Our 35 Under 35 rankings, in partnership with Accountancy Age. Showcasing the Accountancy industry’s rising talent and highlights the young UK professionals who are making great contributions to their fields.
Here is the list of the 35 winners for 2022 (alphabetical). The standard this year was incredibly high. All entrants should be proud of being nominated and standing out as leaders in their industry.
Manager, Crowe UK
Mark Adderley’s career continues to go from strength to strength at Crowe and is an important part of its team. He has been pivotal in growing the firms national Solicitors Accounts Rules team. He leads training and development on this sector for the firm.
Adderley is an Executive Council Member for the ILM. He spends a lot of his time developing team members and leads on the office training. As well as one to one training with members of the team. Adderley leads from Crowe’s Midlands office as an office champion for its LGTBQ+ & Allies Network. He is part of the Crowes National ED&I Steering Group where he continues to provide insights.
Crowe’s team is made up of people from many cultures and backgrounds. Adderley has been vital in organising events to help celebrate those backgrounds. He made manager at an early age and is one of the youngest members of Crowe’s manager group. He has an excellent career ahead of him. His colleagues at Crowe believe he will excel in growing the firm and continuing to develop those around him.
Partner, Haines Watts
Since joining as a manager in 2018, Sara Andrew’s impact and influence has been felt across the Haines Watts Group. She has played an integral part of the North East’s organic growth, leading the group’s specialist incentives. She has pioneered the North East’s social value strategy, and is leading the charge on innovation.
In recognition of her leadership and vision, she quickly progressed to Associate Partner and was promoted to Partner in 2022. She has grown the I&R team headcount from 5 to 25 and developed new specialisms. She plays a hands-on role supporting the team’s career development, drawing upon her learnings from the firm’s Leadership Development Programme. Her coaching and mentoring has resulted in 12 internal promotions across the team. The team has helped organisations access over £105m in tax relief – a critical source of cashflow throughout the pandemic.
Holding an enviable reputation with businesses and external stakeholders in relation to I&R. She regularly lectures and holds seminars for business leaders, industry bodies, and professional advisors. Sara takes a leading role in Haines Watts’ R&D committee, ensuring the firm maintains the highest of standards. She also led on a significant project to streamline the firm’s approach to R&D claims. Overseeing a six-figure investment into a bespoke claim management system.
Partner, Larking Gowen
John Atkins leads on trainee support at a major independent firm, and looks after the recruitment, training and development. He works very closely in partnership with his training provider First Intuition. He is constantly pushing for more effective ways to support the trainees in his care.
John works very well with his internal team and understands the specific issues being faced by many of his trainees. Atkins seems to balance the strategic and the operational extremely well. He approaches everything in a very positive and enthusiastic manner, always with the best interest of his students at heart. He also makes efforts to get involved in the local business community and the Norwich professional scene.
Founder & CEO, BW Business Accountants & Advisers
Natalie Binstead-Wey launched BW Business Accountants & Advisers in April 2021. Since then the practice has gone from a standing start to having worked with nearly 30 clients in year one. With a turnover of £45k and a profit after tax of £15k. All of this was achieved with Natalie working just three days a week for the business.
BW is founded on the foundations of community, sustainability and diversity. In line with these core values, BW has donated 150 days of childhood education and sponsored several local initiatives. BW was included in the AccountingWeb Class of 2021 as one of the year’s most successful start up practices. Recently shortlisted for the Sole Practitioner of the Year award at the Accounting Excellence awards.
Throughout the year, she and the wider ICAEW West of England committee engaged with members on key local matters. Connecting people from the same location or who share common challenges in similar sectors.
Binstead-Wey has established herself as key player in the accounting world. Through the work she is doing for her clients and by putting sustainability at the heart of everything she does. Natalie is also a positive role model for aspiring accountants. She has sought to inspire the next generation by demonstrating the value they can add to their clients.
Adviser, Old Mill
Issobel ‘Izzy’ Bristol gained her AAT, ATT and ACA qualifications within seven years. At 21, she was selected to join the Old Mill’s Junior Adviser programme. Then, at 25, she now sits as Senior Accountant and Adviser with the firm.
Izzy has a passion for speaking to clients and an aptitude in finding solutions for their problems. She believes “accounting doesn’t need to be dull”. Her methods and techniques has gained her a large portfolio of loyal clients and admirers. Demonstrating age is not an issue, and consistently receiving high levels of satisfactory feedback.
The way accountancy is changing with the introduction of MTD is something she sees as a massive step forward. Having been involved with Xero since 2015, she has grown the digital business within the firm. She is currently in the process of reviewing the accounts preparation procedures in the team.
Izzy has also pushed hard to bring in her environmental and social responsibilities into the workplace. For instance getting most of her clients to adopt paperless transactions. Not only does it help the environment, but she has proved it is a more efficient process for Old Mill.
Senior Manager, PwC
Yuan Chen joined PwC Assurance in 2014 as a graduate and qualified as an ICAEW chartered accountant. Specialising in insurance external audits with an extensive portfolio of experience. She has maximised the global network of talent by creating opportunities. And upskilling offshore PwC teams to support across Solvency II regulatory audits, a team model into its fifth year.
In addition, since taking on the lead role for implementing the PwC Distributed Delivery Model in the insurance practice. She has demonstrated exceptional success in driving the client quality agenda through greater standardisation of automation.
Using her insurance technical expertise, Chen developed new technology tools. These automate Solvency II regulatory audit processes. They reduced tasks from taking several days to manually complete into mere minutes for any client. The success of her innovations have been shared across PwC network firms looking to replicate these new ways of working.
Chen has continued to take action to build an inclusive workplace. In her role as a PwC Colourbrave Champion she advocated on issues impacting people of colour. She also helped organise open conversations about race and mental health across offices during the Covid-19 lockdowns. She continues to champion staff well-being as a career coach and a people representative in the Insurance audit practice. In 2022, Chen was shortlisted in the WeAreTheCity Rising Stars in insurance in recognition of her contributions within the industry.
Director, Davis Grant
Ben Chernoff has risen from a trainee to Director of one of the most innovative independent accountancy firms. Promoted from his position as a Senior Manager to Director two years ago, Chernoff has a fast-growing client portfolio. Made up predominantly of SME businesses, particularly those within the property and recruitment sectors.
Aged just 28, his rapidly growing client base is thanks to his approach to assisting clients. He prides himself on building close relationships with the individuals and businesses he supports. To the point that they feel they have an active financial director as part of their team. Chernoff also works within Davis Grant’s technology and start-up team. This advises clients on research and development (R&D), the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI) and business plans.
His interest in technology extends to his passion for automation and the cloud. He was heavily involved in further digitising Davis Grant’s accounting systems, including moving to cloud-based working papers. This played an essential role in migrating clients to the systems needed to comply with the Making Tax Digital regime.
Outside of his work with clients, Chernoff works tirelessly to support the firm’s recruitment and staff development process. To ensure that Davis Grant has the staff numbers to grow, while still providing exceptional services to clients.
Associate Director, Ascendis
Lorenzo is leading the development of several innovative services at one of the Northwest’s fastest-growing firms. Coletta has worked incredibly hard to grow this new specialism in a short time. And recently assisted in the sale of leading NFT platform, KnownOrigin, to eBay in a multi-million-pound deal.
He helped Ascendis grow to a team of 25 by implementing systems that kept up with its exponential growth. He was the company’s de-facto finance director, preparing budgets and financial models. As well as creating an accounting system to accommodate the company’s receipts and payments. For both crypto and fiat currencies – all of which played an important role in securing the sale of this business. Throughout this deal, Coletta punched above his weight to help this small start-up’s acquisition by a multi-national giant.
Coletta is working hard to help grow the business to be one of the largest in the Northwest. And cement Ascendis’ reputation as the “go-to” firm for technology start-ups and crypto accounting. The directors of Ascendis have given him the opportunity to acquire an equity stake in the wider Ascendis group.
Manager, Rickard Luckin
Whilst being a self-motivated and driven individual, Craig balances the needs of others whilst successfully training to become an ACA. He joined the firm’s social committee. Ever since he has continued to drive and inject energy into bringing people together across the firm.
Craig progressed in his career and joined the management team in 2019. Immediately taking over the line management of a team in hugely challenging circumstances. The team had experienced the tragic and premature loss with the sudden passing of a hugely valued colleague and friend. His supporting and nurturing style was the “rock” the team needed. His interpersonal skills were worthy of someone with many more years of life experience.
He is an advocate of the ACA and a champion of the career opportunities generally within the profession. From taking on the chair role of the ICAEW Student & Young Professionals South Essex Group. To an example in the last few months of encouraging people in his network to make a career change. Becoming a chartered accountant is a huge success for anyone. But everyone at Rickard Luckin is hugely proud of him in taking this to another level in his management role. Supporting and inspiring others to follow in the journey with him.
Audit Senior, Kreston Reeves
Dan Firmager’s personal purpose is to “educate others to grow an environmental conscience. Embrace diversity so we can make the world a more considerate place”. Through his involvement with internal initiatives at Kreston Reeves he could not be doing any more to further this goal.
He joined the firm in 2017 as a school leaver. In the five years since qualified, has become a trustee of a national charity. And led our internal sustainability initiative to achieve carbon neutral status. He took on the project himself, taking a proposal to our management board. Then he coordinated a team of people at Kreston Reeves to achieve our carbon neutral status.
Besides the leadership skills needed to achieve such a thing, he has represented the firm at internal and external event. To display what we have achieved and educate others to do the same.
At an early stage in his career, he showed he was able to manage a portfolio of clients. In recognition of his achievements and initiatives, Dan was awarded the firm’s Student of the Year award in 2020.
Partner, Lubbock Fine
James Gilliland qualified as a chartered accountant in 2015 with a small Glasgow-based firm. He joined Lubbock Fine in late 2016 as a senior within the business services team. To manage several complex outsourcing assignments. He was quickly recognised for the new ideas he brought to the team. And was given additional responsibilities due to his work ethic. Also his pragmatic approach in problem solving and ability to present solutions to clients simply.
Gilliland has risen through the ranks very quickly at Lubbock Fine and in just five years was appointed Partner. He works with a wide range of clients across sectors including technology, investment funds and property investment and development. He often manages the reporting for UK subsidiaries of larger group companies. Reporting to the parent accounting function in Europe or the US. He often becomes a vital part of the client’s finance team.
Throughout his time, he has played a pivotal role in growing the services offered by the business services team. With the team doubling in size in the last five years. He currently leads much of the day-to-day management of the team and drives recruitment, staff development, process and system improvements.
Gilliland offers fantastic support to his team and is known as the go-to person when a problem arises. He provides mentoring to the team, from new trainees through to managers. James encourages the team to develop in regular progression reviews, to achieve their own personal goals. He was awarded the title of most valuable player (MVP) at Lubbock Fine’s most recent annual away day. As a testament to the service he offers clients and the contribution he brings to the team and wider firm.
Head of Audit and Ethics, Engine B
Franki makes a massive contribution to the accountancy field as a thought leader both in and out of Engine B. She has become a major voice in the digitisation of audit and contributed to industry voices. Such as Accountancy Age, Accountancy Today, ICAEW Insights, Business Insider and the Fintech Times.
Following a career in the third sector, Hackett changed lanes and trained as an auditor at the NAO. Where she went on to lead the data and analytics team, marrying both audit and technological skills. She joined Engine B in August 2020 as the Head of Audit and Ethics. She has become one of the key leaders of the business.
Outside of her day job she sits on ICAEW advisory groups on ethics and technology. She has a growing academic career following Research Fellowships at the European University Institute. And King’s College London, and is a school governor. An expert in accounting technology, Franki leads Engine B’s product development. By translating the needs of accountants and their firms into technological solutions.
She is unparalleled in her ability to support the tech team in turning complex solutions into simple interfaces. It’s fair to say that customers love her. Not only because she speaks their language and that she is always able to answer queries and suggest solutions. But also because she is thoughtful, empathetic, and enthusiastic.
Associate Director, BDO
Becky Hartley has worked for BDO for 10 years after joining the firm’s graduate programme. In this short space of time, she has been fast-tracked to associate director and now works closely with partners on an international level.
Harley is in the tax dispute resolution team under the private client services group in London where she helps clients resolve complex tax disputes. She has demonstrated in her work to date that she is able to deal with a large variety of highly technical tax disputes and often presents on technical tax topics to the wider firm. Her areas of specialism include transparency and “offshore” disclosures as well as tax avoidance issues.
She is a CTA member and STEP Affiliate working towards becoming a full member. Becky is well-established in the industry for her work in the tax disputes world. She also represents the wider BDO Global network regularly. Becky spent three years working with BDO in Singapore and has built up a vast international network in the private client and tax arena and is well-known for providing UK tax advice in the Asia market, in particular in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Hartley represents BDO at international events such as STEP Global and STEP Asia. She regularly travels to Asia and Guernsey to represent BDO and present and discuss UK tax hot topics with intermediaries.
Audit Partner, BK Plus
Chris Hession joined the EY audit department in 2014, following a successful internship and having graduated from the University of Birmingham with a first class honours degree. It was during his four years at EY that he discovered his passion for the SME market; ensuring that all clients are provided with the highest audit quality and the support to grow their business. As part of this, he transitioned over to regional accountancy firm Baldwins, now known as Azets. It was here that he aided the national transition to paperless working in all aspects of audit, educating staff as to both the environmental and economic benefits of this approach.
Hession manages a team of ten audit staff nationally, responsible for their personal and professional development. He takes immense pride in his grass roots approach to recruitment ensuring that the firm gives opportunities to local school leavers and graduates and allowing all staff the opportunity to further their careers within a supportive environment.
He is a member of the ICAS charities panel, actively contributing to the guidance issued to both members and not-for-profit entities; ensuring that all parties feel supported in their adherence to the reporting standards. Away from work, he is a keen supporter and advocate of a number of charities; in one instance, travelling to Africa to support them with their financial planning to accelerate their future growth.
Director of Technical and Innovation, Azets
In 2016, as an audit supervisor at Garbutt & Elliott, Alex Hird identified that clients needed support with the more unusual areas of accounting, and also that data was to play a greater role in the future. As a result, he began to create an entirely new service line which would become the Technical and Innovation team. Despite the firm having no expertise, Hird was keen to use his double award-winning status from ICAEW final exams to deliver value for clients, which began with IFRS reporting and advisory, IPO support, share option valuations, and purchase price allocations, all of which were then audited by top firms with positive outcomes.
The team was instrumental in moving Garbutt & Elliott up the value chain, and instead of smaller audit clients Hird helped to win AIM Plc’s for annual reporting, a variety of household name clients, and both win and deliver support with several IPO’s taking the team’s client base nationally despite physical presence only in Yorkshire.
Since Garbutt & Elliot were acquired by Azets, Hird continues to be instrumental in the growth of the Technical Accounting service line as it is rolled out nationally. It’s gone from nothing to expected revenues of £1m in the year to September 2022, with similar contributions to other service lines. The team recently won ‘Team of the Year’ at the Yorkshire Accountancy Awards, and a manager selected and developed by Hird was the runner up in ‘Young Accountant of the Year’ at the awards.
Tax Manager, BKL
Sam Inkersole joined BKL as an audit trainee in 2015. He pursued a passion for tax by moving teams and was promoted to tax manager in 2021. Sam completed the CIOT CTA exams with first-time passes, including one of the country’s highest marks for the Taxation of Major Corporates paper.
He works closely with other BKL teams including corporate finance and tax due diligence. He has taken on family investment companies (FICs) as a specialist area. In his first year as a manager, Inkersole won over 20 new clients for BKL. Rather than sticking to well-worn taxation paths, he has specialised in cryptoasset tax, combining what he finds interesting with something that diversifies BKL.
He has spoken at a 2021 Digital Asset Tax Issues webinar with colleagues from UK and US firms, and BKL videos on crypto tax & accounting. Inkersole won ‘Rising Star’ at the 2022 Taxation Awards by a unanimous judging decision. According to junior colleagues, “the way [Inkersole] summarises legislation makes tax easier and more interesting” and has inspired others to take the CTA.
Head of Audit, Fortus Business Advisors
Emma Jones quickly developed at Fortus, progressing from audit manager in 2015 to head of audit by 2019. During that time, she has expanded that role to take a national lead for the business’ audit and assurance (A&A) service line, bringing together several regional teams into a single centre of excellence.
Jones has a strong development ethos, playing a key role in the Fortus’ school leaving initiative since its inception in 2015, bringing through several exceptional team members who have flourished both in the A&A team, as well as those who have branched out into other areas within the wider business. It is an initiative that she continues to champion and develop today with a number of new recruits joining the team this year. This ethos and focus on culture within the team has driven remarkably low staff turnover rates. Feedback throughout has pointed to her open and honest working style, strong emphasis on trust, accountability, enjoyment and flexibility, with every member (regardless of seniority) empowered to contribute to the development and evolution of the service line.
On the technical front, Jones is often at the forefront of technical discussion within the business, leading many of the firm’s larger, more complex audit engagements. This is coupled with her continued push on audit quality, leading a number of initiatives with the team on training and development to ensure this is at the core. In addition to the respect held by her peers, she is also extremely approachable and helpful across a wide range of technical areas. However busy she is, Jones always makes time for colleagues, and effectively gets the job done. A role model for many, according to her colleagues.
Audit and Accounts Manager, Grunberg & Co
Charlotte Lishman is a driven and ambitious accountant, who aims to ensure clients always feel supported and confident in both their financial reporting and day-to-day operations. Having trained with Grunberg & Co, she went on to become an audit & accounts manager where she supported the practice’s partners in managing a diverse portfolio of clients, ranging from self-employed or newly incorporated businesses to established groups of companies with a global presence.
Lishman has been heavily involved in developing and introducing new processes to ensure clients’ financial reporting meets their own needs and third-party obligations. She has also played a key role in previous transactions handled by the firm, helping clients to achieve their exit goals and ambitions. During her time with the firm, she has been responsible for leading many large and multi-national group audits, mentoring junior members of staff and has overseen the preparation of unincorporated accounts.
Having taken a year out in the previous year, she has jumped seamlessly straight back into portfolio management, while also taking on additional responsibility in her new capacity as associate director for Grunberg’s fast-growing cloud team. In this capacity, she has delivered drive, direction and support, which has helped with the rapid onboarding of many new clients and created a cohesive team.
Over the next 10 years, she has big plans to expand her portfolio and enhance the service the practice offers. This includes further improving team management and bringing in some of the biggest technological changes, to further bridge the gap between the firm’s accounts and cloud teams. She also plans to expand the bookkeeping work conducted for clients to incorporate work that has historically been left to year-end adjustments and in doing so provide much more accurate and insightful support.
Partner, Saffery Champness
Ross Lomas joined Saffery Champness back in 2008 to start his ACA training contract with the firm, having completed AAT at a smaller firm locally. He immediately settled into the team and began forging his career at Saffery.
Lomas has since been working hard building his experience, knowledge and skills as he has worked through the ranks at Saffery. This has included being part of tender teams that have won some of the largest, most prestigious, and complex clients in the firm, and then onboarding them and successfully delivering their audits and supporting work.
Through the pandemic he was leading the office response in keeping up to date with the fast-changing news and information on grants and other support measures, keeping close to his clients but also providing content for the rest of the office to share. This something our clients valued, and Lomas received some excellent feedback from client through this period. He was also doing this whilst studying for CTA and balancing life with a young family which is an extraordinary achievement.
Saffery was delighted when he was made partner earlier this year, which was fully deserved for the hard work and dedication he has shown to his team, clients and the wider firm. Lomas has made an excellent start to his life as partner, winning several new clients and taking on the staff partner role in looking after around 75 staff. He is a real asset to the firm and someone who will help lead this office for many years to come.
Apprentice Management Consultant, KPMG
David McIntosh is pioneering a new path at KPMG as the first apprentice to specialise in management consultancy in Scotland. His work has contributed to positive outcomes for communities across Scotland during the pandemic. This includes his involvement with the Scottish Government’s Test and Protect programme. McIntosh worked with senior government directors, leading a pilot scheme allowing schools to return during the pandemic only three months into his role.
McIntosh joined KPMG in 2017 and proactively established the firm’s social mobility network in Scotland in 2019. He is now the founder and chair of KPMG’s UK Social Mobility Network leading 650+ colleagues, six workstreams and 30 committee members whilst representing the firm globally on Social Mobility. He has managed to balance all of his achievements alongside qualifying in AAT level 3 and 4 as well as his CIMA.
“David’s willingness to talk about the barriers he faced growing up, and his passionate advocacy for seeing potential, not background, has increased the profile of socio-economic inclusion within KPMG. We are proud to have him as an ambassador and he would be a worthy winner of this award,” Sarah Atkinson, CEO, Social Mobility Foundation Podcasting, said.
Drawing on his experiences of poor visibility of career paths to those from low socio-economic backgrounds, McIntosh runs his own self-development podcast ‘The Development’.
These achievements led David to win Best New Apprentice at the MCA awards, 2020 BPP UK Apprentice of the Year and ranking #20 in the Scottish Business Insider 35 under 35.
Partner, Bambridge Accountants
Callie Marles has worked for over 10 years at Bambridge Accountants holding a portfolio of over 3000 clients. She has a 100% success rate with both the US and UK tax filing seasons. Not only has she handled some of the most complex US/UK tax circumstances, but she also prides herself on her ability to make the filing and any advice understandable and reassuring so that clients always feel confident with their filings.
On top of her impressive success with clients, Marles has also embraced her role as a mentor and manager of new entry tax assistants. Offering the highest level of tax training and support to up-and-coming accountants. She continues to enroll on trainings and participates in daily research to ensure she remains the top of her game and up to date with all the latest tax developments in both the US and UK tax systems.
Co-Founder, StriveX and Accountant She
Rachel Martin is a TEDx speaker, a content creator, an author, an introvert, a business owner and most importantly… an accountant! As the director of StriveX and the founder of Accountant She, Martin has done tremendous work towards her mission of helping small business owners to overcome the barriers to entry and changing the perception of the accountant.
Over the past 18 months, she has scaled StriveX, a cloud-based accountancy and tax advisory firm, from 50 to 500 clients. What began as a firm ran from her dining room table with her partner is now a growing team of 8 employees. Both the service offered and the hiring reflects how she wants accountants to be seen, which is approachable, passionate, enthusiastic and kind.
Her work to change the accounting industry does not end with StriveX. When she was a young female apprentice, Martin felt that she had no female role models to look up to. The stereotype of the accountant was an elderly white male – something that she couldn’t relate to. She wanted people to be able to relate to their accountants and for more women to consider it as a career opportunity. It was from this desire that Accountant She was born.
Today, Accountant She is a community that is made up of over 10,000 accountants and small business owners. Martin creates content to educate and support members of the community on her YouTube Channel and Instagram.
Grant Miles has revolutionised Murrells accountancy practice. His biggest strength was in change management, where the office has turned from a paper-based office to completely digital. With no formal workflow management and clients always paying at the year-end for accounts, a practice management system (accountancy manager) along with a variety of technology has been implemented to turn Murrells into a high tech, modern practice.
Since taking over as director, he has grown the client base at Murrells by 15% in his first year. He has spent considerable time with the existing team at Murrells and changed the whole dynamic of the team. Under previous ownership of Murrells the owner would manage all client relations. Miles has torn up the rule book at the firm and encouraged the team to take on the client relationships. The team are now empowered to manage the clients and have a much deeper relationship as a result.
Clients now all have a minimum of two people to get hold of as a direct support, as opposed to the one. Miles has managed and brought growth, stability, structure and a highly engaged team to the forefront for Norwich accounting. He only qualified ACA in 2019 and is an ambitious director who shows no signs of slowing, and he is only now 30.
Partner, Page Kirk
Jack Moore made Partner at Page Kirk, a firm with a revered reputation and a rich history, in April 2021 at the age of just 29 years old. His career started at a small local firm in 2010 straight out of sixth form before becoming AAT qualified in 2012 and ACA qualified in 2014.
His mind ticks like an entrepreneur and business person and, equipped with more than 12 years of accounting practice experience, one of his goals as an accounting partner is to build a platform from which both he and his team can give more valuable and proactive advice to business owners by having live and accurate financial and non-financial information at their fingertips.
Traditionally, accounting firms are reactive rather than truly proactive, relying on annual or perhaps quarterly results being prepared after the fact, but Moore believes that with advancements in technology in the fintech space, and with the right team in place to implement new technology, he can help Page Kirk blaze a trail into this new digital era for accountancy. He will help pioneer their efforts whilst establishing the firm as a leader in this type of advisory service, which will afford business owners an accurate financial view of their business, on demand, at any time.
In his first year as a partner, he was instrumental in helping Page Kirk achieve the best year it has recorded in its last 10 years in terms of total fee income. This is testament to his ability to help bring growth to the firm by bringing new clients on board. He has quickly built up a bank of clients who contribute over a six-figure sum in terms of annual gross recurring fees, and this continues to grow month-on-month.
Audit Partner, Randell & Payne
Ryan Moore became partner at Randall & Payne in May 2022. In doing so, he became the youngest partner in the firm’s 143-year history at the age of 30 years old. Moore is an enthusiastic and driven leader who is committed and passionate about changing the public perception of the audit industry. He is proud of his achievements this year, particularly those which have had an impact on staff satisfaction in what has been a difficult and challenging year of work.
In the last year, he has continued to develop the client base at Randell & Payne and introduced technology and data analytics into the work that the audit team perform. Since joining the firm, he has successfully grown head count in the team by 15%, taking on several new trainees. In addition to being able to attract high quality resource to the team, he has successfully increased fees by >20% annually, won and delivered the firm’s biggest ever audit client and created new strategic and geographic partnerships with other firms of accountants which has seen it expand dramatically into Bristol and the South West.
Outside of Randall & Payne, he has a continued interest in audit regulation and is currently a member of the Disciplinary and Regulatory Committee and the Audit Monitoring Committee at the ACCA. This year, he introduced a new staff initiative called ‘Do Something New in 2022’ encouraging staff to learn a new skill or try a new experience. The activities chosen by staff members are funded by the firm and he has been amazed to see how employees have challenged themselves this year.
Director, Alvarez and Marsal Taxand UK
Melissa Ng is a standout talent in the real estate space and by far and away the most capable individuals beneath partner, according to her colleagues. In recent months, Melissa has led on three international corporate real estate transactions for one of EQT’s funds which has led to significant contributions to the Alvarez and Marsal’s (A&M) real estate team’s growth as well as cementing the firm’s relationship with the private equity firm.
She advises a range of clients based in Asia that invest into commercial and residential real estate in the UK, from private family offices to ultra-high net worth individuals. Melissa has been become instrumental in leading the team at A&M alongside Kersten Muller since arriving at the firm in 2021. Melissa is a true inspiration to junior members of staff in how to be the best in your field and her colleagues expect she will be one of the youngest (if not the youngest) partner at A&M very soon.
Business Support/Outsourcing Director, Haysmacintyre
Dominic Noakes is haysmacintyre’s youngest business support director. Joining as a qualified senior accountant in 2016, Noakes was identified early on as a key business driver for the firm and was fast tracked through various managerial levels to directorship in April 2021. His client portfolio can be characterised as high-growth and predominately in the technology sector. He is a key member of the firm’s largest sector – creative, media and technology (CMT), managing relationships with sponsored organisations, leading webinars, and participating in roundtables and networking events to raise the firm’s profile in the sector.
Noakes’ extensive business development activities reflect his approach to client engagement, which is open and communicative. He is a charismatic and personable business advisor, noted for his excellent client relationships and deep understanding of their businesses which has enabled him to offer invaluable insights, from cloud advisory to systems set-up and a shift towards real time information with financial reporting dashboards.
He understands the importance of communicating in a way non-financially minded people can easily digest and interpret financial information being presented. His role as a highly valued and well-respected professional is evidenced by his glowing collection of client and affiliate testimonials that regard him as extremely diligent, proactive and dynamic. Due to his deserved recognition and extensive skill set, he was a natural fit to take on responsibilities beyond portfolio management.
He actively contributes to haysmacintyre’s internal activities. He is prominent in the firm’s business support training programme and is passionate about supporting the next generation of accounting leaders.
Partner, Moore Kingston Smith
Jamie Seaford joined Moore Kingston Smith in 2012, becoming partner in less than 10 years at the age of 31. He specialises in technology and financial services, partnering with the London Mayor’s International Business Programme to advise and support UK start-ups and scale-ups on their growth and international expansion.
Jamie is a key member of the firm’s Strategic Growth Services team, supporting SMEs on their growth journeys. He makes a big impact on smaller OMBs, helping them improve business performance in a harmonious way from incorporation to the point that they go to market. An innovator with his finger on the pulse regarding technology, Seaford proactively introduced new audit automation software to the firm, creating efficiencies for the team and improving the speed and quality of audits.
He was part of the team that won the 2018 British Accountancy Awards Large Firm Innovation of the Year award, which recognised Moore Kingston Smith’s excellence in their inventive approach to strategy and client service provision. Jamie also was selected by Moore Global for Moore Quest, a leadership programme offering participants strategies to thrive as a leader.
He attends monthly Moore Ambition sessions for future leaders with other Moore firms around the world, which focus on Harvard Business Review case studies. During the pandemic lockdowns he organised knowledge-sharing sessions and check-ins to support engagement with his colleagues and provided structured feedback to the firm’s partners to improve overall communication.
Managing Director, Pearson McKinsey
Devaki Shanbhag is a visionary and a perfectionist. She passed her ACCA at the age of 20 and began her career at a major consulting firm. After a brief period, she decided to pursue her vision and moved to a boutique accountancy firm. Where she had the opportunity to apply her knowledge and understanding of accountancy to assist a small clientele. She joined as an associate, but within three years, she was practically running end to end operations at the firm.
The first phase of her vision was to setup the entire practice on a cloud-based system. A strategy which was successfully implemented and consequently proved to be a major advantage during the pandemic. To broaden sector diversity within clients, Shanbhag acquired another accountancy practice and merged it with Pearson McKinsey’s corporate structure. Currently, the firm has grown four fold and currently advises over 900 clients under her management.
In 2019, as a proponent of financial freedom for women, she launched a program for women in rural India, who aspire for independence but do not have the resources that would allow them to reshuffle their household responsibilities. This program allows candidates to choose their hours of work and the quantum of workload they can deliver based on their respective circumstance and, the entire training is provided via cloud-based systems with local supervisors providing guidance wherever necessary.
As of 2022, Shanbhag launched a private debt fund, which aims to invest the capital in acquiring larger accountancy and tax advisory practices in London. Her venture provides clients with an opportunity to grow their capital and tax-efficiently manage their returns, all under one roof.
Corporate Finance Manager, KPMG
Louise Sleightholm has gained significant experience in both practice (across audit, transaction services and most recently, corporate finance) and industry (working within the finance department at Nestle UK&I). She has managed several high-profile deals, including the IPO of The Hut Group and MADE.com.
She is also in the process of launching a female networking group, which aims to provide career support to women in finance, legal and banking. Louise also sits on the committee for the Collaborative Professional Network in Leeds, which aims to bring together professionals from a variety of backgrounds to share knowledge and experiences. In addition, she is passionate about the future of women in the finance sector and participates in the mentoring of students around the Leeds area to help promote more women in finance.
Partner, Kreston Reeves
Jake Standing joined Kreston Reeves (then Spofforths) on a training contract in 2009, after impressing during work experience during summer and Easter breaks at university in 2017 and 2018.
He qualified as an ACA Chartered Accountant in 2012 with multiple prize wins under his belt – most notably achieving first place worldwide in the July 2012 Advanced Stage Business Reporting Exam, and first place in the Southeast for the three July 2012 Advanced Stage exams. After qualification, he left for a career with a US multinational where gained a range of new skills and experience. After a couple of years, he returned to Kreston Reeves.
Partnership was offered to Standing in 2018 at the age of 30, with sustainable growth within his client portfolio, and in 2021 he took up the role of leading the firm’s business advisory offering. He is a valued member of the Accounts & Outsourcing SMT. With ongoing skills shortages in the audit and advisory market, Standing has used his experience in commerce to drive training in our advisory capabilities across our team in London and the Southeast, most notably in technology, access to finance, FP&A and strategic business planning.
Using his experience and skills learned as an accountant to support the local community is important to him, which is why he has been a trustee, and the treasurer, at Martlets Hospice in Brighton & Hove since 2019. He encourages people to use their knowledge to help others and is always striving to find other ways to support his community.
Eddi Taylor joined Azets (then Wilkins Kennedy) in 2013 as a graduate trainee and quickly progressed through the ranks to become a partner in 2021 at the age of 29. Eddi prides himself on the strong relationships that he builds with his clients which allows him to give meaningful advice that really adds value to his client’s businesses. He is passionate about building his team and developing others.
Eddi is also passionate about client care. He was a part of the Covid-19 response team who quickly helped the Azets’ client base adapt and manage during the pandemic. He is an advocate of local businesses and ensures his client base is made up of a diverse and local portfolio.
Director, Liberty Collins
Since specialising in R&D tax six years ago, Ele has spearheaded the rapid success of Liberty Collins. She is setting new standards for professional excellence, personalised customer service, and leadership in the sector.
Theochari’s leadership qualities were recognised early on, as was her enthusiasm and flair for developing less experienced people around her. Within a few years of entering the profession, she had assumed responsibilities for supervising and training junior colleagues. When the company was taken over by a large US company, she was chosen to brief new colleagues in Texas.
Ele has built a close-knit team of staff and freelance tax advisors. And proved a motivated, dedicated and highly respected leader. Her management style is collaborative and open to encourage questions, discussion, and knowledge sharing. Happy to spend time face-to-face with clients, jump on Teams or pick up the phone. She is dedicated to helping and enthusiastic: clients really appreciate her openness and personal approach.
Clients attest that she is relatable, able to speak the language of the client’s staff. Whether it is a scientist in a lab, engineer working on site. Or CEO at head office and can rapidly establish a warm rapport. She recognises that soft skills are as important as her technical knowledge, and she has honed them.
Associate Director, Evelyn Partners
Tom Warner has rapidly risen through the ranks at Evelyn Partners (formerly Smith & Williamson. Starting in 2015 as a part-qualified ACA and being promoted to associate director in early 2022. He is a member of the firm’s Landed Estates sub-committee. Tasked with growing this area of the business given the specialist nature of accountancy and tax services required. He is also a member of the firm’s tax planning committee.
In the last three years, he has received the prestigious ‘tax employee of the year award’. As testament to his client service, friendly and approachable demeanour. And commitment to development of fellow staff.
Outside of his day job, Warner takes an active role in developing the accountancy industry by teaching AAT Level 4. And visiting his secondary school to speak about the industry and Evelyn Partners to Year 12 and Year 13 students.
His 2019 ICAEW Chartered Star entry discussed the fourth industrial revolution and its position within the UK accountancy industry. Warner firmly believes that there will still be a human role to fulfill. Ensuring strength of ability and character in the next generation of accountants is crucial.
He is particularly focused on developing an understanding in areas. Where he feels he can add value or areas that he believes clients are not yet aware of. Warner is particularly interested in benefiting local charities with substantial donations being made over the last three years.
Director, Chippendale and Clark
In 2013, Natasha Webber juggled working in administration for a car dealership. Studying AAT through self-funded study and also volunteering as a Police Special Constable for Wiltshire Police.
In 2016, she started her ACCA journey into becoming a chartered certified accountant. She spent all weekends and evenings studying, completing four exams a year until she qualified in 2019. Within this time, Natasha also helped train staff members within the practice. She went from accounts assistant to senior account manager in three years. Within this time, she also volunteered to be the treasurer for a local rugby team.
Following confirmation of her qualifications and authorisation to practice, Webber and her employer went into joint partnership. Opening a new limited company in 2020 which would be a second branch in a new town.
At the age of 26, and as a new company director, she built the client base in this new practice. Whilst working full time in the other office. In 2020, as the coronavirus hit, the whole practice continued to work fiercely in serving their current client base. As well as onboarding new clients who were otherwise not supported by their current accountants.