Owner managed business

With you for the journey

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Running a business is tough. You know how important financial management is, but with so many demands on your time it can be hard to give it the focus it deserves.

We never forget how important our role is in your journey. We dig deep to get under the skin of your business and your aspirations so that we can give you quality, insightful advice when you need it.

Whatever route you take, our team of commercially-minded problem solvers are with you all the way.

Farming and agriculture

We have been working with those in farming industry since 1876, the year Wenn Townsend started, giving us a unique knowledge of the challenges those in the sector face and the technical experience to help. We can provide a service tailored to your requirements, whether that be help with agricultural specific software packages, inheritance tax and agricultural property relief advice, or simply preparing your year end accounts, all whilst applying our extensive experience to your business.

Professional services

As a professional you will have expert knowledge in your field, and we can provide expert knowledge in ours, ensuring you are aware of where your profits are coming from, which taxes will need paying when, and how you can utilise this financial knowledge to help your business grow.

Retail and wholesale

Working in the retail sector demands long hours and a fast-paced pressurised environment, meaning making time for keeping on top of your finances isn’t always possible. With experience working with retailers and wholesalers we can take that burden and provide tailored advice, allowing you to spend your valuable time serving your customers.

Sectors we work with

We’re experienced at working with owner managed businesses of all types and size.

Resources

How are dividends taxed?

The dividend tax allowance was first introduced back in 2016 and replaced the old...

Taking money out of a limited company

There are a number of ways a director can extract money from their limited...

Keeping self-employed tax records

If you are self-employed as a sole trader or as a partner in a...

Services

  • Accounts preparation
  • Audit
  • Bookkeeping
  • Payroll
  • Financial planning and wealth management

Whilst running your business its important to be fully informed. Having accountants who can not only ensure your accounts comply with ever-changing requirements but also take the time to explain what these accounts mean for you and your business is invaluable. Our specialist team will work closely with you to ensure not only do your accounts comply with HMRC obligations, they are clear and concise, helping provide clarity for your business decision making. We can use our expertise to help assist you with strategic and practical decisions, so you can use your expertise to grow your business.

Strong financial management isn’t simply a case of the numbers adding up, you also need effective internal systems and controls and the ability to identify weaknesses. With highly qualified experience in audit, assurance and regulatory reporting services, we can help you assess and strengthen your systems. We’ll get under the skin or your organisation and tailor our audit accordingly.

We are registered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and our files are subject to regular reviews and regulatory visits from the Quality Assurance Directorate (QAD).

Rock solid financial admin is a foundation of good business management. Our dedicated bookkeeping team are here to look after the numbers for you – whether you need an ad hoc confusion clearing up, or full year-round bookkeeping services. Trained in a range of accounting software, we’ll ensure you’re making the most of technology to maximise the flexibility, efficiency and full compliance of your bookkeeping.

Whatever the size of your workforce, payroll requires continual and careful management with deadlines, documentation, and HR and pension procedures to keep an eye on. Our expert team can take the strain for you, solving payroll snags as they arise, planning, preparing and filing payroll with HMRC, advising on taxable benefits-in-kind, ensuring pension compliance, preparing P11Ds and conducting PAYE audits. We also offer a tax investigations service providing protection for income, corporation and IR35 investigations or disputes.

Financial planning and wealth management are key to achieving your business’s financial goals, therefore we maintain close working relationships with our independent financial advisers who are able to offer expert, objective wealth management advice for owner-managed entities. With over 10 years working together we truly feel having them working alongside us allows us to look after our clients that much better. No matter your business’s circumstances, whether it be looking to secure your business’s funds for the future, seeking to get money out of your business now, or something else entirely, independent financial advice can prove invaluable.

Our owner-managed business team

Deborah Pluck BwDeborah Pluck HoverRead more
Deborah Pluck FCAPartner
Tony Haines BwTony Haines HoverRead more
Tony Haines FCAPartner
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Kathryn Pocock FCADirector of Advisory Services
Ajay Bahl BwAjay Bahl HoverRead more
Ajay Bahl BA BFP FCAPartner
Lee Palmer BwLee Palmer HoverRead more
Lee Palmer FCA CTAPartner
Lee Baker BwLee Baker HoverRead more
Lee Baker FCAPartner
Ruth Herbert BwRuth Herbert HoverRead more
Ruth Herbert FCCAConsultant
Stuart Bates BwStuart Bates HoverRead more
Stuart Bates FCA CTAPartner
Helen Smith BwHelen Smith HoverRead more
Helen Smith ATT CTATax Manager
Hayes, Ben BwHayes, Ben HoverRead more
Ben Hayes FCAPartner
Jane Bull BwJane Bull HoverRead more
Jane Bull ACADirector of Accounting
Gemma Bradbury BwGemma Bradbury HoverRead more
Gemma Bradbury ACAManager
Michael Laws BwMichael Laws HoverRead more
Michael Laws ACADirector of Audit and Assurance
Joy Yates BwJoy Yates HoverRead more
Joy Yates ACAManager
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Laura Adams ACAManager
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Ajay Gohil ACAAssistant Manager
Andrew Kilby BwAndrew Kilby HoverRead more
Andrew KilbyDirector of Client Services
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Hannah Vine FCCAManager
Kathryn Bell BwKathryn Bell HoverRead more
Kathryn BellAssociate
Joanne Alistoun BwJoanne Alistoun HoverRead more
Joanne Alistoun FCAManager
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Peta Grace ACCAAssistant Manager
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Sophie RobertsAssociate
Deborah Pluck FCAPartner

Deborah is an extremely knowledgeable accountant, having joined Wenn Townsend in 1980 and become Partner in 1989. She particularly loves working with schools, colleges and university partnerships, and with families in the agricultural world or with landed estates, getting hands-on with the practical problems they face. Deborah recently set up and ran an estate management reporting system to control a development/farming/property letting/woodland/leisure business; while in another case she rationalised monthly systems for a university partnership including payroll, pensions, budget preparation and reporting to the Charity Commission. Outside of work Deborah enjoys skiing, walking and cottage gardening.

Tony Haines FCAPartner

Tony is a hugely experienced accountant, having joined Wenn Townsend in 1987 and become Partner in 1997. His expertise covers succession planning and reorganisation, and advising owner-managed businesses. Tony is deeply knowledgeable about regulations surrounding UK subsidiaries of overseas holding companies, food manufacturing, property and building, e-sales, and leisure. Recently he was able to help with the management buyout of a company where two owner-directors were retiring, and the incoming director was not able to secure necessary finance. As well as his role at Wenn Townsend Tony writes for the The Parliamentary Review, is an Ambassador for B4 Magazine, contributor to Radio Oxford, and representative for Oxfordshire Voice and ROX. Tony is a passionate (but retired) cricketer, as well as a golfer and rugby fan. He enjoys films, loves his dogs and is a ‘reluctant’ gardener.

Kathryn Pocock FCADirector of Advisory Services

Kathryn joined us in 2022 as our Director of Advisory Services. Having qualified in 1999 Kathryn has had an extensive career working within both practice and industry, in particular she has spent the past five years working in-house within a college of the University of Oxford. Prior to this she spent over 21 years working in accountancy practice across a range of different roles, providing a breadth of knowledge and experience to facilitate working with clients in a practical, helpful and empathetic way. Her current role allows her to support her clients across a broad spectrum of sectors, including University of Oxford colleges, on a range of systems, process and reporting projects. Her recent specialisms are the charity and education sectors and she particularly enjoys working with any clients where there is an opportunity to add value and problem-solve. In her spare time Kathryn enjoys spending time outdoors, including hiking and running.

Ajay Bahl BA BFP FCAPartner

Ajay joined us in 1990 and was made Partner in 2003, becoming a highly trusted member of our team. He particularly enjoys advising the not-for-profit sector including education and health charities, as well as assisting corporate manufacturing entities with overseas operations, overseeing audits of non-UK companies, and dealing with complex UK GAAP and International Financial Reporting issues. He recently completed the successful VAT registration for an exporter after 18 months of negotiations with HMRC, the client now receiving six-figure monthly VAT refunds. Ajay is a lapsed sportsman, keen sports viewer and Liverpool FC fan. He is also a Trustee of The Karta Initiative, a charity helping Indian students from poor rural backgrounds attend world-leading universities.

Lee Palmer FCA CTAPartner

An outstanding accountant, Lee came aboard with Wenn Townsend in 2004 and swiftly made Partner in 2005. His real enthusiasms lie in holistic tax planning for families and private individuals, corporate tax work in connection with business sales and purchases, and share and business valuations. In one such case he advised on a share buy-back within a corporate group to allow the withdrawal of the controlling persons from the group business operations, addressing issues caused by the group holding insufficient distributable reserves. Outside work Lee enjoys travelling Europe, listening to music (and attempting to play guitar), cinema and theatre-going, and is an avid reader.

Lee Baker FCAPartner

Lee is a deeply knowledgeable accountancy expert, who joined us back in 2005 and became one of our Partners in 2014. Whilst his expertise is wide ranging, his particular professional interests lie in advising travel companies and arts organisations such as theatres and museums, specialising in preparation of accounts and audits, and creative industry tax reclaim. Lee is also an IT specialist, helping clients to design bespoke reporting packages to automate preparation of management accounts. Recently he completed the transition of a theatre company's bookkeeping system from Sage to Xero, integrating their ticketing system with Xero to enable correct revenue recognition and seamless reconciliation of all payment types. In his free time, Lee enjoys theatre, sport and fantasy football.

Ruth Herbert FCCAConsultant

Head of our Cirencester practice, Ruth joined Wenn Townsend in 1998. As an experienced and highly trusted accountant, she looks after a variety of sectors from farming to charities and carries out a number of charity independent examinations. She takes pride in ensuring clients meet their filing deadlines, and always makes herself available to help clients with matters including the preparation of tax returns, sole trader accounts, partnerships, charities and companies. Amongst recent work Ruth assisted the directors of one company in valuing their company to enable them to consider selling their shares thereby ensuring the continuation of the company. Beyond her work, Ruth is a keen road cyclist and enjoys walking in the British countryside.

Stuart Bates FCA CTAPartner

Stuart joined our team in 1992 and was made Partner in 2002. An expert in his field, he enjoys working across a broad range of sectors and clients, including family businesses, start-ups, charities and personal tax clients. He is highly skilled at computerising clients' accounting systems (notably Sage and Xero) and overseeing clients’ IT requirements. Stuart recently took over a healthcare client, assisting with their monthly management accounts and reporting to an overseas group, filing monthly VAT returns, statutory accounts, corporation tax and R&D claims. Outside the office Stuart enjoys skiing, walking, cycling, kayaking, touring holidays in the family motorhome, watching motorsports, and being a closet Arsenal supporter.

Helen Smith ATT CTATax Manager

Helen has been our expert Private Client Tax Manager since 2008, specialising in personal taxation, capital taxation, residence and domicile issues, some foreign tax issues, FATCA and offshore disclosures, and VAT matters inside and outside the UK. She recently advised an Italian client wanting to invest in UK property, advising where his tax liability would be and the ramifications of the Double Tax Convention. She has also helped clients who have been approached by HMRC about unreported foreign income. Outside of work Helen loves all things history, art, detective stories and travel.

Ben Hayes FCAPartner

Ben joined us in 2002 and, with over 20 years of audit experience, is one of the firm's audit partners and head of our technical committee. His experience covers a wide range of sectors that include large corporate groups, owner managed companies, pension schemes, schools/colleges, and many other charity sectors. The bulk of his time is spent working closely with clients on planning and reviewing their annual audits, alongside setting up plans for new audit assignments and overseeing a portfolio of non-audit clients. Ben has significant recent experience on multinational group work on various clients, coordinating audit review visits across several separate countries and local audit firms, producing high-level reporting to group audit committees regarding consolidated findings. He also specialises in the provision of grant audits, including for Innovate, H2020, DFID, and other funders, providing high quality assurance reporting in a clear and concise manner. When he’s not working Ben spends most of his spare time coaching youth football, is a keen follower of US sports, and enjoys any remaining time engrossed in a good book or TV show

Jane Bull ACADirector of Accounting

Jane arrived at Wenn Townsend in 2009 as one of our indispensable managers and has since progressed to the position of Director of Accounting. Jane heads our accounts department, managing her accounting and outsourcing clients, leading the training of our associates, and she particularly enjoys working on Xero, Sage and Quickbooks Online along with other more bespoke software. With a background in audit she utilises her expert attention to detail within her role, she recently reviewed consolidated accounts under IFRS for a parent audit of a multinational group and its significant industrial subsidiary, suggesting detailed systems improvements. Outside work, Jane enjoys cycling and hiking, landscape watercolour painting and crafts, and is treasurer of her children’s school PTA.

Gemma Bradbury ACAManager

Gemma joined Wenn Townsend in 2016 and is a talented member of our Audit Management team, experienced in auditing a range of clients including charities, membership clubs, SMEs, AIM listed clients and groups. She gets satisfaction from learning about the different processes and software used by different entities and the varied knowledge and insight that this brings. Gemma sees audit not just as a statutory requirement, but as a way to help clients ensure their systems work in the most beneficial way possible. She recently led the audit of a group with overseas subsidiaries, dealing with foreign currencies and foreign accounting, and complex consolidation. In her spare time, Gemma enjoys going to the cinema and theatre, reading, travelling, and is a pub quiz enthusiast.

Michael Laws ACADirector of Audit and Assurance

Michael joined our team in 2016 and has proved a vital asset as Audit Senior, working adeptly with clients across a variety of sectors including charities, schools, corporate manufacturing businesses and owner-managed entities. The majority of his time is spent working on statutory audits, but Michael also has significant experience working on accounts preparations and independent examinations. He recently completed a successful first-year audit of an Oxfordshire-based charity, working closely with management to understand their systems, how they were operating and how any audit risks arising could be addressed. Michael is a keen sportsman, enjoying playing and watching football, cricket and tennis, and is an active runner and cyclist.

Joy Yates ACAManager

As Accounts Manager, Joy has been a linchpin in Wenn Townsend’s operations since 2014. Her client portfolio includes small companies, charities, sole traders and partnerships from a wide range of industries. She excels at reviewing statutory accounts, bookkeeping, management accounts and VAT returns, as well as independent examinations for charities. Proficient in accounting software packages, she also has previous auditing experience. She recently assisted a new business by introducing bookkeeping processes and preparing VAT returns, providing VAT advice on the second-hand margin scheme and VAT filing requirements. Joy is a member of two local churches and enjoys cooking and watching tennis.

Laura Adams ACAManager

Capable and efficient accounts manager Laura has been part of our team since 2004, providing accounts support to a wide variety of clients, both corporate and individual, including assisting with year-end accounts, VAT work and ad hoc requests. She is proficient at Xero, QuickBooks and Sage accounting packages, and particularly enjoys helping clients who are not the most confident with their accounts - such as one recent company who were having difficulty moving their VAT returns on to a software package to meet digital tax requirements: they benefitted hugely from Laura’s expertise and patience. When not at work Laura enjoys drawing, writing, computer games, and board games.

Ajay Gohil ACAAssistant Manager

Ajay joined Wenn Townsend at the start of 2021 on our graduate trainee programme where he gained all the skills and experience needed to qualify as a Chartered Accountant. He is now an assistant manager within our accounts department. Having worked in practice previously, Ajay has experience in most areas of accounting including working with Xero software – the way forward for small businesses. In his spare time, Ajay enjoys baking, cooking and playing all types of puzzles.

Andrew KilbyDirector of Client Services

Andrew has been a highly trusted and dependable part of Wenn Townsend since 1988, managing over 160 client payrolls from 1 to 500 plus employees. He takes great pride in providing clients with everything from full bureau service to ad hoc advice on benefits-in-kind, year-end procedures and HMRC compliance visits. His specialist expertise covers final salary pension schemes and a variety of auto-enrolment schemes. He is vastly experienced in assisting clients with all staff pay issues including tax-efficient remuneration packages and termination payments, and he also enjoys looking after a varied portfolio of private tax clients. Andrew also acts as Trustee, Executor and Power of Attorney to a number of our clients. Outside of work Andrew can be found either in the Frewen Club where he is an active member and assistant Treasurer, or at his cottage in North Norfolk.

Hannah Vine FCCAManager

Hannah joined our Abingdon office in 2023 as one of our accounts managers. With extensive experience Hannah works with a wide range of clients, from sole traders to large company audits, and she enjoys the variety this brings. Hannah thrives in both one-off projects, such as her recent work with a client producing and analysing financial reports to aid the sale of their business, as well as regular work, such as the management reporting she does for several clients to assist with cash flow and projections. In her spare time Hannah enjoys going on long walks with her dog, socialising with her friends, and broadening her knowledge of the world through travelling.

Kathryn BellAssociate

Kathryn has been with us since 2019, attaining her AAT Level 4 and ably proving her talent for preparing accounts and tax returns for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies. She undertakes bookkeeping, VAT returns and management accounts with enthusiasm for a variety of clients, and enjoys demystifying bookkeeping for those who are not familiar with the processes. She is proficient in multiple account software programmes and also has previous payroll and CIS experience to fall back on. She recently prepared accounts for a hospitality client involving a recalculation of VAT, and conducts monthly management accounting for a charity. Kathryn enjoys exploring places in the UK with her family, long walks in the countryside, music and theatre, cooking and eating out.

Joanne Alistoun FCAManager

Joanna joined our Abingdon office in 2018 and has been responsible for expertly managing audits for a whole range of small- and medium-sized companies and charities. She is hugely experienced in preparing accounts and tax returns for all manner of entities including sole traders, partnerships, companies and charities, ably assists with VAT returns, and has mastered a variety of accounts packages including Sage, Quickbooks and Xero. Joanne recently managed the audit of a charity and its trading subsidiary, working closely with our bookkeeping team to understand the entity and their procedures in order to plan and undertake the most efficient audit possible. When she’s not at work Joanne loves spending time with her family, going for long walks, reading, and cooking her family's favourite meals.

Peta Grace ACCAAssistant Manager

Peta joined us in 2023 working within our accounts department. Peta oversees a range of clients and assists with training staff members. Since qualifying in 2019 Peta has built up a range of skills and knowledge working on accounts for clients including solicitors, investment companies, manufacturers, and consultants. She particularly enjoys the variety of her work, for instance she has recently been completing several SRA client money audits and has enjoyed the process for these. In her spare time Peta is a whizz at a board game, enjoys crocheting, and has been known to partake in video games.

Sophie RobertsAssociate

Working within our accounts department Sophie joined us as an associate in 2021. Sophie works with a variety of companies preparing accounts and undertaking bookkeeping whilst studying to qualify as a Chartered Accountant. In her spare time Sophie enjoys reading, travelling and keeping up with her languages having studied German and Russian at university.

Testimonials

A local auditor with a wealth of accounts knowledge (including international financial reporting). They are always available to answer any questions and we have no hesitation in recommending them.

Tracy Toms, Finance Manager at Guylian (UK) Limited

Wenn Townsend have continually helped me with all aspects of managing my accounts and with the successful development of my business.

France Baudet, Managing Director at Cannelle Beaute

We now have the financial information we need to run the business more effectively. The Wenn Townsend team have also been prompt in processing payroll, submitting VAT returns and filing statutory accounts.

Jeff Hunter, Managing Director at Premier Tennis

Wenn Townsend has been our accountants since 1999 and played an integral role in helping us succeed. Since 1999 our workings have evolved with the firm taking on payroll and audit.

Stanley P. Rosenberg, Executive Director

If you are considering outsourcing your payroll I cannot recommend Andrew and his team and Wenn Townsend highly enough. With a rapidly expanding company no doubt we will reach the point that by volume we decide to outsource our payroll once again; in which case we would not hesitate to contact Andrew.

Lisa Cherry, HR Manager, Adestra