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News & Knowledge

Armstrong Watson welcomes first payroll professional as new partner

4th April 2019

MSI's Northern UK accounting member Armstrong Watson LLP, Accountants, Business and Financial Advisers have announced that Karen Thomson, Director of Group Payroll Services, has been promoted to the role of Partner and becomes only the second known Payroll Partner of an accountancy firm in the whole of the UK.

Karen has headed up Armstrong Watson’s Payroll and Employee Services for the past 4 years and has led the team to multiple award wins and national recognition.

In January 2018, Karen was one of the first ten people in the UK to be awarded Individual Chartered Status of the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP). She has also held the accolade of inclusion within ‘The Reward 300 Index’ of the Payroll profession’s most influential leaders for 2 years running.

Karen is a significant driver for positive and proactive change across the Payroll industry and sits on a number of government consultation forums, representing employer and client views. Karen also shares her 20 years of experience within the industry as a lecturer for the CIPP’s Masters Programme, tutor for the CIPP Foundation Degree, and is a regular contributor to UK accountancy and payroll publications.

Armstrong Watson’s payroll service was established in 1974 and serves more than 1,500 customers, issuing 28,000 payslips every month.

As part of the firm’s continuing dedication to using new technology to enhance and improve client services, Karen worked alongside Armstrong Watson’s Solutions Architect, Toby Woodhead, to create ‘Bostik’ – an automated payroll process – and the project (and team) were acknowledged for their contribution, winning the title of ‘Project of the Year’ at the CIPP Annual Excellence Awards in October 2018.

Commenting on her promotion to Partner, Karen Thomson said, “It is an honour to become a partner within the firm and particularly as a representative for the Payroll profession. I have a fantastic team working hard alongside me and I’m extremely proud that Managing Partner Paul Dickson, and the Armstrong Watson board, recognise the key role Payroll and Employee Services plays within the firm and I will continue to progress and enhance our client experience in my new role as Partner.”

Paul Dickson, Armstrong Watson’s Chief Executive & Managing Partner, added, “This is a well-deserved promotion in recognition of Karen’s leadership, development and growth of the Payroll and Employee Service line for Armstrong Watson. She is an integral part of the leadership team and her ambitious and progressive thinking complement our focus and commitment to increasing and innovating client services, and our continued business growth across the North of England and Scotland.”

About Armstrong Watson - Leeds

Armstrong Watson has been advising and protecting clients across the North of England and Scotland since 1867. With 16 regional offices from Glasgow to Leeds, 38 partners and over 400 colleagues, we’re focused enough to provide a truly tailored service and large and experienced enough to work alongside any size of business, delivering a complete remit of services equal to top tier firms.

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