Acquisition puts Old Mill on path to becoming region’s fastest-growing accountancy firm

June 7, 2022

Regional accountancy group Old Mill has acquired a Somerset-based financial outsourcing firm as the first step in its ambitious growth plan to become the South West’s fastest-growing practice.

Old Mill, which has offices in Chippenham, Wells, Yeovil and Exeter, said the takeover of Brook Financial was the first of a number of carefully chosen acquisitions that will – alongside organic growth – support it as it targets 15% growth every year for the next five years. 

The strategy, announced last November, also includes an aim to double its overall staffing to 600 by 2026 as well as making the firm the most digitally enabled in the region.

Ilminster-based Brook Financial was launched by husband-and-wife team Alison and Kevin Smith in 2006 to work with ambitious business owners needing more than the traditional services of an accountant. 

It provides a range of outsourced financial services, including provision of a full back-office finance team function, cashflow management, consultancy and payroll – so giving clients better financial control, improved operational efficiency and enhanced management insight.

Old Mill, which has a 5,000-strong client base, has a long-established relationship with Brook Financial, having worked together to service clients for many years.

There is a personal connection – Alison smith used to work at Old Mill while Kevin’s sister, Lorraine Bolland, is a director at Old Mill.

Following the acquisition, Alison and Kevin, pictured below, will become partners at Old Mill. Brook Financial will initially retain its own identity and continue to operate from its office in Ilminster. 

However, the longer-term goal is for a full integration of the two firms – and all staff – with Brook Financial becoming Old Mill’s specialist financial outsourcing and digital team.

Old Mill CEO Kevin Whitmarsh said the decision to merge was a natural progression for both firms as they share the same culture and ambition and will enable both to significantly enhance their client services.

He added; “For many firms, Making Tax Digital is just a tick box exercise, but for Old Mill, digital innovation is a key part of our growth strategy plans and we are fundamentally shifting the business to become more digitally enabled.

“Investing in Brook Financial is a key part of this shift, so this is an incredibly significant acquisition for us. 

“By combining Brook Financials’ data-rich real-time services with our long-established accountancy and wealth management expertise, we will be able to create a bespoke service for our clients that gives them a better understanding of their business and wider finances, so they can see how they can make efficiencies, boost productivity, cut costs and increase profit. We think this can help us be seen as the one stop shop for entrepreneurial clients.”

Alison Smith said: “Many of our clients are also Old Mill clients as our services hugely complement each other – so when we were looking to grow our client base, and help more firms to realise their potential, Old Mill was the perfect fit.

“Not only is Old Mill one of the biggest firms in the region but it shares our people-centric culture, which focusses on supporting our clients to be successful and nurturing and developing our people to be able to grow in line with our clients’ ambitions.

“We wanted to join forces with a firm that had sufficient inhouse technical experience to fully support our clients on their growth journey and Old Mill’s team exceed our expectations in these areas. 

“We are really excited to become part of Old Mill and together become the fastest growing practice in the region.”

Old Mill is also looking to recruit specifically to support the integration of the digital services.

Kevin Whitmarsh added: “This is a hugely exciting time for Old Mill, and we are actively looking for talented accountants and business analysts, from both practice and industry backgrounds, to join our team.

“In return, we can offer them the opportunity to work on an exciting portfolio of clients in an ambitious business that puts people first.”

Last month Old Mill doubled the size of its corporate finance team to four to take advantage of the fast-growing market.



Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across the Bath area for just £75 a month. Email for more information.