Johnston Carmichael reports resilience amid pandemic as turnover rises 4.3%

Andrew Walker

Accountancy and business advisory firm Johnston Carmichael has published its annual results for the financial year ended 31 May 2020, revealing its resilience amid the challenges of COVID-19.

The business which had recorded encouraging growth prior to the onset of the global pandemic, was, like many other businesses, impacted by lockdown from March 2020, coinciding with the final quarter of its last financial year.

Overall, turnover rose by 4.3% to £51.4 million following growth in key service lines including the firm’s audit function following the introduction of new technologies and investment in staff including a new head of audit.

The firm has taken action to safeguard its cash reserves to secure and protect the business in the face of economic uncertainty. Measures included reducing partner drawings and deferring partner distributions.

There was also increased demand for payroll support following the introduction of services to help businesses navigate the complexities of furlough claims, while specialist tax, corporate finance and business advisory teams continued to advise clients at all stages of their life cycle.

Johnston Carmichael Wealth continued to proactively advise clients on their financial planning options throughout lockdown.

The pandemic did however result in a slight decline in profit from £12.2m to £12.1m.

Andrew Walker, chief executive, said: “Like many other businesses, we’ve faced considerable challenges throughout the pandemic. To stay agile and adaptable we have accelerated our ongoing digitisation and continued to invest in our people, processes and services across our business lines to provide our clients with as much support as practicable.

“In these most testing of times, our depth and breadth of skills and knowledge were critical to supporting our clients, including staying abreast of funding options available to supporting those hit the hardest by the pandemic, and rolling out a new service to support clients with their Job Retention Scheme claims.

“Making sure we have the right people and skills to drive the business forward continues to be a key focus for us in the period ahead, especially as we embrace flexible working patterns. Increased technology has introduced great change, but it does not replace human interaction and being trusted advisers to our clients; adding value to their businesses as they respond to the opportunities and challenges of the new economic climate.”

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