North accountancy firm promotes from within
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A HIGHLAND woman who once fancied being a jet pilot is soaring through the ranks in a local accountancy branch.
Gemma Palombo has been made an associate with Ritsons Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, a company which prides themselves on promoting staff through the firm.
Ms Palombo joined the company with an MA (Hons) in Accountancy from Heriot Watt University, and learned on the job.
She said: “I graduated in 2006 and came home to Inverness where I secured a training contract with Ritsons. In 2010 I qualified as a chartered accountant and I was learning and working at the same time.
“Many of my family have a background in accounting and I really liked maths and accounts at school so it was a natural thing for me, although I did toy with the idea of being a jet fighter pilot at one point.”
Ms Palombo who loves cycling and hill walking added: “I feel very privileged to have been asked to become an associate and I am glad of the opportunity.”
It was a double internal promotion for Ritsons.
Laura Green from Forres who works in the firm’s Elgin office has become a partner after joining the business in 2004.
Ms Green admitted accountancy was never originally on the cards.
She said|: “I never went to college with the intention on becoming an accountant. However, I found a real affinity for accountancy and that just grew and I ended up doing a HND at Moray College.
“I joined Ritsons as an accounts assistant and I worked and studied to become a qualified chartered accountant in 2010. In some ways, taking this route was tough as I was working and studying at the same time but equally, I think I learnt more that way as I was able to put what I was learning into practice and I had the input and support from my colleagues.
“The partners are showing a lot of confidence in me and I am ready for this new role.
“Because I have been with Ritsons for so long, I have been able to build up a relationship with my clients, so I have a far better understanding of their business, where they have come from, where they are and also where they want to take their businesses. It enables me to be able to provide a far better service.”
Deborah Newton, one of five partners with Ritsons said: “The firm’s ethos is that we endeavour to take on students and develop them professionally in line with the firm’s culture. It’s really satisfying to see students progress to higher levels within the business and be able to support them through that journey.
“It also gives us loyalty. We remain committed to the students whilst they are training and in turn they remain loyal to the company which is great for our clients as they are able to build up professional meaningful relationships.”
She added: “We are delighted with Laura and Gemma’s new roles and their advancement through the firm is testament to their hard work and our continued support and commitment. We have every confidence in them.”