A coup for Armstrong Watson as new Director of Payroll Services takes up position

Armstrong Watson is delighted to announce the appointment of Karen Thomson who will be taking up the position of Director of Payroll Services from this week.

Karen, who is vastly influential in the world of Payroll, will be bringing her wealth of experience and knowledge to the role and will be taking up the position, utilising her skills and knowledge to drive Armstrong Watson’s payroll services forward with a national agenda. 

Karen has spent the past 13 years creating, influencing and directing Policy at the CIPP where she worked as Associate Director of Policy.

She will be driving the Payroll services, which are delivered under the brand ‘Flow’, forward, developing the business, and looking to support businesses nationally with the services that can be delivered. 

Paul Dickson, Managing Partner, commented: 

‘We are absolutely delighted to be bringing Karen on board as Director of Payroll services. Her experience and influence in the world of payroll is second to none and we’re very proud that she will be driving our payroll services forward, maintaining the exceptional levels of service while developing them and ensuring they continue to meet the needs of our clients now and in the future. Her influence in the sector coupled with her experience means that we’re now able to utilise that knowledge to the benefit of our clients. Both myself and the existing payroll team are very much looking forward to working with Karen in the coming weeks and months.’ 

Karen started her payroll career with Cumbria Policy and then gradually progressed to becoming Payroll Manager with Two Castles Housing and then Carlisle City Council.  Karen decided to utilise her payroll skills to give something back to the whole of the payroll industry and joined the then IPPM, now CIPP.  Again Karen quickly went through the ranks, starting as a policy and research officer and latterly (6 years) Associate Director of Policy.  

Karen has spent more than 13 years with the CIPP ensuring the voice of the payroll profession was heard.  Karen is also a member of the Admin Burdens Advisory Board, whose aim it is to challenge HMRC to reduce burdens on small business.  

Karen will continue to be involved with government, ensuring the views of Armstrong Watson and its clients are shared.  Karen is so passionate and dedicated to reducing burdens on business and making the tax system more transparent she won an award in 2013, presented by the David Gauke MP (FST).

Karen has also recently become a member of the Local Government Pensions Board, ensuring her pensions experience is put to good use.

Karen commented:

'I am very excited to be coming to work in my local town of Carlisle, for a firm whose reputation for customer service and technical ability is second to none.  As Director of the payroll services I am looking forward to meeting our many clients and ensuring we not only continue our excellent service, but continually improve our services and provide enhanced features.  The biggest project for now is of course automatic enrolment.  The payroll team will be supporting all our clients through this and will be providing technical and operational support.  I am also looking forward to working with the many other areas of the business, especially in the immediate term our financial planners.  Armstrong Watson will not only implement automatic enrolment to ensure compliance, but can also offer those employers pensions advice if they are struggling to decide what pension scheme would be best for their employees.'


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