Johnston Carmichael tops £40m turnover in challenging markets


Sandy Manson

Sandy Manson

Chief Executive

19 December 2016


    Johnston Carmichael, Scotland’s largest independent firm of chartered accountants and business advisers, has revealed growth of 3% in the year ending May 2016 to break the £40m revenue barrier for the first time.

    In its 80th year of business, the firm, which employs almost 700 people across 11 locations and is one of the top 20 accounting firms in the UK, attributed the growth to its ability to diversify in challenging markets.

    Despite the myriad of political and economic challenges facing businesses, the firm’s latest financial results report an increase in revenues for the group of 3% from £39.6m to £40.8m and a growth in net profit before members’ remuneration from £11.06m to £11.61m.

    The last year also saw Johnston Carmichael Wealth, the firm’s wealth advisory business, achieve a 13% increase in turnover, attributed to continued reform in the financial services and pensions market which has offered greater opportunities to support clients through change.

    Chief Executive Sandy Manson said: “It’s very encouraging to report steady progress on a number of fronts despite challenging trading conditions, especially in the North East of Scotland where the lower oil price has resulted in a significant market correction. Our decision to expand across the central belt over ten years ago has allowed our business to better deal with the regional impact of economic cycles such as we continue to see in the North East.

    Our teams throughout Scotland work closely with our clients to really understand their businesses and the opportunities and challenges they face, and in this way we are well-placed to support them as they pursue new avenues for growth.

    The firm has continued to grow its extensive range of services this year by investing in talented advisers to meet ever-growing client needs. It has also grown its international work through its membership of PKF – a family of legally independent member firms operating in 150 countries.

    Major hires across the year have included bringing in a new team of specialists in infrastructure and renewables, as well as expanding the firm’s capability in consultancy, internal audit, R&D and capital allowances. The business has also made significant investment in leading edge technologies to deliver these services, including the use of data analytics in audit work and cloud technology in its SME-focused offering.

    Sandy Manson added: “We’re a people-focused business and having exceptionally talented and motivated teams supporting our clients is what makes it possible for us to continue the growth of the business, even through challenging times.

    “Recruiting experienced hires and making internal promotions across our key business lines, while attracting high-calibre students onto our graduate training programme, ensures our succession plan is also in good shape and that makes us excited about the potential of our business for the future. We are very encouraged with the progress the business has made in growing our brand and capability across all our markets however there is so much more we want to achieve as we embrace the opportunities brought about by factors such as the pace of change in technology.

    Having a strong strategic plan in place is key to our continued growth and in the year ahead we will continue to invest and innovate in all areas of our business to ensure we continue to play a leading role in the sector and contribute to Scotland’s economy and communities."

    In the short video below, Sandy Manson takes a closer look at some of Johnston Carmichael's key highlights of 2015/16.