The sky is the limit for a trio of ambitious young women who have taken a big step up the career ladder at a top accountancy firm.

Joanne Evans, Rhian Williams, and Amy Bell have been made Associates at Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors Coxeys, as part of the company’s succession planning strategy.

Directors of the firm which has offices in Wrexham and Saltney say they are determined to ensure that the next generation is fully equipped to take over the reins when the time comes.

The newly-appointed women were handed bouquets of beautiful flowers and congratulated by their friends and fellow employees at a special celebration event.

As Associates, which is just below Director level, they will take on more responsibility such as building relationships with clients.

Coxeys represents a wide range of clients from sole traders right through to international market leaders.

Three years ago, they became the first accountancy firm in Wales to be judged worthy of the coveted award Investors in People Gold Award.

After a successful career working elsewhere, Joanne, 37, from Coedpoeth, who has been working at Coxeys for 10 months, explained: “It raises our profile within the company and lets the clients know that we’re doing the work. For example we get our names on the letter heads. It allows us to develop more of a personal relationship with the client. Being a partner is the next step.”

The married mother-of-two, who studied at Ysgol Morgan Llwyd, entered the world of work straight after leaving school at the age of 16, added: “I’ve learned a huge amount since I started working here, about business development, tax and auditing.

“They put a huge emphasis on training here, and that’s one of the reasons they have Investors in People Gold Award. That’s one of the things that sets Coxeys apart.

“Everyone here gets along and is really friendly and everyone is really motivated to do the best job for the client.”

Rhian, 29 from Pentre Broughton, has spent her whole working life at Coxeys.

She said: “I love working here because I never feel like there is a ceiling, and it’s a constant challenge. It’s a big compliment that we’re being trusted so much. It’s a big responsibility to represent the firm in this way.

“The senior staff are very supportive. It was lovely that everyone took the time to congratulate us, but things like that is the norm here. It’s exactly the same for birthdays and big events. It’s like a big family.”

Rhian, who started as a trainee at Coxeys at the age of 19 after finishing her studies at Yale College, added: “I started here as a trainee and I’ve never looked back.”

According to Amy, 30 from Chirk, who has worked for Coxeys for 18 months, she wanted to join the firm because of their track record in terms of training and personal development.

She said: “Coxeys is great firm to work for. They’re very client-focused and that’s why they’ve got such good client retention. You have to be very adaptive and focused on the details I never get bored here because there are new challenges every day.

“Our promotions are part of the succession planning strategy. They’re always thinking about the future.”

The married mother-of-one was bowled over when she received the flowers.

She added: “The flowers were a lovely gesture.”

Coxeys director Morag Browning believes that the future of the company is in safe hands.

She said: “They already have over 40 years of experience in the industry between them.

“This will aid our succession planning and future-proof the company and ensure its stability which is important to us and to our clients.

“We view succession planning as a major challenge for all accountancy firms over the coming years and I am sure our new Associates will help us meet that challenge and move forward as a company.

“We are an approved training practice for the three main accountancy bodies, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England, Wales and the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants and Association of Accounting Technicians.

“We place great emphasis on the personal development of our team members, which is why we gained the Investors in People Gold Award three years ago.

“We used the IIP framework as a business model for excellence – and we consider the award as much more than just a kitemark, it’s embedded in our ethos of client care and staff development.”