Here at Champion, we’ve shown our commitment to development, career progression and upskilling of local talent by reaching the milestone of 50 industry qualifications achieved by our staff in the last five years.

Our group of practices offer young people the opportunity to build successful careers, supporting them throughout professional exams, whilst also giving trainees the chance to earn a competitive salary by providing viable alternatives to University and apprenticeships.

A total of 186 exams have been passed by our staff during the last five years, with more than 1,000 hours spent revising.

We also work closely with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to deliver the highest standards for staff training, having recently retained Platinum Status as an ACCA Approved Employer.

Ged Cosgrove, group managing partner, explains:

We seek out people with a strong academic background combined with the desire to start a career in accountancy. In return, we provide excellent training packages, great progression opportunities and a number of other benefits.

“Our reputation is built on excellence for our clients, so it pays to recruit, build and retain the very best talent through ongoing development and progression. We want our staff to feel valued and to grow alongside us, and by nurturing the skills of our workforce, we can continue to deliver a best in class service.

Many of our 100+ team have risen through the ranks during their careers. Management accountant, Joshua Morris, joined our Manchester practice in 2015 as an accounts assistant, before starting his ACCA qualification. He explains:

“I always liked that I could put the scenarios of the exams into practice in my day job. I first began working on sole trader accounts, then progressed as I passed more exams to build up my own portfolio of larger clients and lead on management accounts. I love that I got paid while I trained and qualified with zero student debt.”

Former trainee, Brittany Jackson, now works as a client manager at our Manchester practice and said:

I joined Champion as an audit and accounts semi senior and from day one instantly hit the ground running. I’ve achieved certified status and taken advantage of the wealth of training and progression opportunities available within the group.

The company has encouraged me to be decisive, trust my instincts and progress and without that, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.

Audit & accounts manager, Susan Riley, also started as a trainee, joining our Blackpool office in 1995. Susan said:

A lot has changed since I was a trainee but studying accountancy and working at the same time enables you to put the theory into practice, helping you to pass your exams whilst also developing at work.

As a client and staff manager I seek out trainees who show interest in the sector by gaining work experience and are motivated self-starters.

Russell Spencer joined the Preston office in 2008 as a semi senior accountant and has since progressed to client manager to support a growing portfolio of SMEs. Russell said:

I came to Champion from studying at UCLan and progressed straight onto ACCA and passed within four years. If you know for certain that you wish to pursue a career in accountancy then I would recommend going straight into accountancy from college. Yes, you can accelerate past AAT if you have a degree, but it’s only a few modules and you actually start your ACCA training behind those who began straight from college.

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

Aimee Brierley also joined the Preston practice as a trainee is studying towards her professional qualification. She comments:

Within accountancy you need to have a good analytical mind but don’t necessarily have to be the strongest in maths, which is a common misconception. A large part of the job as you progress is client service and being able to be that trusted advisor to individuals and businesses.

Chantel Goodwin joined us in Chester as an audit & accounts trainee last year, having studied Accounting & Finance at university, before taking time out to go travelling. Chantel explains:

I joined Champion and progressed straight onto ACCA as my degree gave me a number of exam exemptions. University gave me a good grounding but to be successful in accountancy, you need to develop solid customer service skills to interact with and support your clients.

Nathan Jones is also a former trainee at Chester and now works as a client manager for the practice. He said:

To be a successful accountant, you need to be a good all-rounder. You can be taught the required maths and accountancy skills but what really underpins what I do is having confidence, working as an effective team member and strong problem-solving skills.