Member of the Week - Johnston Carmichael

Johnston Carmichael is the largest independent firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers in Scotland, with 12 offices across Scotland and a newly opened office in London. They're extremely proud of their roots – Johnston Carmichael was formed over 80 years ago, in Nairn. Their biggest office is Elgin, where they have a team of 140 people based with their Inverness team being based at Clava House in Cradlehall Business Park.

Johnston Carmichael provide a range of accountancy, financial planning and business advisory services to businesses of all scales across a wide range of sectors including, Agriculture, Hospitality & Tourism, Construction & Property and Food & Drink, to name but a few.

Inverness Chamber of Commerce spoke to Ewan Bolt, Director and Head of Digital Solutions about his role at Johnston Carmichael: "Over the last couple of years, with changes in the accountancy and business landscape, we’ve really developed the digital solutions side of our business, this is the team I lead. Making Tax Digital (MTD) was one of the precursors for this, but even before MTD was introduced, our clients were asking for ways to get closer to their business so they could make real-time business decisions with financial data, and that’s where our Digital Solutions Team come in. We start by assessing the client’s needs and then recommend the right cloud accounting platform for them. We then get them set up and offer bespoke training to get their team trained up on using the system day-to-day. And when the time is right, we look at how we can take that system one step further by the addition of specialist applications (apps), that can allow them to do so much more. A good example of this is Float - an app that allows you to plan, manage and forecast your cash flow position. Speaking more generally, there are some incredibly useful business apps to help make day-to-day processes like expenses processing, quicker and easier. And with new apps being developed all of the time, it really is an exciting time for businesses."

Ewan told ICC about their digital health checks: "One of the areas we’re finding more and more businesses are benefitting from is our digital health checks. This is where we come in and review a business’ financial systems. We look at how these systems speak to each other and we identify any gaps, or any manual processes that are draining their time. We the look at ways in which all the systems could work together to increase efficiency, accuracy and insight."

Johnston Carmichael has received some exciting award nominations and on Tuesday 03rd March, were named Large Firm of the Year after receiving the nomination in two digital business categories at the Xero Awards. Ewan told us more: "For those that aren’t familiar with Xero, it’s one of the leading cloud accounting platforms and the Xero Awards are like the Oscars for the cloud accounting world – and yes, they’re that glam too! I’m thrilled to say that we were nominated for two digital business awards App Advisor of the Year and Large Firm of the Year and took home the Award for Large Firm of the Year. 

“Winning Large Firm at the Xero Awards is highly significant for us. It is also an important acknowledgement of the journey we have been on as a business to grow our digital expertise and deliver the best possible service for our clients."

With Xero in mind, Johnston Carmichael are running a series of Xero events at their Inverness office at the start of May. At these events they'll introduce you to some of their App Partners who will talk about the benefits of automation, getting paid faster, managing your cash flow and more. They'll be releasing details on their website soon, or you can get in touch with to find out more in the meantime. 

Ewan told us what Johnston Carmichael value most about their ICC membership: "I would say the range of events and business breakfasts on offer, from technical updates to soft skills training, there’s something for everyone and they’re good quality too – I really enjoy attending chamber events."

We asked Ewan for his top-tip for other Chamber members to maximise their Chamber membership: "Yes, my top tip would be to engage with the Chamber and invite them in to speak to your team about what they do, upcoming events and the benefit of getting involved. We recently did this with our Inverness team and it was a fantastic way to learn about all of the benefits and opportunities, beyond the obvious networking opportunities. It really made us think of new ideas for working with the Chamber going forward and was a great way to encourage more staff to get involved."

Facebook: @JohnstonCarmichael