Accountants Leanne Fisher and Rhea Ingham are off on the business trip of a lifetime, courtesy of the Sheffield office of Grant Thornton.
The duo are making a month-long trip to the remote Atlantic island of St Helena to audit the books of Solomon and Company, a UK-registered business which runs most of the commercial activity on St Helena.
Just over 4,000 people live on the 47-square-mile island, which is more than 1,200 miles off the west coast of Africa and is where Napoleon was exiled in the 19th century. Because St Helena is so remote and does not have an airport, Leanne and Rhea have to fly to Ascension Island before making a three-day boat trip on the Royal Mail Ship St Helena, which only visits St Helena twice-monthly, meaning their trip will take the best part of a month.
Leanne, Grant Thornton’s audit manager in Sheffield, said: “Our office works with many international businesses, but I can safely say this is the first time we’ve been on a month-long business trip to the middle of the Atlantic.
“It definitely poses a few travel problems, but nevertheless it is a rare opportunity and one that almost everybody in our audit team wanted to volunteer for. A month is a long time on a remote island when you have no means of getting back before the ship returns, but this is the business trip of a lifetime and we couldn’t turn it down.”
Solomon and Company was founded in 1790 and has more than 200 staff, providing citizens of St Helena with almost everything they need, including imports, construction, transport, IT support, auto repair, bakery products, meat production and insurance.