October 13, 2016
Multi-award winning chartered accountants Haines Watts South West, with Head Office in Bideford and newly opened Launceston office, announces the acquisition of long established Barnstaple-based practice M. R. Stowell Accountants Ltd., owned by husband and wife team, Mark and Jo Stowell.
A family-owned firm of certified public accountants established in 1998, M. R. Stowell is located at the well-known local historic landmark, ‘The Old Post Office’ in Pilton Street, built in 1713. The practice offers friendly and reliable accounting and business advice to a full range of clients, from individuals and partnerships, right up to limited companies. Looking after 600 clients across a diverse portfolio of sectors, primarily based in North Devon, and as far away as Australia, the full team of nine members of staff have been fully retained by Haines Watts, as part of the new acquisition. Haines Watts now employs some 60 staff across the offices in Devon and Cornwall.
Director Mark Stowell is taking semi-retirement due to ill-health, however will stay on as a consultant for Haines Watts, working for up to four days a week, ensuring a smooth transition and continuity of service to his valued long-term clients. Mark said: “M. R. Stowell Accountants originated in 106 Pilton Street and after 10 years we outgrew the premises, moving to the town centre. In 2012 we came back to our roots when The Old Post Office came on the market at 22 Pilton Street. As a company we have grown organically as a result of retaining loyal clients and word of mouth referrals. He adds: It is with sadness that I am having to let go of the reins a little due to ill-health. It’s particularly hard for me as this business is ‘my baby’, and the loyal team are like family to Jo and me. A lot of our clients have also become very good friends, so it was very important to find a firm with the same ethos and culture of giving a high-quality personal service coupled with local knowledge. Although a large firm, Haines Watts have an excellent reputation in North Devon and it’s all about the people. I’m delighted, therefore, that they are retaining each member of our wonderful team, which will also help with continuity of service for all our highly-valued clients.”
Haines Watts specialises in the owner-managed business and farming sectors with over 350 farming clients across the South West. The acquisition of the Barnstaple practice is part of the firm’s expansion plans, in line with their mid – long-term marketing strategy.
Vince Edwards said: “Both the Launceston and Barnstaple expansions have been driven from a desire to grow in size, and improve the breadth and quality of services we now provide across Devon, and into Cornwall. Our focus is in farming and small, medium enterprises (SME's), which perfectly matches the client base in our new offices. We recognise that our clients very much appreciate the highly personal service and convenience of local offices and we are committed to maintain them. Nevertheless, there are times where clients do need a higher level of specialised professional expertise, which can only be available by being part of a larger organisation, and this we can now offer to more clients.” He comments further: “An area we are particularly excited by is the provision of all things connected to payroll matters and services. The Barnstaple office is strong in this field and will work with our other teams across Devon to meet the growing needs of small businesses, challenged by ever increasing complexity such as pension auto enrolment. Our greater footprint also makes us a more attractive employer, as we are more able to attract the better candidates and provide more career development opportunities to employees. This is a win: win for both employees and improves our client offer.”