Mixed numbers at accountant Johnston Carmichael

Johnston Carmichael, the accountancy and business advisory firm with 11 offices across Scotland, today reported increased turnover but a 'challenging marketplace' resulted in a dip in profit.

Chief executive Sandy Manson - 'encouraged that the firm continues to perform well despite challenges in the marketplace'. Picture: Contributed

The firm, which was founded more than 80 years ago and has some 750 staff and partners, reported a 4 per cent increase in turnover, generating revenues of £45.5 million in the year to the end of May. However, net profit before members’ remuneration slipped from £12.2m to £11.8m.

The past financial year saw Johnston Carmichael Wealth, the firm’s wealth advisory business, achieve a 7 per cent increase in turnover, with revenues growing from £4.35m to £4.67m.

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Chief executive Sandy Manson said: “We’re encouraged that the firm continues to perform well despite challenges in the marketplace following the downturn in the oil and gas industry. Our diversity in sectors, business lines and geographical locations has enabled us to trade robustly and to continue investing in all parts of our business with confidence.”

He added: “In the year ahead, we will continue to build an ever-stronger platform from which to grow our business in a sustainable way. This will involve further expanding our range of services and embracing leading edge technologies as we renew and improve our core processes.

“It will also involve providing our people with a range of exciting career opportunities through supporting their professional and personal development.”

The firm said its tax practice was now one of the biggest in Scotland, comprising specialists focused on a range of areas from international tax, research and development and entrepreneurial taxes, to capital allowances, VAT and personal taxation.

Major hires across the year have included the appointment of a new head of employer services as well as a new head of VAT and duty – both deemed to be key areas of focus for the firm as it guides clients through the Brexit minefield.

The firm said it had also invested substantially in “cutting edge technologies”, including the use of data analytics in audit work and cloud technology in its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)-focused offering. It is now a “platinum partner” for cloud-based accounting software Xero.

Manson added: “Despite the challenges of Brexit, market volatility and investment requirements, we remain very positive and excited about the prospects for our people and the business.

“Our ambition remains firmly focused on growing our existing position of being Scotland’s largest independent firm.”

The firm has grown its international work through its membership of PKF – a family of legally independent member firms across 150 countries – hosting a major conference at the end of last year in Edinburgh on international tax.