Johnston Carmichael

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Johnston Carmichael’s philosophy is simple: ‘Straightforward excellence in all that we do.’

The firm claims to have achieved its goal of becoming the leading independent firm of chartered accountants in Scotland, but is keen to keep on developing. Patrick Machray, chief executive of Johnston Carmichael, said: ‘To manage the practice, I use the analogy of a Grand Prix racing team. In order to cross the line first, all parts of the team need to be in tune and working together effectively to achieve peak performance.’

During the past year, organisational growth has seen new offices in Glasgow, Forfar and the acquisition of a new office in Perth, providing a network of offices across key locations in Scotland.

The firm’s financial performance has continued to be strong for the fourth year in a row, with an increase of 15% on 2002/03 results, bringing fee income to more than £12m.

The recent development of rural business centres means the firm can meet the expanding needs of clients outside key city areas, to provide them with instant access to the firm’s services.

The firm provides clients with a comprehensive and consistent service. Every client receives a tailored service with a nominated partner to manage the relationship.

During 2003/04 a strategic decision was made to create rural business centres in three locations. The first centre opened in Huntly in April 2004, with further centres opening in Inverurie in the autumn of 2004, and a further centre scheduled for Forfar during 2005.

The year 2003/04 also saw the introduction of an internal coaching programme, headed by the chief executive and training partner. This focuses on key skills necessary for sustaining and developing client relationships with existing and new clients. A number of appointments have further strengthened the firm’s specialist expertise.

A new business development director has been recruited to push the firm forward, develop the business and enhance client relationship management. The company has launched a recruitment services arm to expand the range of services to clients.

During 2004 the firm became a member of the Leading Edge Alliance, with the aim of establishing further links with ambitious, client-focussed firms.

Clients are clearly impressed with the firm’s expertise. ‘We look at Johnston Carmichael as an extension of our own organisation. The level of service is excellent and enables us to get on with running the business, confident in the knowledge that it is looking after our financial priorities,’ said one.

The firm is proud to ground its ethos on traditional values of straight talking, hard work and value for money. Realism and practicality are the guiding principles. Despite its rapid growth and diversification, the firm keeps its feet firmly on the ground.

The judges described this as a particularly close run category, with Johnston Carmichael just outgunning its rivals. ‘The firm is fast growing and moving ahead,’ said one. ‘It’s got good presence, good growth and recognises the need to constantly improve. Despite being an independent firm it’s got a high profile.’

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