Carolyn Atkinson, Director at Huddersfield based Sheards Accountancy Ltd is celebrating 35 years’ service with the firm.

Sheards was originally founded in 1903 as Fred Sheard & Sons by the Sheard family. Carolyn joined the business in July 1985, when Margaret Thatcher was in power, and There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart) by Eurythmics was number one in the charts. She was the firm’s youngest and first female partner at the age of 27, becoming owner-director of the business in 1992. She joined the firm as a trainee accountant after studying a Foundation Course in Accountancy at Huddersfield Polytechnic, now Huddersfield University, achieving a Distinction and winning a course prize. She went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant in 1990. In more recent years, Carolyn has played an active role in the Huddersfield and District Society of Chartered Accountants, with a term as President from 2017-2018.

Her business partner Kevin Winterburn followed a similar career path and celebrated 30 years’ service with the firm last year.

The firm has built on its traditional client values of excellent service and now specialises in cloud accounting and advisory services. It has grown from strength to strength in the last decade, growing to a team of twenty accountants and tax advisors. Sheards provide advisory support and manage all aspects of accounting from payroll and tax planning through to business planning and support.

The firm prides itself on supporting its employees through continued professional development and entry into the industry through apprenticeship programmes and has in recent years seen many other staff celebrating key milestones. Last year three different team members celebrated over 20 years of service. This length of service has played a vital role in supporting local businesses with advisory led insight as its team understand their clients from a business and personal perspective, enabling them to assist clients to achieve their business goals.

Carolyn said: “It is difficult to comprehend having committed all my working life to Sheards and for 35 years to have passed. When I started we had one shared computer and work was very labour intensive and good mental arithmetic was essential!

"The world of accounting looked very different and as a practice, we have embraced the move to digital services and the benefits it has brought to the industry. We look forward to what the future holds and continuing to support local businesses to be successful, particularly in these challenging times.”