(l-r) James Howard (Partner) and Tim Pearce (Managing Partner) outside Haines Watts’ new Worcester office.

One of the West Midlands leading chartered accountants has announced plans to create up to 25 new jobs over the next six months, just few weeks after its Worcestershire office completed a £100,000 relocation.

Haines Watts, which supports hundreds of owner-managed businesses across the region, has set out ambitious expansion plans to increase fees to £15m by 2026 through a combination of organic growth and a series of acquisitions.

The company is strengthening its team of experts in corporate finance, tax, VAT and R&D tax claims as part of its commitment to deliver business-critical services to companies looking to make the most of new opportunities post-Covid.

There will also be a stronger focus on greater collaboration across its offices in Birmingham, Hereford, Tamworth, Wolverhampton and Worcester and the creation of regional centres of excellence to support clients in the arts, engineering, healthcare, leisure, professional services and technology.

“The last twelve months have been extremely challenging, but ultimately rewarding in the way our team has come together to deliver critical advice to our clients when they needed it most,” explained Tim Pearce, Managing Partner at Haines Watts in Worcester.

“Thanks to the success of the vaccine roll-out, we are now seeing renewed optimism in the business community, and we want to ensure that we have the capacity and the knowledge to support owner-managed firms as they look to bounce back and grow.”

He continued: “Our five-year plan to increase our market presence across all of our five offices will focus on organic growth in our key markets, investment in technology to enable us to work smarter and strategic acquisitions that add capacity and complementary knowledge. Importantly they have to fit our culture and how we do business.”

Haines Watts’ relocation in Worcester has seen it move from an industrial site on the outskirts of the city to Saggar House, which is located in the centre and overlooks the impressive Cathedral.

The £100,000 investment will help it increase its network of partners and intermediaries and, importantly, support its desire to create a workplace that supports greater collaboration, more dedicated client meeting space and, through integration of new technology, agile working.

Tim went on to add: “Covid-19 has accelerated the transformation in the way we work, and over the last twelve months, we have seen that our team do not need to be constantly at their desks to operate successfully.

“The move to the city centre and new refurbished offices gave us the perfect opportunity to create an environment and culture that supports people if they want to be in the office, but also enables them to work remotely and flexible hours so they can meet their family commitments and enjoy a good work/life balance.”

He concluded: “This decision is already paying off in our recruitment drive, with agile working helping us attract some fantastic talent in recent weeks, including the appointment of Emma Gartland as Tax Manager.

2020 was a milestone year for Haines Watts, as it marked 90 years since its founder Cyril Haines Watts qualified as an accountant and started to secure his first clients.

Ten years later, he set-up his first office in a wooden shack and employed his first members of staff, with the acquisitions beginning in 1960 and Top 20 status achieved three decades later, providing owner-managed businesses with a viable alternative to the big 5 accountants.

Today, the company looks after 35,000 business owners nationally, employs 1000 people and has over 100 partners.