We’re celebrating an even richer staff history across our network of accountancy practices in Manchester, Chester, Preston and Blackpool, as more of our team reached the milestone of 10 years’ service with Champion. This now brings the total number of our staff recording more than a decade with us to 39, with a combined service of more than 750 years.

Of those marking 10+ years is office manager and longest serving staff member at our Preston office, Angela Peat, who has been with the business since 1995. Angela said: “I love dealing with clients, staff and being that key support for the sound running of the office. The work we do is still very much the same as when I first joined 23 years ago but it’s definitely now more process driven and automated, with the roll out of new technology. Whilst the systems may have changed, we’ve always kept a close knit culture and offer our clients a friendly, personalised service.”

Audit and accounts manager, Karen Quick, also joined Preston in 1995 after training in Cornwall and moving to the North West.

She comments: “Every day is different at Champion as you never know what email or phone call is going to come in and it’s this variety that keeps it interesting and exciting. Our clients are extremely loyal, as we still represent so many businesses who were with us when I first joined. What has changed is that we can now draw on the expertise and specialisms of people across the wider Group to offer a greater depth of knowledge and services.”

Russell Spencer joined our Preston office in 2008 as a semi senior accountant and since progressed to client manager to support a growing portfolio of SMEs. He said: “When I first joined my job was preparing accounts for the senior staff to review but fast forward to today and I advise a growing number of start-ups and SMEs across all sectors, ranging from utilities to hospitality, construction to professional services.

“Champion really value training and retention, giving everyone the opportunities to improve their skillsets and the progression that comes with this, which can be rare in businesses today.”

Over at our Chester office is head of tax, Paulette Thomas, who has been with the business since 1993. Paulette said: “I joined Champion straight from university and despite many new faces along the way, we’re still a very close-knit team. I now head up the tax department, doing project work and advising clients on tax planning matters. I’ve been able to achieve so much since being with Champion, working across a breadth of projects, whilst continuing to assist clients that I worked with on my very first day.”

Danielle Campbell works in audit and accounts in Chester and first joined us as an accounts junior in 2005. After completing her ACCA qualification, she took some time out to concentrate on her young family, returning to us in 2016.

Danielle said: “After taking some time off, I came back to provide maternity cover and it turned out that there was a place for me to return permanently. A lot of us have families and occasionally have to juggle things but Champion are very flexible, they really appreciate the need for work/life balance.”

In our Blackpool practice is audit and accounts manager Susan Riley, who has been with the business since 1995. Susan comments: “I love my job and the people I work with; my clients and colleagues are like a family really. My role is different every day – I enjoy going out on audits, meeting new clients and being able to really get under the skin of their business.”

Director, Debbie Thorn, joined our Blackpool office as a trainee in 1983 and is one of their longest serving members of staff.

Debbie said: “The nature of the business has changed, there’s now far more regulation and obviously the technology has changed. We didn’t have computers at first, and then we just had one for the whole office.

“Over the years, I’ve been able to see businesses continue through the generations. It’s great to be able have that longstanding relationship with your clients.”

Leigh Cocker joined Blackpool in 2007 as an audit and accounts junior and qualified as an accountant in 2014. He said: “I’ve always been interested in a career in finance. I joined Champion straight from school, working my way up. I love the variety, dealing with different types of businesses and people each day, I’ve never thought about moving elsewhere. I’ve built up relationships with certain clients and they’ll call me, so you become their key contact rather than the directors.”

Over at our Manchester HQ is finance manager, Emma Eccles, who joined us in 2004 as a management accountant and now supports the group finance director in overseeing our internal finance function.

Emma said: “There’s so much to be said about the people at Champion. They’re great to work with and I’ve formed some good friendships. It’s not your typical accountants in that we’re a vibrant, growing business ourselves and it was a real milestone for me when the group finance director asked me to join her team as it was a huge boost in that she recognised my potential.”

Diane Nixon joined our Manchester office in 2003 as payroll assistant and since progressed to payroll manager, now running a busy in-house finance function.

She said: “Every day is different but what makes Champion such a great place to work is the people. We’re like a family; everyone’s so personal, friendly and helpful. I’ve seen my team grow from two to five staff as we’ve acquired more practices and the Group expanded, and I’m looking forward to even more success in the future.”

Ged Cosgrove, group managing partner with a 33 year tenure here at Champion Accountants, added: “It’s really important that we celebrate the excellent people we have across the Group. They’re the backbone of who Champion Accountants is and we’re extremely proud of all their achievements and the exceptional service they provide to our growing client portfolio.

“People’s expectations around tenure may change with each generation, but it’s a big part of our culture to have a team that grows alongside the business and I hope this continues with every new hire.”