Emma Henderson has been appointed as the first female partner at Yorkshire accountants Wasley Chapman & Co in the firm’s 102-year history.
Emma has recently masterminded the firm’s move to larger premises in Scarborough, where she manages its Yorkshire portfolio.
“Being the first-ever female partner at Wasley Chapman is an incredible honour for me and I’m really proud and excited. Ever since I joined the firm in 2009, I have set my sights on achieving this goal. There’s been a lot of hard work on the way, but I’m thrilled to have finally made a little piece of history,” she explained.
Emma, who lives in Whitby, graduated as a bachelor of law from Teesside University before deciding to switch careers.
“I left university in the middle of the global recession, which put paid to my dreams of becoming a lawyer. I was originally planning to join Wasley Chapman as a receptionist, but I was encouraged to train as an accountant which I did, obtaining both my AAT and ACCA qualifications.
“Over the years, I moved up the ranks at Wasley Chapman, but my biggest challenge came last year when I was entrusted with the relocation of our existing Scarborough office. After an already extremely busy year orchestrating the firm’s coronavirus local economy support packages it was decided that after the branch had been growing rapidly we needed new premises to match our forward-thinking and modern approach.”
Emma located and negotiated a deal on the new premises, a former hairdressing and beauty salon, in the heart of Scarborough.
“We only had a month to transform the old beauty salon into state-of-the-art accountancy offices. It was an incredibly tight deadline, but we managed to do it – and we opened in December. I was proud of what I had achieved – and even prouder when the firm’s partners subsequently asked me to join them and become a partner myself,” she explained.
Neil Duell, senior partner of Wasley Chapman, said: “I initially interviewed Emma when she came to apply for the job back in 2009, from early on she was keen to learn and mad keen with new innovative ideas to improve and streamline services.
“It was very apparent she was Wasley Chapman through and through. I saw a glint in her eye when I mentioned there had never been a lady partner of the firm and from then on she has worked immensely hard to make it happen. The same remains true today.
“I love Emma’s drive and ambition, she’s certainly not afraid of hard work, something she proved whole heartedly to me with project managing the Scarborough office move. She has great vision and flair for visual impact, we now have a great office in arguably the best office location in the town. I’m looking forward to welcoming her on board.”
Emma is now in charge of all the marketing, including rebranding and social media, for Wasley Chapman as well as running the Scarborough office. First and foremost, though, she is a chartered account and business advisor.
“It has been a tremendously tough year for everyone, but we are now looking to the future. Although well-established and trusted we can’t rest on our laurels. With the introduction of cloud-based accountancy software packages, this has revolutionised the industry and meant that we can streamline services and have information readily available when needed.
“I’m very focused on building great relationships with my clients and emphasising that we are part of their team, the same team. Whilst remaining professional, I feel it is important to be approachable and utterly reliable,” she added.
“I would also like to thank Wasley Chapman partner Neil Duell, who has been my mentor for many years. It is through his guidance and support I have been able to achieve my goal. Neil is great when it comes to strategic planning and we make a great team.”