01392 288555


One of our trainee accountants has been recognised as one of the best in the world, after finishing 11th in the 2013 ACA international accountancy exams.

25-year-old, Mark Johnstone, who is training at Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants in Exeter, was invited to a prestigious ceremony last month in Moorgate, in the heart of London’s financial district, where he and 11 other trainees from all over the world came to receive their awards.

All trainee accountants have to pass the Associate (ACA) examinations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales which then grants access to the professional accountancy body the ICAEW.

Mark, who lives in Exeter, said he was very proud to attend the ceremony and: “I was honored that Richard Thomas, the firm’s Chairman, came along to support me. It was a memorable day and fantastic for my work to be recognised. My parents and fiancee also came along to support me.”

Mark is now studying for his final exams, which will be sitting at the end of July, after which he will be a fully qualified chartered accountant.

Thomas Westcott Chairman, Richard Thomas, said: “With over three thousand candidates internationally Mark’s outstanding achievement is a testament to his ability and to the diligent and dedicated way that he has approached his studies.”

Mark, who grew up in Brighton and studied at the University of Exeter, said he was delighted when he got the message in January that he had made it into the top 11: “Thomas Westcott have been so supportive with my training; they push me to do my best, but not to hard and I have been given a variety of different tasks and find the work hugely interesting.”

Thomas Westcott Chairman, Richard Thomas, has been appointed as the Deputy President of the South Western Society of Chartered Accountants.

The Society covers Devon, Somerset and Cornwall and has just under three thousand Chartered Accountant members.

Richard has previously been Chairman and Secretary/Treasurer of the former Exeter and District Society of Chartered Accountants.

Richard said “It is an honour to have been appointed to this role which keeps me at the forefront of changes that affect the profession, our members’ clients and their businesses and enables me to make a contribution to the thought development of the profession.”

New planning for farmers

From 6th April 2014, no full planning approval is required for certain developments on farms.

The main points are:
1.      Change of use to dwellings or commercial
2.      Up to 3 buildings of 150sqm
3.      Only existing agricultural buildings covered (as at 20th March 2013)
4.      Does not apply to National Parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s), listed buildings etc. 

Danger areas:
1.      What constitutes a ‘farm’ and what doesn’t?
2.      What was the use at 20th March 2013?
3.      Beware building regulations
4.      Can a building be demolished?

For more details Click Here

This weekend sees Stuart Carrington, an experienced partner in our Axminster office, take on the “Watchet to West Bay Cycle Challenge” in aid of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. The 54 mile route starts with a tough climb out of Watchet, skirts Exmoor, then heads past Taunton on its way towards Bridport and the coast at West Bay. Six hundred riders are taking part and Stuart hopes to complete the course in 3 ½ to 4 hours.

Stuart says that, “Having had cycling friends taken to hospital by air ambulance it is imperative that such organisations continue to be supported.” If you would like to help, Stuart has a JustGiving page for this event Click Here

As well as a strong general practice portfolio built around farming, charities and non-standard assignments, Stuart has a growing client base within the cycling industry including sports agents, marketers, retailers and one of the national organisations. If you would like to discuss how Stuart could help your organisation please get in touch on 01297 33388 or stuart.carrington@thomaswestcott.co.uk .

For those particularly interested in the cycling aspect of this challenge, Stuart will be posting his performance on Strava.

Catch up on all the latest charity news with the current issue of our Charity Newsletter.

Charity Newsletter Spring 2014


Click Here for the latest issue of our Agricultural Newsletter with insights into Renewable Energy, Auto Enrolment and more....

Significant changes to the UK benefits system are being phased in over the next four or five years. Various existing benefits are being replaced by the new "UNIVERSAL CREDIT". In this article Steven Fitzgerald (manager based in our Exeter Tax Department) summarises some aspects of Universal Credit, the transition from the Tax Credit system and the potential impact of delays in the transition to the new system.

Please follow the link: http://www.thomaswestcott.co.uk/images/publications/fact-sheets/Fact-Sheet-Universal-Credit-and-Tax-Credits-Update-April-2014.pdf

For further advice on these matters, please contact Steven Fitzgerald on 01392 288555 or email steven.fitzgerald@thomaswestcott.co.uk

For our overview of the key points that employers must know from 6 April 2014 follow the link.

Employers Update 2014-15

The latest issue of our Taking Account Newsletter has been published; follow the link to read the latest news and topical issues.

Taking Account March 2014

Following today's Budget Announcement by the Chancellor George Osborne, here is a 'easy to understand' summary. http://www.thomaswestcott.co.uk/images/publications/budget-briefings/2014-Budget-Summary-2014.pdf

If you have any questions about the summary please contact Michael Marsh on 01392 288555 or email Michael.marsh@thomaswestcott.co.uk