New director Joanne appointed to spearhead ambitious growth plans

Coxeys Joanne Evans' appointment as a Director Pictured with MD Anthony Lewis. Picture Mandy Jones

A top accountancy company  has appointed a new director to help steer the firm’s ambitious growth plans.

Coxeys, one of the region’s fastest-growing accountancy firms with offices in Wrexham, Chester and Saltney, is hoping to boost its workforce by a further 20% over the next few years and says further acquisitions could be on the cards as part of an exciting expansion strategy. With this in mind, Coxeys are always on the lookout for the right individuals to join their team.

The company has now appointed Joanne Evans, from Borras, Wrexham, as a director to help drive the firm’s future success and maintain its reputation as one of the best and most experienced accountancy firms in the region.

Joanne will split her new role between the firm’s Grosvenor Road office in Wrexham, and the company’s Chester branch in Nicholas Street, managing staff and client accounts. 

Coxeys acquired and rebranded the city’s branch of the Hall Livesey Brown group two years ago, retaining all seven staff – bringing the total workforce to 35.

The merger was masterminded by Coxeys managing director Anthony Lewis, a chartered accountant who joined the firm in 1998, and could be the first of many for the firm in the future if opportunities arise. 

“There’s no reason why we can’t look at the possibility of achieving another 20% jump in staff numbers in the next couple of years,” said the 49-year-old, who lives in Gresford, Wrexham.

“This depends very much on highly-experienced and driven people like Joanne coming on-board in the future as high calibre staff is what any business needs to fuel the progress.

“We need people who are keen and reach out for opportunity and in turn we will give them a chance to grow and flourish.

“Joanne has worked for us for almost eight years and already has a very strong relationship with our clients, helping them to overcome any barriers or problems they face. She’s superb with accounting and audit work and is a real asset to the team and so I’m delighted she will be representing Coxeys in a director role and driving forward our development.”

Joanne, 44, who has a son aged 14 and a daughter aged 10, started her career in 1996 as a trainee after leaving Ysgol Morgan Llwyd in Wrexham.

She completed her Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) foundation qualification at Coleg Cambria in Wrexham before formally qualifying in 2001 after attaining her Association of Charted Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification.

Joanne joined Coxeys in 2013 and was promoted to associate director the following year.

“I feel honoured to be involved at such an important time for the business. Coxeys is one of the biggest firms in the area and I’m privileged to help it grow further,” she said.

“I’m the first accountant in my family. My sister is a teacher so it’s definitely not something that runs in the blood, but I enjoy making sure everything stacks up as it should as well as helping people build success in their business.

“We have a lot of experience in the office and a number of highly-qualified accountants which is quite rare in the industry. People tend to stay here and this is great for trainees who have that mentorship and support to draw upon.

“Our success is down to providing the personal touch and making sure every client is well looked after and cared for. Our offices have a friendly atmosphere and it puts clients at ease.

“My new role will be client-facing as much as possible and securing new clients. Presently, we advise small sole traders such as window cleaners’ right up to large multinational companies with multimillion pound turnovers. We have to be very flexible and a sole trader is just as important to us as our bigger clients. Sometimes these businesses need more handholding than the bigger companies and it’s important they receive the help and support they need.”

Unlike many businesses during the pandemic, Coxeys has become busier with firms grappling with complex furlough schemes and grant applications in an effort to stay afloat.

The unique challenges posed by Covid-19 have seen Coxeys delivering advice and support on an unprecedented scale. 

“The Government has provided a lot of financial support but people have needed help to access it,” explained Anthony, who has two sons aged 12 and 14.

“It has been a phenomenally busy year for us and people have needed a lot of help in terms of grants, furlough claims and cash flow forecasting. Many businesses have required additional advice and support compared to normal.

“Joanne has managed the furlough claim process, which has been particularly complicated. Many businesses have had a difficult year and have really suffered. While the Government has provided a lot of help, a large number of businesses have fallen through the cracks of that support and they are the ones who’ve struggled and needed more help.”

Coxeys was originally founded in 1927 as W. Cross and Co and changed its name in 1974 when Michael Coxey took it over. The firm also has a book-keeping arm called Business Essentials.

“We’re very proud of what our people have achieved,” said Anthony.

“We took over the Chester branch two years ago and Joanne is helping to manage and run it. She’s also helping with succession planning.

“All being well, in a year or so we might be looking at further expansion. When opportunity arrives, we are always happy to expand into other areas and patches.

“We now have a total of 35 staff after acquiring a team of seven at Chester. That level of growth is achievable in the near future.

“Chester was a great fit for the business and we’ve worked very hard to ensure the staff feel very much part of the team.”

Whatever comes its way in the future, Coxeys will continue to hold fast its grounded style and family values.

“We are small enough to be friendly and approachable but offer a high level of expertise and that will always be the case,” said Anthony.