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Mitchell Charlesworth boosts team with seven senior appointments and announces new hybrid working model

North West accountancy firm Mitchell Charlesworth has made a series of senior appointments in its audit and accounts, outsourcing and wealth management teams. In addition, the firm is making changes to its working model which will allow greater flexibility for staff in relation to post-pandemic working.

Senior recruits and promotions

Manager Gary Evans has been appointed to develop the firm’s outsourcing services which include management reporting, VAT returns & bookkeeping. Gary is an expert in business process improvement and using cloud accounting technology, such as Xero.

Gary has a varied background across corporate finance, audit, and business advisory services. He has experience of both practice and industry, with time spent working as a finance manager in the construction sector. He works with many owner-managed and family-run businesses across a range of sectors, including construction and trades, property development, professional services, e-commerce and retail.

After studying Accounting & Corporate Finance at the University of Adelaide, Gary gained his chartered accountant status with Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand. He worked at William Buck, a large national firm operating across Australia & New Zealand, and BDO in Adelaide before moving back to the UK. Prior to joining Mitchell Charlesworth’s Liverpool office, Gary worked at BDO in Manchester and Liverpool.

Jonathan Leatherbarrow is an independent financial advisor who has joined the firm’s wealth management team. He brings extensive knowledge and experience from specialist advisory roles within both private banking and investment management. Jonathan joins the firm from St. James’s Place and has previously worked at Rathbone Investment Management and Lloyds Banking Group.

Jonathan enjoys building lasting relationships with clients and their families, and provides tax-efficient financial advice including pensions, investments, protection and estate planning to private clients and business owners across the North West.

Manager Michelle Southworth has joined the Liverpool audit and accounts team. Having worked in the accountancy industry for over 20 years, Michelle has gained extensive experience and knowledge in all accounting and tax matters for clients, ranging from accounts preparation and tax returns for sole traders and SMEs to carrying out audit work on large multinational corporations.

Michelle qualified as a certified accountant in 2015 and has experience of advising businesses across a wide range of sectors, including IT and communications, leisure and hospitality and the construction industry. She has previously worked at PwC and Grant Thornton.

The firm has also welcomed assistant manager Emerald Thomas to its audit and accounts team in Chester. After completing her A levels in 2005, Emerald joined a firm of accountants in Shrewsbury to undertake an apprenticeship studying for the AAT qualification, followed by the Chartered Certified Accountancy (ACCA) professional qualification, for which she qualified in 2011 and is currently a member. Emerald then spent time working in industry before moving back into practice where she spent 4 years as a client manager for a practice in Telford.

Emerald has managed a varied portfolio of clients in previous roles and has experience of advising business owners across a wide range of industries including agriculture, construction, publishing, marketing and hospitality.

Elsewhere in the firm Charlotte Eaton (Manchester), Hannah Swettenham (Chester) and Adam Warburton (Chester) have all been promoted to the role of assistant manager.

Charlotte Eaton graduated from Edge Hill University with a first class degree in Accountancy in 2017, and then began her accountancy training at a practice in Leigh before joining Mitchell Charlesworth’s Manchester office as a trainee accountant in February 2019. In October 2020, Charlotte gained her ACCA qualification, and was promoted to assistant manager the following year.

She manages year-end accounts preparation, management accounts preparation, bookkeeping assignments, VAT compliance and return preparation, and all aspects of accounting software, including new implementations.

Hannah Swettenham graduated from Durham University with a degree in Economics in 2014 before training with a Big 4 firm in Liverpool and gaining her ACA and audit qualifications. She joined Mitchell Charlesworth’s Chester office in 2019, specialising in audit and has more than 6 years’ experience across a range of sectors and businesses of all sizes.

Adam Warburton started his career as an accounts trainee working towards his AAT qualification, firstly at a Chester based healthcare company, and later at a local firm of accountants. He joined Mitchell Charlesworth’s Chester office in 2016 and qualified as a member of the ACCA in 2019.

Having worked within general practice for over 6 years, Adam has experience of helping a wide variety of clients across a number of different sectors. He has particular expertise when it comes to the rules surrounding holding client money, advising and managing a portfolio of professional and financial services firms in a practice wide role.

Richard Johnson, managing partner at Mitchell Charlesworth’s Liverpool office said: “We are delighted to welcome Gary, Jonathan, Michelle and Emerald to the firm. Both our clients and our teams will benefit from their knowledge and experience. In addition, the promotions of Charlotte, Hannah and Adam are well-deserved and recognise the contribution these individuals make to the firm’s audit and accounts service. This latest round of appointments and promotions highlights our investment in our people and our firm and shows our ongoing commitment to deliver the highest standards of service to our clients as we support them with their post-Covid recovery.”

New hybrid working model announced

Mitchell Charlesworth has introduced a new policy which will give staff more flexibility over where they work post-pandemic.

The homeworking policy, which has been implemented this month, allows employees to apply to work from home for part of the working week. The new policy follows on from the introduction of a flexible working day in March 2019. This gives employees greater flexibility over their working hours to allow them to better manage both their work and personal commitments.

Alison Lavelle, partner at Mitchell Charlesworth said: “The past 17 months have seen an enforced period of change in our working lives with the majority of staff working from home throughout this time. We are aware some have enjoyed this style of working and we see the introduction of a homeworking policy as an extension to the existing flexible working policy, which reflects the firm’s commitment to supporting our people and will further assist with greater work life balance.

“As a firm, we believe that there will always be a place for attending the office and meeting and working as a team - it allows for interaction and collaboration on assignments, improves personal development and assists in building team spirit.

“We recognise the benefits of a hybrid approach and how this will best support our people and meet the needs of our clients.”

Written 8 September 2021.

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