8th July, 2021, Melanie Harriss
Stephenson Smart accountants opened an office on Oak Street in Fakenham in 1989, with just four members of staff. Now a team of 13, they provide clients with business and tax advice as well as help with VAT and accounting software, and have ATOL specialist qualifications.
The Fakenham office are also supported by qualified professionals across Stephenson Smart’s other five offices whose specialisms include payroll, inheritance tax, probate and estates.
Martyn Benstead FCCA
Martyn is the managing partner at Fakenham. As well as managing the team, Martyn advises clients on a wide range of areas, including audit, taxation and corporate accounting. Martyn was one of the first accountants in the country to qualify as an ATOL reporting accountant, which allows him to submit ATOL Accountants’ Reports to the Civil Aviation Authority.
Mike Rowles FCCA
Mike advises a wide range of clients on areas such as audit, taxation, VAT, and corporate accounting. He has a keen interest in cloud accounting and works with new and established businesses to help streamline their business accounting systems and allowing access to real-time accounts information. Mike is also qualified as an ATOL reporting accountant.
Sean Page BA ACA
Sean joined the firm as a graduate trainee after completing a degree in Economics at Leeds University. He acts for a variety of clients ranging from the audit of corporate pension schemes, charities and advising individuals on taxation.
Marina Watters ACCA
Marina became a fully qualified ACCA accountant in April last year. Marina has a wealth of experience in digital accounting and her specialism is in Xero accounting software. She supports clients with their cloud-based accounting and management accounts.
Laura James MAAT
Laura qualified with AAT over 10 years ago and has been with Stephenson Smart for the past three years. Her favourite part of her job is helping clients to understand their business in real time and enjoys learning about all aspects of how a client’s business operates.
Hannah Allgood MAAT
Hannah is a qualified AAT accountant, starting her accounting qualifications at Cambridge Regional College. She is now working towards her ACCA. Hannah supports a wide variety of clients with their year-end accounts.
Matthew has a BA (Hons) in Audit and Accountancy from Bournemouth University and is now studying towards his ACCA qualification. He supports the managers with preparing clients accounts, reconciliation and bookkeeping.
Allan spent many years working in the finance office at Jaeger, which is where he built his knowledge and experience in looking after and reconciling accounts. He works with a variety of clients at Stephenson Smart, supporting them with bookkeeping and year end accounts services.
Carla is an AAT qualified accountant who has a defined, part-time role within the team specifically supporting two clients with their bookkeeping and management accounts. Carla is multi-lingual and is also training to be a paramedic.
Richenda McCalla (Chen)
Chen supports the team with her bookkeeping skills, mostly in processing VAT returns for clients. She works with all types of clients, increasingly processing their VAT from their cloud accounting software.
Ethan is currently studying for his level 3 AAT qualification. Ethan is local to Fakenham and completed his A-levels in Maths, Business and Chemistry at the high school 6th form, before starting his apprenticeship at Stephenson Smart.
Patrick is working towards his ACA qualification. Patrick has a degree in nursing, but quickly realised that accountancy was where his passion lies. He particularly enjoys finding solutions to complicated tax queries and would like to specialise as a tax accountant.
Jo is the face of Stephenson Smart’s Fakenham office and has been manning reception there for 26 years! As well as being the first port of call for most clients, Jo also provides secretarial support to the accountants.
Photo: Left to right: Laura James, Matthew Leverett, Hannah Allgood, Chen McCalla, Jo Brown, Allan Nelson, Martyn Benstead, Patrick Young, Marina Watters, Ethan Keeler, Mike Rowles and Sean Page.
4th December, 2020, Stephenson Smart
Stephenson Smart accountants opened an office on Oak Street in Fakenham in 1989, with just four members of staff. There are now 14 people working there including partner, Martyn Benstead FCCA and managers, Mike Rowles FCCA and Sean Page BSc ACA.
Martyn Benstead FCCA advises clients on a wide range of areas, including audit, taxation and corporate accounting. Martyn was also one of the first accountants in the country to qualify as an ATOL reporting accountant, which allows him to submit ATOL Accountants’ Reports to the Civil Aviation Authority.
Mike Rowles FCCA advises a wide range of clients on areas such as audit, taxation, VAT, and corporate accounting. He has a keen interest in cloud accounting and works with new and established businesses to help streamline their business accounting systems and allowing access to real-time accounts information. Mike is also qualified as an ATOL reporting accountant.
Sean Page BSc ACA acts for a variety of clients ranging from the audit of corporate pension schemes and charities to advising individuals on taxation.
23rd November, 2020, Melanie Harriss
Jo Brown, secretary and receptionist, is celebrating 25 years at Stephenson Smart, this year.
Jo joined Stephenson Smart’s office in Fakenham on 25 January 1995, she remembers the date exactly as it was also her 27th birthday!
When Jo joined, Stephenson Smart had recently merged with Maurice Peel to occupy the office on Oak Street where EP Youth is now – years later moving across the road to larger premises. Jo worked with Maurice Peel, his wife Margaret, and former Stephenson Smart partner Nigel Ward to run the office which she says was very different from how it is now:
“I was, and still am, employed as a receptionist/secretary. When I started, I worked on a manual typewriter with carbon paper. I looked after bank reconciliations, small accounts jobs and VAT returns.
The main change over the last 25 years is that I have gone from being in a very small team to now being part of a team of 13 people. The introduction of computers also means the job I do now is very different in a lot of ways; Stephenson Smart have embraced changes in technology and that means I now access a wide range of accounting software to help support our clients.”
Jo was born and raised in North Norfolk and always knew she wanted to work in an office environment.
“I used to get books and pads out when I was younger and set up pretend offices. I started my career as a YTS apprentice in the office at English Garages and did my work experience at Hayes + Storr. I really like my job now at Stephenson Smart though, I mostly enjoy dealing with clients and the people I work with. I also enjoy the work and the fact that it keeps on changing with technology, I like a new challenge.”
Martyn Benstead, the current managing partner at Stephenson Smart in Fakenham, added:
“Jo is a valuable member of the team and a face and voice all of our clients know, as she is often the first port of call. I would like to thank Jo for her 25 years of service to Stephenson Smart and look forward to continuing to work with her.”
22nd September, 2020, Melanie Harriss
Mike Rowles FCCA and Sean Page FCA are celebrating 15 years and 13 years, respectively, at Stephenson Smart.
Both are now based at the firm’s Fakenham office, but started their careers as trainees at the King’s Lynn office and have grown and developed within the firm to become fully qualified managers.
Mike was 19 years old and fresh from completing his A-levels at Swaffham school when he applied for the trainee accountant position at Stephenson Smart in King’s Lynn, he said:
“I knew the university route to further education wasn’t for me, so applied to an advert I saw in the paper for a trainee accountant at Stephenson Smart in King’s Lynn. Mike Andrews, who is still a partner, interviewed me and gave me the job.
During my career here I have been supported by Martyn, the managing partner at Fakenham, to evolve and develop my role. I like the varied clients we work with; from helping individuals with their tax returns to supporting large companies, and the personal interaction we have with them.
I feel like I have been given opportunities to keep my job fresh, such as attending events like Xero Con in London and becoming the lead on introducing Xero software to the firm. I am also an ATOL qualified accountant.
I also take a keen interest in supporting our new trainees. I know what it is like to be new and have limited knowledge and I think it is important to give them the time and extra help, as was given to me when I first started.”
Sean joined the firm as a graduate trainee after completing a degree in Economics at Leeds University. He said:
“I had a summer job at Adrian Flux and Clive Dodds’ son recommended I applied for the trainee role. I now, in turn, like to support our trainees when I can to give that back. In helping them I also find that it develops me.
I had planned to go travelling after university and wasn’t sure about a career in accountancy, but I have found that I enjoy the work. There is a good atmosphere in the office, and I feel I have the freedom to develop my role. Martyn, the managing partner at Fakenham, is very supportive and lets us establish relationships with our clients. I like the autonomy and the client contact; I like helping them and giving them peace of mind.”
Martyn Benstead, Managing Partner at the Fakenham office added:
“Mike and Sean are a valuable part of the team and I am very proud to have seen them both develop as accountants, and individuals, during their time here.”
20th May, 2021, Melanie Harriss
Melanie Harriss is Marketing and Communications Manager at Stephenson Smart.
Melanie attended The University of Leicester and attained a degree in Communications and Society, before beginning her career in corporate communications working for the Alliance and Leicester.
After spending some time travelling, she enjoyed five years as a marketing manager for a hospice, leading her to create Social Monkey, a social media agency, with Stephenson Smart as a client.
The partners approached Melanie to bring her expertise to the team as Marketing and Communications Manager in February 2020 and she is now responsible for all internal and external marketing.
Melanie enjoys yoga, cycling and cooking in her spare time when she’s not running around after her two children and the dog!
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