Champion Round-Up  |  20th December

Champion Round-Up | By Ged Cosgrove, group managing partner

What a year it’s been. In our own business and amongst our clients, we’ve seen extraordinary growth, ingenious innovation, and relentless determination.

All four Champion practices – Manchester, Preston, Blackpool and Chester – have experienced continued growth. This is thanks, in large part, to the expansion of our specialist audit services. With a skills gap impacting the capacity of the Big Four firms, we ringfenced talent within Champion, along with some superb new recruits. Careful strategising allowed us to ensure that businesses continue to meet their legal obligations and deliver impactful decisions with intricate financial data at their fingertips.

Elsewhere, expanding our specialisms lit a fire under our teams as our valued staff proved themselves in new markets. The launch of our expert property division, with a fixed fee structure and a suite of tailored services for landlords and property investors, has supported clients new and old to navigate the challenges presented by the sector.

Another blessing for SMEs arrived right at the end of the year, as our newly appointed director, Lucy Panchal, joined the Preston office. With more than two decades of experience, Lucy’s track record as an expert advisor to SMEs and entrepreneurs stands her in excellent stead to make waves at Champion. Our clients will benefit from proactive tax planning, budgeting, funding, and cash flow expertise, coupled with Lucy’s experience in management accounts, financial performance and delivering critical support to businesses in distress.

With Lucy settling into a leadership position, our latest cohort of trainees has gone from strength to strength since their arrival in summer. Our nine recruits have risen to the challenge of delivering excellent support to both colleagues and clients. Meanwhile, training continues at every level. We celebrated 2023 with two team members qualifying – Jack Cain in Manchester and Dan Percey in Chester – and raised a glass to 82 passed exams. This hard work represents thousands of study hours across our teams, plus their dedication to self-development and the mentors who support them, is a source of great pride within Champion.

And so, I wish my colleagues a truly well-deserved break and period of celebration over Christmas and the New Year. To our clients, I’d like to say thank you for your continued support, for allowing us to share in your business’s journey, and for trusting us to strategise and enthuse with you as if it was our own.

Have a very Merry Christmas, and here’s to a prosperous 2024.