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Our People

Chartered Accountants

Damien Sissons

Damien is a director who began his career with one of the 'Big four' accountancy firms, qualifying with them back in 1992. Having gained experience in industry he joined Waters and Atkinson in 1995, becoming a partner four years later. Damien develops and implements tax planning strategies for clients after first gaining a full understanding of their situation. He is available to provide specific technical advice and present this in a clear and focused way. He is also primarily responsible for the firm's statutory audit function. Since joining Waters and Atkinson, Damien has supported several local charities at board level and he is currently a trustee of Unique Kidz. Until recently he was a director of the Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce.

Chris Gardner

Chris is a director who qualified with Waters and Atkinson in 2009 after joining the firm following completion of his master’s degree. He has a wide ranging role and meets with clients to discuss many different issues. Chris takes great pride from working closely with his clients and assists many people who are new to self-employment. He forms part of our tax planning team and is also available to work with businesses to develop cash flow forecasts and business plans. Chris has strong ties to the area and has excellent links with local professionals and institutions. Additionally, he was appointed as a director of the Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce in 2017.

Roger Jump

Roger is our consultant and works part time. He qualified over 40 years ago and is the longest serving accountant with the firm. He puts his many years of experience to work for a broad spectrum of the firm's clients and is consulted about many different accounting, tax and business matters. There are a great many individuals, families and companies who have come to rely on Roger's advice, which remains calm and straightforward even when faced with the most complex of situations. He provides bespoke tax and succession planning and has valuable expertise dealing with trusts and acting for larger corporate clients.


Peter Ridley – Tax Manager

Peter has extensive knowledge and experience in the majority of tax matters and has been consulted accordingly by our clients for over 30 years. Peter feels as a tax advisor it is important to have a down to earth approach and speak a language that clients appreciate as he guides them through the various complexities of the tax system. He understands the internal workings and approach of HMRC and offers himself as a buffer between them and our clients.

Sheila Grundy – Audit Manager

Sheila arrived at the firm in 1981 straight from university having just been awarded her mathematics honours degree. She has held a variety of roles during her long career with us but now primarily works with our larger company clients, running their audits and advising on related issues. She also specialises in solicitor compliance rules working closely with these clients to guide them through this complex area. On a technical side she ensures our staff and clients are aware of changes to company law, accountancy practices and auditing standards. Sheila is available for consultation on such matters.

Jo Bunting – Tax Manager

Jo joined Waters and Atkinson in 2016 following our acquisition of another practice where she also held the position of taxation manager. She has held a variety of tax related positions over the years starting with the Inland Revenue and taking in accountancy practices large and small. Jo excels at guiding her clients through the ever more complex tax system and has a diverse portfolio of personal clients. Jo brings invaluable experience to the firm and a fresh perspective when dealing with HM Revenue and Customs. She has widened the already broad tax offering and as part of her role prepares Research and Development claims on behalf of many of our company clients.

David Brown – Accounts Manager

David has over 30 years experience advising and assisting family owned businesses and companies on all aspects of business life. He specialises in new start ups offering a guiding hand through the red tape procedures and requirements that never seem to simplify. David also oversees our accounts production system ensuring clients receive their financial statements on an efficient and timely basis. Always keen to increase his own knowledge David has of recent years become our Charity and Housing Association expert.

Matthew Threlfall – Office Manager

Matthew joined us directly from sixth form in 1991. Since then he has built up an enviable wealth of experience and knowledge whilst advising all types of businesses including sole traders, partnerships and companies. In particular his portfolio of clients very much appreciate his 'hands on' approach to solving the myriad of issues they bring to him. As office manager, Matthew is responsible for procurement and running many of our internal systems. Matthew is also our in house accounting software expert and is available to discuss your software requirements.

AAT Qualified

Diane Archbold

Diane has been working closely with clients for over 25 years. She takes great pride on providing them with peace of mind that all of their accounting and tax affairs are up to date and in order. She will prepare financial statements and management accounts depending upon each client's needs. Diane also undertakes a range of audit work for our company clients who require this service. Additionally, Diane takes a leading role in the training of new staff.

Laura Smyth

Laura is an experienced accountant who recently joined the team having previously worked in other practices locally. She is currently working with many of our SME clients who welcome her experience, ability and calmness. Much of the work she currently undertakes relates to company accounts. In addition to this Laura makes use of her expertise which takes in audit, VAT, personal tax and corporate tax.

Nina Cummings

Nina has a broad range of experience gained at Waters and Atkinson and also from past commercial positions. She has a varied and successful career history and strong ties to the area. An integral part of the team, Nina brings a fresh perspective from her time in commerce. Nina prepares tax computations and accounts for companies from a range of sectors and likes to gain a thorough understanding of clients she works with. She also performs a variety of audit work and has gained experience in a range of other areas within the firm.

Kelly Harvey

Kelly became part of the team in 2016 following our acquisition of another practice. In her previous position, Kelly was responsible for the preparation of accounts as well as being the main point of contact for many of the office’s clients. She has very wide experience of preparing accounts businesses of all different shapes and sizes. Kelly works closely with her portfolio of clients to enable her to best understand their needs and offer them a friendly, personal service. Her clients are extremely loyal to her and her role and portfolio remain largely unchanged at Waters and Atkinson.

Charlotte Whitaker

Charlotte is an experienced accountant who joined the firm after working with other local practices for a number of years. She spends most of her time preparing accounts and tax computations for a range of businesses. In addition to this, Charlotte has an excellent working knowledge of the VAT system and of personal tax. She enjoys speaking to clients and getting to know their businesses and is rapidly building excellent relationships with them.

Michelle Parker

Michelle arrived at Waters and Atkinson in 2016. She has a wide range of accountancy experience, picked up mainly in commercial positions. Her role at present centres around preparing accounts for a wide variety of businesses. Michelle is gaining a broad range of knowledge and this is greatly helped by carrying out work for many different sections of our diverse client base. In addition to her training here, Michelle’s time in industry makes her sympathetic to the concerns and requirements of our commercial clients.

Theo Gardner

Theo joined Waters and Atkinson from Lancaster Royal Grammar School in 2016. He is currently studying on day release and taking the AAT-ACA fast track route. He has been awarded the AAT level three qualification as part of this so far. Within the office he prepares accounts for a range of businesses and is receiving an all-round training, taking in company accounts, audit and tax.

Payroll and Bookkeeping

Angelika Nowak

Angelika primarily works in our payroll bureau where she prepares wages figures for a wide range of clients. She provides an efficient service, saving clients the time and worry that comes with running a PAYE scheme. Angelika has also gained expertise in a range of other roles within the office, building on knowledge acquired from previously held local commercial positions. She undertakes bookkeeping for several clients and supports the accounts production function within the office. Angelika is fluent in Polish and can guide clients through the process of becoming self-employed and the subsequent accounts and tax work in either English or Polish.

Debbie Ritchie

Debbie is a payroll specialist. She performs wages work for many of our clients and can be consulted on the full range of associated issues. Debbie is in regular contact with many of our clients who appreciate her friendly and practical approach. Prior to joining the firm Debbie managed the payroll of a large industrial business for many years and her experience in the field shows in the prompt and accurate service she provides.

Belinda Garland

Belinda works exclusively in our payroll department. As well as carrying out traditional payroll work for our clients, she is available to advise on and implement pensions auto-enrolment schemes. Belinda has a background in commerce and is sympathetic to the many issues that occur day-to-day when running a business.

Terry Wilkinson

Terry is a specialist bookkeeper who recently joined Waters and Atkinson. During her career she has worked for other accountancy practices and in commerce and also ran her own bookkeeping firm. She is adept with the main bookkeeping packages as well as possessing an excellent working knowledge of the VAT system.


Emily Jackson

Emily joined Waters and Atkinson in 2017 having worked in industry for a year. She recently completed her AAT level two qualification and is now studying towards level three on day release. At work Emily is receiving a general training and currently assists with a number of tasks, including administration, bookkeeping and accounts preparation.

Support Staff

Sue Anderson

Sue is well known amongst our clients as she has been greeting them at reception, answering their telephone calls and arranging their appointments for over 25 years. Internally she has a variety of duties not least of which is looking after all our filing systems and over the years Sue has become indispensible to the smooth running of the practice.

Katie Walling-Lewis

Katie joined Waters and Atkinson in 2017. She is currently studying for a business administration NVQ as well as receiving training in the office. Her role is currently to assist in the running of the practice and this includes a wide range of administrative and secretarial tasks. Also, Katie is the friendly and efficient first point of contact for many clients, both on the phone and face to face in reception.

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