Career success stories

Alison Lambert

Alison Lambert from Billingham recently joined Baines Jewitt as a payroll manager.

Following similar roles in the private sector, including working for manufacturing firms and another chartered accountancy practice, Alison has over 25 years’ experience in payroll-related jobs.

As part of Baines Jewitt’s professional client payroll department, Alison helps to provide a range of support to Tees Valley organisations, including sole traders, start-up companies, family firms, charities, small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporate businesses with several hundred employees.

As well as processing weekly and monthly wages via BACs for dozens of local firms, Alison is responsible for organising overtime, bonus and pension payments. She is also on hand to answer client queries and keep them informed of changing policies and legislation.

When she is not working, Alison, a former swimming club coach who has supported competitors at national and international level, enjoys walking and exploring the local countryside with friends.


Amanda Woodward

Amanda Woodward from Darlington has taken up the position of personal assistant to Baines Jewitt director, Jed Lester.

With Jed’s previous personal assistant retiring, Baines Jewitt was looking for a replacement.  Amanda found out about the vacancy via a recruitment agency.  Employed in a similar role for another firm of accountants for 22 years, Amanda relished the challenge of working for a larger firm.

With many years secretarial experience under her belt, Amanda hit the ground running, supporting Jed with her strong organisational skills, attention to detail and ability to multi-task.

When she’s not working, Amanda enjoys fishing with her husband, going for beach and country walks and spending time with her grandchildren.


Amelia WebsterAmelia Webster from Redcar is one of the latest people to join Baines Jewitt after graduating from Durham University with a first class honours degree in Accounting and Finance.

As part of her three year professional training programme, Amelia aims to become an Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW).  As well as earning a wage and gaining new skills, Amelia receives support from specialist training company Kaplan Financial.

“Baines Jewitt was recently named among the top practices in the country by the UK200Group – the UK’s leading association of independent chartered accountants and law firms. I’m therefore really pleased to be with a firm that has a fantastic reputation and invests in the capabilities of its employees.  It also feels good to put my knowledge directly into practice in a workplace setting, whether it’s helping with accounts preparation or completing VAT returns.”

Anne CowleyAnne Cowley FCA from Yarm joined the firm – then known as Baines, Goldston and Jackson – in 1989 after graduating with a degree in accounting and finance.  Anne qualified as a chartered accountant in 1993, was made a partner in 2003 and became a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) in 2004.  Anne provides accounting and taxation advice to a wide range of local businesses and individuals. In addition, she is on the board of trustees for a local charity.

Ashleigh SmithAshleigh Smith from Stockton joined Baines Jewitt after gaining a first class degree in Accountancy through the University of Northumbria.  Ashleigh obtained chartered status from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) in 2018, which involved three years of additional study alongside her full time job. In 2019 Ashleigh gained accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), the leading professional body in the UK for advisers dealing with all aspects of taxation.  In 2016, and again in 2017, Ashleigh was named winner of the prestigious ‘Charles Urie Peat Prize,’ which recognises students’ success in the Institute of Chartered Accountants’ qualifying exams.

“I have always loved maths and working with numbers, so accountancy seemed an ideal career choice. Working full-time, whilst studying for professional status, was tough going at times. However, I’ve had amazing backing from the team at Baines Jewitt.”

Don AdamsDon Adams FCA from Yarm started in 1989, joining Jewitt, Sparrow and Swinbank as a trainee chartered accountant on a four-year training contract. Don qualified as a chartered accountant in 1993; was made a partner at Jewitts in 2002 and became a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 2003.

Emma Ambler

Emma Ambler joined Baines Jewitt in 2023 after relocating to the region from Manchester, where she was working for a mid-sized accountancy firm.  Now living in Hurworth, Emma has been appointed by Baines Jewitt as a tax manager.

With over 20 years tax experience under her belt, Emma has brought her existing skills into her new job role, whilst building on her expertise and getting to know the local area.

She found out about the role at Baines Jewitt via a recruitment agency. What really attracted her to the job, however, was that so many of the employees have been at Baines Jewitt for a long time, which she says is a sign of a content workforce.

Gail HarbronWhen Gail Harbron from Eaglescliffe started at Baines Jewitt in 1988, it was her very first full-time job.  The supportive training and development culture which includes time off for study and exams, plus the company’s family friendly policy, was an added bonus for Gail, who is a fellow member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

“When I started at Baines Jewitt in 1988, little did I know that I would still be here 30 years later!  I have worked under two bosses, in three different buildings and with so many amazing people. I am really grateful for the life Baines Jewitt has given me. It has allowed me to bring up my children in the way I wanted and still keep my career on track. It has given me lifelong friends, not only with other members of staff, but with our clients too.”

Grace StobbsGrace Stobbs from Ingleby Barwick joined Baines Jewitt directly from Durham University, where she graduated in Accounting and Finance.  She is currently embarking on a three year professional training programme to become an Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW).

“I was keen to stay in the area after I graduated, so I researched local accountancy firms. Baines Jewitt caught my attention. As well as being a well-established organisation with a great reputation, the company invests in the ongoing skills and qualifications of its employees. I was pleased to discover that everyone who works here is really friendly too.”

Harriet Webster

Harriet Webster from Redcar was looking for an opportunity for personal growth when she heard that Baines Jewitt was recruiting, thanks to a ‘heads-up’ from her sister who already works for the firm.

The move into accountancy is a complete change from Harriet’s university degree in biochemistry with Newcastle University.  Like others in the firm with degrees in a variety of subjects, Harriet is studying to be a chartered accountant on a three-year training contract.

Away from work, Harriet enjoys spending time keeping fit by visiting the gym and walking.


Jamie McNicholas

Jamie McNicholas from Darlington joined Baines Jewitt in 2023. He started studying for the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualifications in his spare time about five years previously, with the intention of starting a career in accounting.

Prior to joining Baines Jewitt, Jamie worked in industry where he decided to make the switch to work in practice.  He had already achieved the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualifications which he studied for in his spare time about four years ago, with the intention of starting a career in accounting.  He then commenced study towards the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualification.

In his latest professional assessment, Jamie achieved ‘joint-first in the world’ in the CIMA’s ‘Strategic Case Study’ exam. The exam allows students to apply their knowledge to a given scenario relevant to the business world.  Although the latest exam means that Jamie has now completed the CIMA qualification, Jamie has already started studying to become a Chartered Accountant (ACA). 

Jane NealJane Neal is one of Baines Jewitt’s longest standing employees, with an impressive 39 years’ service to her name.  Working as a senior accounting technician, Jane started with Baines Jewitt – then Baines, Goldston and Jackson – in 1982, following her A Levels and a brief spell on a management training programme.  Initially, Jane worked as a trainee accounting technician and has developed her skills to become a fellow member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and a Sage expert so that she can support clients in getting the best out of their accounting software.  Jane is also well versed in bookkeeping, management accounts, payroll, tax returns and VAT returns.

“There are so many great things about working here.  For example, the flexible working hours and great maternity leave benefits enabled me to raise my family and still carve out a good career. I have also made fantastic friends and built great working relationships with clients, who trust and respect me too.”

Laura Walker

Laura Walker from Middleton St George joined Baines Jewitt, as a trainee-chartered accountant. Her career journey began when she started an apprenticeship after finishing A Levels in sixth form, as she didn’t want to go to university. As part of her four-year apprenticeship, Laura started out at a Darlington firm as a trainee accountant, where she completed Level 3 and Level 4 Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualifications with support from a local college.

This opened the idea of gaining further experience and becoming a chartered accountant within a larger Teesside firm and Baines Jewitt fitted the bill perfectly. As well as ongoing training and development, there are plenty of progression opportunities within the firm too.

As a trainee-chartered accountant within Baines Jewitt, Laura assists with the preparation of accounts for a variety of clients, including sole traders and partnerships. Beyond that she helps with limited company accounts and audits.


Lewis Poppleton

Prior to starting work at Baines Jewitt as a trainee accounting technician, Lewis Poppleton from Norton was studying A-Levels in Maths, Accounting and Economics at Durham Sixth Form Centre.

He had been thinking about accountancy as a career for a while, so sent some speculative letters to several firms in the local area.  He was really pleased when Baines Jewitt got in touch to offer him a work experience placement.

Not only did this confirm that accountancy was the right career choice for Lewis, but it was an opportunity to get to know everyone at Baines Jewitt.  What’s more, the work placement progressed into a fantastic job opportunity with the chance to gain professional qualifications in his chosen field.

As a trainee accounting technician, Lewis is involved in helping with accounts preparation and VAT returns. He is also studying towards the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Level 3 qualification as part of his professional training programme.


Lewis EmersLewis Emers from Stockton joined Baines Jewitt in 2017 after studying A Level accounting at college and an apprenticeship with a small local accountancy firm, which gave him a good practical grounding in all areas of accounts, tax and payroll work.  He is now embarking on a three year professional training programme to become an Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW).

“I was keen to further my knowledge and experience and was thrilled to be offered a position with Baines Jewitt as a trainee chartered accountant. Baines Jewitt is a really well respected firm in the Teesside area, so it is great to be working here whilst taking my qualifications to the next professional level. My aim is to become fully qualified by the end of 2020.”

Naomi Medcalf-Fountain

Naomi Medcalf-Fountain from Skelton studied A-levels in business, accounting, and economics at college before joining Baines Jewitt.

As well as gaining valuable hands-on experience in her chosen career, Naomi is working towards an Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification, which will provide a platform for her to go on to study to be a chartered accountant.

When she’s not working or studying, Naomi is often at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough, cheering on her beloved Boro.

Rebecca Liu

Rebecca Liu from Eston gained a BA (Hons) in Business with Accountancy from Teesside University before starting her accountancy career with a small accounting practice doing bookkeeping and submitting VAT returns. She joined Baines Jewitt as a trainee-chartered accountant on a three-year training contract.

In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys going to the gym, travelling, and spending time with her family and friends.

Robert Woodrow

Robert Woodrow from Redcar gained a BSc. in Accountancy & Finance with Newcastle University, as well as undertaking a placement as a finance intern at a local borough council, before joining Baines Jewitt.

Now employed as a trainee-chartered accountant, Robert has pursued accountancy as a career choice since completing an A level in Accounting at the age of 18.

As well as enjoying walking and keeping fit, Robert has played trumpet and cornet for almost a decade. Since starting at a young age with school and Tees Valley Music Service, he has played for numerous bands and orchestras, including taking part in international tours.


Victoria Mason

Victoria Mason from Stockton joined Baines Jewitt as a trainee-chartered accountant.  Prior to this she completed an Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification and is now working towards becoming a chartered accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW), as part of her professional training programme.

As a trainee within the firm, Victoria assists the accounts, audit, taxation and payroll teams to help them meet the deadlines of Baines Jewitt’s diverse client base. At the same time, she is also studying towards qualifications in Audit & Assurance and Financial Accounting & Reporting.