Promotions as WNJ looks to the future

WNJ has announced a string of promotions as the practice continues to reward talent and invest in the people delivering its leading services to a growing client base.
The move sees the creation of four new Associates, all dedicated to building even stronger relationships with WNJ’s clients as the firm continues with its own development plans.

Announcing the promotions, WNJ partner Michael Barker said: “The promoted individuals all have different specific areas of expertise and experience but they share our core values that deliver excellent client relationships and service.
“It is particularly pleasing that three of the four all came to this firm from college or university, showing that WNJ provides first-class training and development opportunities as well as long-term client relationships.

“We are delighted to announce their promotion to Associate level and wish them well in their new roles, which include developing our range of services to deliver even more to our clients.”

Each of the new Associates has gained valuable experience working with a host of businesses across different sectors, allowing them to build and develop the strong relationships WNJ is renowned for.

Meet our new Associates:

Chris Watson
As a qualified accountant, Chris joined the WNJ tax team in 2010 in order to follow his ambition of becoming a tax advisor. He qualified as a chartered tax advisor in 2013 and quickly progressed within WNJ’s tax department.
Chris works closely with a wide range of clients on their tax issues, ensuring they pay taxes efficiently and benefit from any tax advantages and exemptions.
In his new role he will head WNJ’s highly regarded, and growing, tax consultancy team, which is made up of dedicated professionals with qualifications of the highest calibre.
Chris is highly experienced in a range of work relating to both corporate and personal taxation. This includes corporate reconstructions, dealing with HMRC enquiries, inheritance tax planning reports, advising on property transactions, income tax and capital gains tax planning.
He is keen to provide all types of tax consultancy services to WNJ clients and for WNJ to continue advising in general and specialist tax matters.
Chris said: “I am very much looking forward to the new role as we look to grow our tax services and continue to provide the high level of customer service which our clients have become accustomed to. It is an exciting opportunity and I look forward to being a part of it”.

Matthew Johnson
Matthew joined WNJ as a trainee after completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Philosophy at Lancaster University in 2008.
He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2013 and, shortly after, was appointed to the role of manager in WNJ’s Audit Department.
Matthew also manages a portfolio of clients, ranging from self-employed individuals to privately owned businesses, specialising in strategic growth planning, corporate finance assignments and financial reporting.
He said: “I am delighted to accept the role of Associate at WNJ and look forward to helping the firm maintain its reputation for high quality, proactive service and advice.
“My new role will allow me to continue to focus on developing new business and expanding my portfolio of clients within the owner-manager and SME marketplace. I am excited by the future plans for our firm and by my role in them.”

Stuart Iddon
Stuart has been a member of the WNJ team for 12 years, joining the firm in 2006 after completing his A-levels in accountancy and business studies.
He qualified as a chartered certified accountant in 2006 and he gained fellowship status last year.
In his time at WNJ he has worked with a wide range of businesses, from new start-ups to fully established companies, providing help and advice on accountancy, taxation and audit issues.
His new Associate role at WNJ will see Stuart working in a corporate finance advisory role. And he will also be responsible for auditing and compliance within the practice.
Stuart, a keen cricketer, said: “The promotion to Associate is a great opportunity for all of us. I’m really looking forward to the new role and responsibilities.”

Donna Helm
Donna is another member of the WNJ team who has grown through its training and development programme.
She started work at WNJ on an ACCA training contract following the completion of her A-levels in October 1996. Donna qualified at the age of 22 and became a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants five years later.
During her time at WNJ she has worked in all areas of accountancy, including audit and accounts preparation, management accounts and cash flow forecasting. She has also had a role helping develop junior members of staff.
Donna’s new Associate role will see her spearheading the development of the cloud accounting team, helping and supporting clients as they prepare for the future requirements of the Making Tax Digital drive.
She said: “I’m looking forward to the new role and ensuring excellent client relationships and service, as well as getting involved in the personal development of staff at WNJ.”

Rewarding the very best in local sport

WNJ has once again helped recognised the people who make sport happen in the Preston area at a very special evening of celebration.
We sponsored the Secondary School of the Year category in the annual GLL Preston Sports Awards.

Pictured here on the evening are Left to right: Paul Crone, Louise Ashworth, Cllr Peter Kelly, Deputy Mayoress, Lutalo Muhammad, Deputy Mayor Cllr Trevor Hart, Peter Mason (Chair of Preston Sports Forum), Lord and Lady Shuttleworth and Jimmy Khan.

And we were delighted to hand over the award to the worthy winners, Ashton Community Science College, at the event held at Preston Guild Hall.

WNJ has helped support these annual awards for a number of years now. This year was the 13thevent and it has become are one of the highlights of the city calendar and a chance for the sporting community of Preston to come together.
They showcase the achievements of our local athletes as well as the army of unsung volunteers who dedicate so much time to their sports. As always it was a memorable and inspirational evening.

The event was hosted by Granada TV presenter Paul Crone and there was an inspirational speech from double Olympic medallist Lutalo Muhammad.
As a Preston-based business, we were pleased to sponsor one of the major awards of the evening, which recognises the hard work of local schools and their nurturing of our young sporting talent.
The awards are very-much community orientated and it is great to be able to support them as they recognise the thriving grassroots sport in the city.
As well as sponsoring one of the awards, we also hosted a table at the event and an enjoyable evening was had by everyone.
The event really highlighted all the great work been done locally in a massive range of sports and it really celebrated the unsung heroes who put in so much time and effort.

The event was opened by a spectacular display from the winners of Preston’s Primary schools’ dance festival St Mary and St Andrew’s Primary School.
Paralympic swimmer Stephanie Slater was presented with some flowers to congratulate her on her achievements in her career after the recent announcement of her retirement.
Longridge’s internationally renowned football freestyler John Farnworth, fresh from a ball-juggling walk up to Mount Everest Base Camp, was presented with the Pride of Preston Award.
And Marilyn Gregson was rightly recognised for her dedication, enthusiasm and involvement in disability sport through her voluntary role at Preston Panthers Disability Club for more than two decades.