customers with a service fully adapted to their needs and established on the highest standards of quality, ethics and continuous pursuit of excellence,” says Ms Empson. ICS both mobilizes and supplements operations in Switzerland and abroad. To optimize results, the ICS staff develops a two-way dialogue to understand their customers’ business and specifically targets their needs.
ICS fully believes that outsourcing administrative and financial tasks maximizes its customers’ efficiency and provides financial benefits. Outsourcing data, accounts and reports, for example, will reduce in-house administrative costs and organize bookkeeping and reporting services. ICS also maintains a profound knowledge of legal and fiscal requirements surrounding companies’ operations, including labour law and Swiss federal and cantonal taxation regulations.
And for the self-employed…
ICS also parents SLC (Swiss Labour Contractors SARL), a services company intended for those considered self-employed “independents.” The company facilitates a 3-way relationship between itself, contracting companies and the employee to capitalize economic activity and employee benefits.
As an employee of SLC, you can negotiate your own self-employment with contracting companies while securing your social protection (e.g. social security, accident insurance, pension scheme).
Fostering art in the young
ICS’s efforts outside the realm of business extend to the art world, one of its greatest accomplishments being its support of young artists in the greater Lake Geneva region. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, ICS hosted an art contest this past September for kids aged 5–15 in the Swiss Romande area, as well as neighbouring France. The theme of its first Art Festival My Alps encouraged young artists to interpret their surroundings. It also served as a tribute to 19th century Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler, who was famous for his Alpine scenes and landscapes.
With over 100 submissions in September, ICS set up a 3-person International Jury Panel of art connoisseurs, including the company’s art curator Peta Papas, to judge the contest. Prizes were awarded to the three best paintings in each age group, as well as 10 additional prizes at a vernissage and prize remittal ceremony held at the end of November. A total of 12 paintings were also selected for a calendar whose proceeds will later be donated to charity.
All contestants in the ICS Kid’s Art Festival – both literally and figuratively – left their mark on the company: a white poster covered in nearly 100 multicoloured handprints brightens an ICS conference room and serves as daily testimony of the company’s 10 years of success and commitment to the art world.
Since its inception ICS has encouraged young artists to showcase their work by providing exhibition space to over 1,200 paintings – and its Kid’s Art Festival is only one way it fulfils and furthers its endeavour to stay close to the local community.
Article by Kelsey Garvey