Accountants on audit mission to remote island of St Helena

WHEN Napoleon’s enemies packed him off to exile in 1815, they wanted to ensure that his grand designs were shattered forever.

So they sent him to St Helena, one of the most isolated spots in the world.

Today, the island, which lies 1,200 miles off the west coast of Africa, must feel even more remote than it did in Napoleon’s day.

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It is only visited twice monthly by the Royal Mail ship, so visitors can’t afford to get homesick.

Two accountants from Yorkshire are heading to the island to audit a company which was trading when Napoleon was a reluctant visitor.

Leanne Fisher and Rhea Ingham from the Sheffield office of Grant Thornton will soon be perusing the accounts of Solomon & Company, which was founded in 1790 and provides the 4,000 residents of St Helena with all the goods they need.

So if somebody on St Helena needs to order food or is looking for new IT equipment, they call on Solomon & Company.

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Ms Fisher said: “Our Sheffield office works with many international businesses, but I can safely say this is the first time we’ve been on a business trip to the middle of the Atlantic.

“It definitely poses a few travel problems, but 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.

“We just hope it’s as hot on St Helena as it is in Sheffield right now.”

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Ms Fisher and Ms Ingham will fly out to Ascension Island before making a three-day boat trip to St Helena.

They will be away from Sheffield for around a month.

Their stay will certainly be more productive and enjoyable than Napoleon’s.

He was guarded by 2,000 troops, just in case he had any ideas about hopping on a ship and heading for freedom.

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