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Northern Society of Chartered Accountants

At the heart of northern business since 1882

Winning formula for accountancy stars 27 October 2015

Some of the brightest business brains in accountancy hit on a winning formula at the Northern Society Business and Awards Dinner on 16 October, an event which both recognised the most talented ICAEW students in their field and the role of ICAEW chartered accountants in northern business.

Northern Society of Chartered Accountants

Northern Society of Chartered Accountants prize winners with Rob Tindle and Andrew Ratcliffe

Paralympian and House of Lords peer Tanni Grey-Thompson was among the guests at the event, which attracted 250 people to Newcastle’s Civic Centre for the prestigious awards ceremony.

Five awards were handed out on the night:

  • Northern Society Order of Merit, Professional Stage– Joanna Scott, Saint & Co, Cumbria
  • Northern Society Order of Merit, Advanced Stage– George Smith, former KPMG employee, Newcastle
  • Northern Society Presidents’ Award, Professional Stage– Michael Burke, National Audit Office, Newcastle
  • Northern Society Presidents’ Award, Advanced Stage– Thomas Burt, Kenneth Easby Chartered Accountants, Bedale
  • Northern Society BASE Mentor of the Year – Linda Collins, Armstrong Watson, Carlisle

Rob Tindle, President of Northern Society of Chartered Accountants, said the awards provide an opportunity to showcase the most talented and innovative members of the business community across the North East and Cumbria, and recognise the value that chartered accountants offer.

“This event is a fantastic showcase for our profession and the strength of nominations this year proves the amount of incredible talent that exists in the Northern region. It is always incredibly tough to choose winners, but this year was a real challenge. I’d like to congratulate all of the winners for their awards and their ongoing, unwavering commitment to our profession.”

Dinner supports British Wheelchair Racing Association

As well as providing an opportunity to recognise talent, the event raised around £5,300 for the British Wheelchair Racing Association. Read more at bwra.co.uk

Emerging sports star Jade Jones – a leading British wheelchair racer – attending the evening, along with Iain Wright MP, who represents Hartlepool and ICAEW President Andrew Ratcliffe.

Northern Society of Chartered Accountants

The keynote speaker at the dinner was Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson.

Baroness Grey-Thompson said: “It is a huge honour to be part of the Northern Society Business and Awards Dinner.  As a former competitive athlete, I really do believe in the power of awards in bringing out the best in people and recognising those who have pushed themselves further to achieve great things.  But also, as a peer, I am thrilled to be part of an event that recognises an industry that makes such a positive difference to UK Plc.

I really enjoyed hearing about the talent of all of the ICAEW students who made the shortlists.  Their work is to be commended.”

More about each of the Award Winners

Thomas Burt wins Northern Society Presidents’ Award – Advanced Stage
ICAEW Chartered Accountant winner of the evening was Bedale-based Thomas Burt, who claimed the Presidents’ Award Advanced Stage honour.

Tom has pioneered a number of specialist accounting areas for Kenneth Easby Ltd, working with charities and landed estates as well as turning his hand to audit, accounts preparation, tax return preparation, VAT returns and management accounts.

Providing a key role in IT support, Tom has helped introduce “Xero” accountancy software this year and supported clients migrating to this system. He also takes an active role in training up junior staff and mentors the office’s chartered trainee, and is a keen member of the Kenneth Easby Cricket Team.

Michael Burke wins Northern Society Presidents’ Award – Professional Stage
Winner of the Presidents’ Award – Professional Stage was Newcastle City Council councillor, Michael Burke, who claimed the Presidents’ Award Professional Stage honour.

Judges selected Mr Burke for the award after he successfully delivered a number of technically complex briefs for his employer, the National Audit Office. As well as a committed accountant, Mr Burke is also committed to his community, playing an active role supporting a number of important activities.  As well as being a councillor, he volunteers as a football coach, and gives up lunch hours to support local school children with their reading skills.

Mr Burke, who went head-to-head with five other shortlisted ICAEW students, said: “I’m delighted to have won this award.  It’s great to be recognised for my work.  “Of course, I would like to congratulate all of those shortlisted for the award, and to thank my employer, the National Audit Office, for the support I have had during my career so far.”

George Smith wins Northern Society Order of Merit Award – Advanced Stage
George Smith, who trained with KPMG Newcastle, scooped the Order of Merit, Advanced Stage award for finishing in first overall place for top marks in the ICAEW Advanced Stage exams.

He said: “I’m really happy, and proud to be named the winner. It’s taken a lot of hard work, but it’s fantastic that it has paid off in the end.”

Northern Society of Chartered Accountants

Northern Society of Chartered Accountants Business and Awards Dinner

Joanna Scott wins Northern Society Order of Merit – Professional Stage
Joanna from Saint & Co. was recognised for achieving the highest academic standards in her ICAEW exams where she achieved first place for top marks in the ICAEW Professional Stage exams.

She said: “I’m thrilled to have won the award.  It’s a huge achievement for me and I have to thank my colleagues at Saint & Co, where I have trained.  It’s an excellent firm.”

Linda Collins wins Northern Society BASE Mentor of the Year Award
Linda Collins from Armstrong Watson in Carlisle was honoured for her work helping students break in to industry and supporting young people taking part in the ICAEW’s BASE competition, in which school and college students aged 16-19 compete in business challenges to develop employability skills and understand chartered accountancy.

She said: “I’m shocked to have won the award.  It definitely wasn’t expected. Taking part in BASE is a huge honour for me, as I know that I am doing my bit to bring through the next generation of chartered accountants.  This award is a bonus.”

ICAEW BASE returns in 2016 with heats across the Northern Society area – in Carlisle, Newcastle and Middlesbrough. You can read more about ICAEW BASE at icaew.com/base

A list of all of the candidates shortlisted for both of the Presidents’ Awards can be found in our earlier news story.  Background information on the awards can be found at norsca.co.uk/awards.

About Northern Society

Northern Society of Chartered Accountants (NorSCA) represents ICAEW members working in business and the finance profession across the North East of England, Teesside, Northern Yorkshire and Cumbria. We have been assisting businesses in the north of England and producing chartered accountants for over 130 years.

Our members are part of a worldwide network of 144,000 ICAEW Chartered Accountants who help people do business with confidence.

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