It is now three months since Anderson & Co, Chartered Accountants joined websters to form a combined business of 30 people. This increases our expertise in dealing with larger businesses and complements the specialist tax, legal and financial services that websters provides. In addition it gives all clients the option of dealing with either our City centre based office in Cambridge or our North Cambridge office based in Histon. We give clients some background as to how the new joined business has adapted and thoughts about the future.
Discussions between websters and John Anderson and Adrian Doggett, the two partners in Anderson & Co, with a view to forming a joined business started back in May 2016. Since 1995 websters have provided tax advice to a large number of Anderson’s clients and Anderson & Co have undertaken audit work for websters’ clients. The two businesses officially became one business with effect from 1st April 2017.
John explained his decision to join his partnership business with websters. “Adrian and I have enjoyed running an independent practice as Chartered Accountants, but we have reached an age when we decided that it was in the best interests of our clients if we were part of a slightly larger organisation who could ensure a continuity of service if either of us became unwell. We had known Andrew for over 20 years and were very comfortable that he had very similar values to us about how to run a practice. First and foremost providing a good service to clients but also looking after our staff.”
So does this mean that they are planning an early retirement? Adrian says definitely not “We have been enthused by the opportunities to make the business more successful. As a result I am not making any changes to my working arrangements and look forward to having more time to deal with clients as the management burden is divided between more people”. John is planning to take a few more holidays – but without changing his client work.
Managing Director Cambridge, Catriona Freebairn explained that there has been a lot of work to do to combine the two separate businesses together into Websters Cambridge Ltd. “We have over 1,000 clients and so streamlining everything has been a huge task. It has been great to see the admin teams in Cambridge and Histon working together to make this happen very smoothly with minimum disruption to clients – or at least we hope so.”
Chief Executive Andrew Webster added “It has been a very positive step for websters. Over the years I have occasionally dropped hints about joining together the two businesses and I am glad that this has now happened. The opportunity to look at the slightly different approaches of two successful practices and take the best of both has been energising. We have no plans to make any radical changes in the short term, although we all know that HMRC will force us into changes with Making Tax Digital (MTD). It is going to be much easier to tackle those changes with 30 people working together rather than in two independent firms.”
websters is now owned by six individuals in the UK who all work in the business, with a seventh in Australia. We anticipate this number growing. Andrew said “My personal preference is to explore becoming an employee owned business over the next few years but this will involve persuading the whole team of the benefits.”