Armstrong Watson has announced a new promotion to its senior team.

Karen Thomson is director of group payroll services and has headed up the accountancy firm’s payroll and employee services for four years.

She has now been promoted to partner and the firm says it thinks she is only the second payroll partner of an accountancy firm in the UK.

In January of last year, Ms Thomson was one of the first 10 people in the UK to be awarded Individual

Chartered Status of the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals.

She has also been named in the The Reward 300 Index of the payroll profession’s most influential leaders for two years running and is a lecturer for the CIPP’s Masters Programme, tutor for the CIPP foundation degree, and is a regular contributor to UK accountancy and payroll publications.

As part of the firm’s dedication to using new technology to enhance and improve client services, Karen worked alongside Armstrong Watson’s solutions architect, Toby Woodhead, to create Bostik, an automated payroll process and the team won Project of the Year at the CIPP Annual Excellence Awards in October.

Ms Thomson said: “It is an honour to become a partner within the firm and particularly as a representative for the payroll profession.

“I have a fantastic team working hard alongside me and I’m extremely proud that managing partner Paul Dickson, and the Armstrong Watson board, recognise the key role payroll and employee services plays within the

firm and I will continue to progress and enhance our client experience in my new role.”

Mr Dickson, Armstrong Watson’s chief executive and managing partner, added: “This is a well-deserved promotion in recognition of Karen’s leadership, development and growth of the payroll and employee service line for Armstrong Watson.

“She is an integral part of the leadership team and her ambitious and progressive thinking complement our focus and commitment to increasing and innovating client services, and our continued business growth across the North of England and Scotland.”