North-east shows the way for Scots accountants Johnston Carmichael

Sandy Manson said business tax advice was a growth area
Sandy Manson said business tax advice was a growth area
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Buoyant business activity in the North-east and a shift in focus to cater for trickier times further south helped accountancy firm Johnston Carmichael grow its revenues and profits last year.

The group, which operates out of a dozen offices across Scotland, said its fee income grew by 6 per cent in the 12 months to the end of May, from £27.9 million to £29.6m. Net profit before member’s remuneration was 8 per cent higher at £9.9m.

Chief executive Sandy Manson said the group had made encouraging progress despite challenging economic conditions, with the practice in the North-east of Scotland driving the growth thanks to good levels of corporate activity in the energy industry.

Elsewhere, the firm increased its offering in areas such as debt advice and corporate recovery.

Manson said more businesses were seeking tax advice, especially in connection with new measures being introduced by the UK government to encourage the private sector. Johnston Carmichael’s Glasgow and Edinburgh tax practices enjoyed revenue growth of 9 per cent over the period.

“You need to continue being relevant in terms of what you are providing to clients,” Manson said. “These are challenging times but equally there are opportunities.”

Staff numbers excluding partners grew from 401 to 427 last year, and Manson said the pace of organic growth had accelerated in recent months. The firm opened a Stirling office in March, and swallowed smaller rival Ritson Smith in October.nson sees further opportunities for growth in the Central Belt next year.