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Azets: the Shropshire takeover

In a bid to bolster Azets’ regional reach and capability, the firm recently appointed Cheryl Dickens-Evans as the new assistant manager of its Shrewsbury office. We learn more about her experience in the industry, what she hopes to achieve in her new role, and we get a look behind the firm’s expansion plans.

What are your most notable achievements in the accountancy industry?

I gained my ACCA qualification at the age of 21, which was a huge personal achievement within the accountancy industry. I gained this through an apprenticeship scheme, which was a great route for me as I always knew even in school that accountancy was the profession I wanted to be in. By this age, I had my qualification with five years’ experience already.

What attracted you to the role of assistant manager in Azets’ Shrewsbury office?

I was attracted to Azets because of the company’s forward-thinking approach to accountancy and its investment in people and technology to ensure the future needs of clients continue to be met, with the ever-evolving changes in compliance. Azets is a truly people-led business, both in terms of its investment in developing talent and delivering a personalised client service.

The Shrewsbury office is in a fantastic location in a lovely part of the country. There is a very welcoming team of people who enjoy their job and the environment they work in. The flexibility Azets provides us to ensure a happy work/life balance is the key to achieving this.

What does this job entail, and how will your previous experiences help you to succeed in this role?

I have held many roles in my 25 years’ experience, from personal assistant right through to senior accounts manager; I have been a management accountant, payroll manager, accounts assistant, and accounts manager. Developing a broad range of knowledge across several areas throughout each of these experiences helps me to be a flexible and empathetic member of the team.

What do you hope to achieve as assistant manager?

This role at Azets will support my personal and professional growth, and I will benefit from the wealth of experience Azets has to offer and its investment in continuous people development. I am also looking forward to passing on my knowledge to trainees and supporting the next generation of talented young accountants and business advisors.

What do the firm’s growth plans entail?

Azets is the largest and fastest growing regional accounting group in Europe and has ambitious plans to grow even further, organically and acquisitively. Our business in the UK and within our central region has a significant part to play in delivering this growth, with ambition, with a plan to more than double revenue in the next five years as we continue to enhance regional and national coverage and expertise, underpinned by talented smart people, effective technology, and operational excellence.

How does Azets’ Shropshire office fare compared to the firm’s other regions?

Azets Shrewsbury is one of several offices within the firm’s UK central region, with presence across the Midlands, Midlands, Shropshire, and Welsh Borders. Together with the north and south regions, we are part of a UK network of 85 offices, delivering a personalised client service locally but also drawing on the experience and expertise right across the country. However, I believe in Shrewsbury we may be the only office with a pool table, table tennis, and dart board in the staff room.

How will Azets continue to increase its regional reach and capability?

We will deliver a local service to SME clients across Shropshire by providing clients with specialist expertise in all areas, whilst retaining a local firm approach. Azets is also really proactive at giving back and reinvesting time, money, and resources within its local communities. In Shrewsbury, we are currently organising a gardening day at a local hospice and taking part in the Shrewsbury boat race.

How will Shropshire Council’s £800m investment impact Azets?

With the Azets Shrewsbury office being in a prime location, the ‘Big Town Plan’ investment for the Shrewsbury Centre is going to be a significant transformation with an overwhelmingly positive impact. It will attract new houses, hotels, bars, and restaurants, which in turn will deliver more jobs and economic opportunities to the area.

Where do Azets hope to be in three years’ time?

In three years’ time, Azets will be a long way down its current roadmap of significant growth and transformation, with even greater expertise and broader UK coverage. We are an SME focused firm and believe SME businesses hold the key to the UK’s economic recovery. We will be there to advise them at every step of the way.

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