340 years and counting as accountancy firm bucks trend

Beatons lifers
From left to right: John Oakley, Nick Marshall, Stephanie Hammond, Don Mallett and Sarah Beeton

A typical worker in the UK will have, on average, nine jobs and one complete career change over a 50-year period, according to research.

The findings, from LV=, reveal that for the younger generation, the ‘job for life’ is virtually extinct.

However, one Suffolk firm is bucking the trend with its employees racking up an incredible 340 years of service.

Chartered accountancy firm Beatons Group, based in Ipswich, has 19 employees with six of those having dedicated more than 30 years of their life to working for the company.


Managing director Roger Beaton, who set up the company in 1981, is the longest serving with 39 years, director Nick Marshall and taxation director John Oakley have each given 36 years, while director Stephanie Hammond, client manager Sarah Beeton and financial controller, payroll and IT manager Don Mallett have each been at Beatons for 30 years.

Ms Hammond originally planned to head to university to study law after a gap year. However, a career change meant she joined Beatons and began her accountancy training in March 1990.

She thinks the firm’s key to long service is the fact that the accountancy profession lends itself to people being able to join straight from school – without the need for a university education.

“In fact, our latest trainee and the previous two school leavers, did not attend university and instead are gaining and have gained their accountancy qualifications while working,” she added.

“Our team have harnessed a strong partnership with local schools and feel it is important to inspire the next generation on their career possibilities.

“It allows us to cast a wider net when it comes to recruiting which means we unearth new talent.”

With more than three decades of experience, Beatons provides financial accounting expertise across a wide range of sectors.

Mr Marshall, who joined the firm as a teenager, said that the company places an importance on employees enjoying a good work/life balance.

He added: “We pride ourselves on a high standard of professional work, but we do not think it should be the norm for our staff to regularly work late hours.

“We always do our utmost to accommodate requests for time off work due to personal matters.

“We believe our personal approach to work, and in a friendly and relaxed environment, is why our employees devote so many years to the company.

“It’s a fantastic place to work and we hope the long service continues for many years to come.”

Career progression is another important factor. Both Ms Hammond and Mr Marshall have progressed from school leavers to company directors.

He added: “Potential employees like to see a route of progression from the shop floor up to the managing director’s office.”

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