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Business adviser Russell & Russell casts its net wide as it seeks two more trainees to help with ever-increasing workload

Glasgow-based Chartered Accountant, tax adviser and auditor Russell & Russell is seeking to further strengthen its team by recruiting two more trainees, taking its headcount to 22 as it builds on outstanding growth.

Unlike many firms, the business advice specialist flourished over the pandemic years by offering practical, relevant and impartial guidance, and consequently increasing its client portfolio by a remarkable 20%.

And, in keeping with its policy of sourcing the best talent wherever it can be found, rather than relying on traditional entry routes to the profession, Russell & Russell will be casting its net wide to find extraordinary new candidates.

Stuart Clark, Managing Director at Russell & Russell, who stepped into the managerial hotseat at the firm just before the Covid closedown in February 2020, said: “Because of the notable success of recent years, it is important that we find new talent to help with the ever-increasing workload.

“We will, of course, welcome people who have followed the normal progression into the profession, but it is not by any manner of means a prerequisite. In fact, I trained as a physiotherapist before changing career and entering accountancy.

“We have two senior members of the team who started as trainees – Rosslyn McMaster, who is now a director, left university after one year to work in the business as she wanted to earn and learn, and Daniel Breen, who is now a tax manager, joined as a school leaver – proving that ability, dedication and initiative count as highly as traditional qualifications.”

Perhaps one of the most unconventional routes into the firm has been taken by trainee accountant Paul Smith, 43, who spent 15 years in Japan, where he built up and ran a successful English language school.

Paul, from Currie, Midlothian, worked in fund administration with JP Morgan and DeutscheBank before travelling to Yokohama where he founded his business which eventually grew to 40 pupils a day. He now has a Japanese wife and two children.

He said: “I started studying for my ACCA qualification while I was in Japan and applied to Russell & Russell, who invited me to interview. It is a friendly and approachable firm with a supportive and encouraging working environment and I am now working towards my finals.”

As part of its growth trajectory, Russell & Russell aims to treble its turnover within two to four years. The firm has expanded from its keystone sectors of manufacturing, engineering and professional services to gain clients in construction, consultancy, medical and renewables.

It is now also eyeing potential acquisitions as an add-on to its organic growth, with a focus on firms which have not been proactive about the changes which are sweeping the profession, particularly the implications of Making Tax Digital.

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Current trainee accountant Paul Smith used to run an English language school in Japan

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