Glasgow based accountant and business adviser Martin Aitken is preparing for further expansion as they record their biggest increase in turnover since the partnership converted to a limited company in 2013.
The business posted a 17% increase in turnover to £6m for the year ended 31 December 2018. The strong performance has been attributed to the investments made in key service areas, lateral hires and the increasing application of cloud technologies both in back office systems and in providing accounting, finance and tax advice and services to clients across Scotland.
Adrienne Airlie (pictured above on the right), who was Senior Partner of the partnership and became Chief Executive when the firm converted to a limited company in 2013, stood down from the Chief Executive role at Martin Aitken & Co at the end of December 2018. She will continue to lead the financial services arm and will remain a Director in the audit and accountancy business, focusing on the charity sector.
Ewen Dyer (pictured above on the left), Managing Director, MACO commented, “We have taken what we have always done well and made it better by building on our strong business and financial advisory skills base and by integrating new, more efficient technologies into our service delivery processes. I’m delighted to report that we have grown consistently in all areas of the business with strong performances specifically in our corporate finance, tax and cloud accounting and advisory areas.
Our profession is adapting to new cloud based and AI technologies, changing patterns of demand and meeting the challenges and aspirations of a new breed of owner-manager and company director, as we see the millennial and generation X leaders taking over the reins at many of our clients’ businesses. Adrienne has prepared the businesses well for these changes as many of the investment decisions and the leadership required to see them through came during her tenure as Chief Executive. The growth we have achieved is testament to her vision and leadership and the commitment of the Board to make the changes happen in our business.
We have expanded and developed our key service areas and are equipping our people with the commercial and financial skills and capabilities to match the needs of our clients. We have also made investments in our financial services client platforms and will continue to look for new and better ways of streamlining the business of compliance as we support our clients through the Making Tax Digital changes this year and as other taxes come on stream.”
Staff headcount in the firm has grown by 35% to over 100 in the last five years since the firm converted to a limited company. Adrienne Airlie commented “over the last five years my job has been to steer the ship and to act as counsel as many of the operational decisions have been taken by my fellow Directors at MACO and Ian Finch at Martin Aitken Financial Services (MAFS). I’m looking forward to continuing to support Ian and the team at MAFS and also continuing my role with MACO’s charity audit, accounting and governance team “.
During the last 18 months two Renfrewshire based practices, Cheetham & Co and Stranville John joined Martin Aitken, taking the firms acquisition count to 6 since 2005. This was on the back of a number of senior accounting, tax and corporate finance lateral hires joining over the past three years. More recently Gavin Curr (left) and Duncan MacCaig (right), who both joined the firm as trainees in 2011 and 2014 respectively, were promoted to the role of Associate Directors as the firm prepares for further expansion in its core accounting and SME business advisory areas.
Airlie added: “attracting the right talent has always been a challenge in the professional services sector in Scotland. However, it has been satisfying to see that the medium to long term investments we have made in our trainee and people development programmes have benefited us. I know both Duncan and Gavin richly deserved this recognition and it was personally pleasing for me to see them rise through the ranks and to be promoted to Associate Director”.
Ewen Dyer concluded “providing owner-managers and directors of SMEs, charities and family-run enterprises with advice and services to help them to run and manage the businesses, raise finance and grow income and profits is what we are best known for. We have strengthened this proposition to provide a full range of business advisory and wealth management services to provide growing and ambitious SMEs with a strong alternative to the UK mid-tier firms in Central Scotland”.