Scottish accounting firm AAB gains new skills with takeover of English consultancy

AAB, the Scottish accounting and business services group, has flexed its muscle south of the Border after snapping up a customs consultancy firm.

Bosses said the acquisition of Charlton House, which is based in Horsham, West Sussex, would allow the group to provide customs duty advice and compliance services to a wide range of businesses.

Charlton House’s founders, Jon Hicks and Seanna Whitmore, will remain with the business to support “ambitious plans” to grow the operation as part of AAB Group. The newly acquired firm will be re-branded as AAB with immediate effect, forming a key part of the latter’s expanding indirect tax team.

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Following investment from August Equity in October 2021, Aberdeen-headquartered AAB Group - Anderson Anderson & Brown - has grown rapidly and now employs more than 550 people across ten office locations in Scotland, England and Ireland. It has a group turnover in the region of £50 million.

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The acquisition of Charlton House, for an undisclosed sum, will expand the specialist services provided by AAB while strengthening the support available to businesses trading internationally, the firm said.

Alistair Duncan, head of AAB’s indirect tax practice, said: “The last two years have demonstrated the growing need for customs duty advice. The addition of the Charlton House team will strengthen our existing team, bringing fresh skills and expert knowledge which will enhance our capabilities in the indirect tax space.”

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Neil Dinnes, partner and head of corporate and international tax at AAB, said: “We have achieved significant growth in our VAT compliance and advisory business in recent years and this acquisition strengthens our overall indirect tax proposition by adding the ability to provide more specialist customs duty compliance and advisory services to our clients.”

Charlton House director Hicks added: “We have for some time had ambitious plans to grow the business into the rapidly expanding customs compliance market. From the outset, AAB demonstrated that they share our vision and following the acquisition we are now well placed to recruit in line with the demand for our specialist skills and services.

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(L to R) Alistair Duncan, Jon Hicks and Neil Dinnes of AAB.

“AAB also gives us the geographical reach to expand across the European Union and further afield.”

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