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The history of Jack Ross Chartered Accountants Manchester


Jack Ross Chartered Accountants provides a range of expert accounting services, from personal tax returns to complex audits. If you’re in need of our bespoke accounting services, please use the contact form and a member of our dedicated team will be in touch to discuss next steps. 

The history of the Manchester accountants, Jack Ross

Manchester Accountants Jack Ross

The accountancy firm, based in Manchester, can trace its routes back to the early 20th century. From the start we were focused on tax services.

Clients often ask us, is “Jack Ross” a corporate name? We are always pleased to say that Jack Ross was a natural person. His successors have been proud to carry on the name as it signifies a quality firm of chartered accountants based in the heart of Manchester. 

If you are in business and need accountancy services, here is a history of how we have a business like yours for close to a century, giving a quality service. You can make an enquiry below to find out more. If you have a tax issue, we can help you with your affairs. We will give you expert advice, from our Manchester office.

We offer professional services. For example, we have a tax planning service which many clients use to minimise their tax. Other tax services include VAT and self-assessment personal tax. Rest assured, we can handle your tax affairs.

But before we get to Jack Ross, we go back one generation of chartered accountants.

Walter Beck, the first Manchester accountant

Walter Beck was born in Cheshire, one of three brothers, in 1898. His schooling was interrupted by the First World War and then completed in the 1920s. He then entered into Articles and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in the late 1920s.

Walter was by reputation a natural entrepreneur. He was approached in a Northwich pub by a disenchanted accountant. The accountant wanted to walk away from his accountancy practice. Walter Beck gave him £1 for the goodwill, and a solicitor drew up the agreement. It was to prove a superb purchase.

In the 1930s, Walter Beck entered into a partnership in Manchester with Henry Vogel and Donald Winett, trading as Beck, Vogel and Winett. Henry Vogel, who was Jewish, left to emigrate to Palestine in the 1930s, leaving behind the Jewish clients he had introduced. Donald Winett left the practice in wartime, leaving Walter Beck as a sole practitioner.

Jack Ross, chartered accountant Manchester, the beginning

Jack Ross was born in Salford in 1921. He left school in 1936, and Walter Beck offer Jack the position of an articled clerk. The Second World War intervened, Jack Ross served in the army until he was injured in the foot and invalided out. He completed his Articles, qualified, and opened a practice in Ridgefield, 100 yards from Walter Beck in John Dalton Street, Manchester.

The original Jack Ross
Jack Ross, Accountant Manchester Chartered Accountants

Walter Beck had flourished. Living in Lymm, he was a congregate of Lymm Parish Church. He prepared their detailed annual accounts free of charge, a custom of Jack Ross which would continue for more than 30 years after Walter Beck’s death.

Walter Beck suffered two heart attacks in 1948; the second one killed him. Jack Ross, now 27, was invited to take over with a promise to introduce Don Beck, then a teenage nephew of Walter, when qualified.

Jack Ross focused on saving tax for his clients

Jack Ross was a workaholic, six long days a week, every week. Each Thursday, with a secretary, he would visit clients in Lymm, Northwich, Winsford. Jack Ross would dispense financial advice, collecting financial records (to be returned the following week) from his clients. These clients consisted of farmers, pubs, retailers, builders, merchants and other small businesses requiring accountancy and tax advice. They also included three of Cheshire’s main Road Hauliers, two of whom were taken over by public companies.

Gerard Lanigan, the next senior tax partner

In 1951, 16-year-old Gerard Lanigan joined the firm. Economic circumstances made Articles beyond his reach so that Jack Ross guided him to become an Incorporated  Accountant. As he completed his exams in the late 1950s, the Institute of Chartered Accountants took over their rivals. So Ged became one of the first to become an ACA. In 1960, Jack Ross invited him to become a Partner (junior).

The practice had expanded in the 1950s. Jack Ross had developed a big reputation, especially in taxation. Ged Lanigan dealt with many of these clients daily, but with Jack Ross ever-present for the most significant decisions.

Tax planning is at the heart of what we do for our clients

The 1960s was a ‘golden time’ for tax planning. In 1962, short term CGT was introduced. In 1965, long term Capital Gains Tax was introduced, and Corporate Taxation of Income Tax plus Profits Tax was replaced by Corporation Tax.

In March 1965, Jack Ross, aided by Ged Lanigan, gave a lecture on these changes in the Finance Bill within forty-eight hours of the Bill being published. The audience was made up of Chartered Accountants who mainly were ignorant of the details of the Bill. Jack Ross’ reputation soared!

Leslie Jacobs, another chartered accountant partner

In 1965, Leslie Jacobs, who had been articled at the practice and had left to gain more experience returned and joined the partnership.

For the next two years, the practice flourished. Three clients became public companies with varying degrees of success. Many others grew and were themselves taken over.

Sadly, in 1968, Jack Ross paid the price of a workaholic with a massive heart attack. His recuperation included a three month round the world cruise. He returned to the practice in 1969, eventually full time, but prudently, at a lesser pace.

The business expanded to keep pace with ambitious clients. We became known as a ‘Jewish’ practice, which we accepted as a compliment. Apart from the acquisition and sales of clients’ businesses, we had clients whose businesses became dynasties. We act for some of these growing businesses to this day.

The end of an era, the passing of Jack Ross, chartered accountant Manchester

In March 1979, Peter Black joined the team, and briefly, we were five partners. Sadly, in April 1980, Jack Ross died aged 59 from a heart attack.

Ged Lanigan became Senior Partner to the accountant Manchester. In that same year, he was asked by lawyers to give accountancy advice in divorce proceedings, now known as ancillary relief. This was successful and led to at least 250 such cases over the next ten years. Mr Lanigan had gained an excellent reputation as a forensic accountant in the city of Manchester.

Ged Lanigan grew the barrister side of the practice from virtually nothing.

We now have a strong reputation for advising members of the Bar in tax, VAT and accountancy matters.

Peter Black, tax advice and accountant Manchester to small and medium-sized businesses

Peter became the senior partner in the firm of chartered accountants in 1996. He expanded the client base, especially with Barristers and small businesses, and he grew the practice for the next 20 years.

Peter was also the co-founder of our sister financial services company, Concerva. Concerva helps our clients with their personal finances and minimise taxes. Between us, we are personal tax advisors to hundreds of clients. We can advise on the tax implications of major life decisions such as profit extraction and retirement.

Under Peter’s guidance, the firm became computerized and started to invest in software. Peter was instrumental in moving the firm forward into the digital age.

Umar Memon, embracing the digital age of accountancy and cloud accounting

Umar Memon joined the accountant Manchester team in 1999, taking over from Leslie Jacobs, who retired the following year and became a partner in the firm in 2002 and became the managing partner in 2014.

Umar has worked alongside Peter Black, Senior Partner, and together they have grown the firm significantly. Umar and Peter incorporated in 2014 and now trade via a limited company. Jack Ross follows the tax advice they give to their clients. Jack Ross give quality advice, but we do not encourage the use of tax schemes.

21st Century Manchester chartered accountants, moving with the times

Tramline through Manchester city centre
Tram in city Centre Manchester, near to Jack Ross, Accountants Manchester

This firm of Manchester accountants is now entirely digitized and set up for cloud accounting. We use Xero as the leading SSAS software for cloud accounting, and we automate a number of our processes. The automation of our processes allows our talented staff to give quality advice to our clients, who range from Barristers to limited companies. 

Our business serves clients across the UK, but the heart of the accountancy firm is still in Manchester, where we give proactive tax planning advice to small and medium-sized businesses.

We provide accountant Manchester services, offering a dedicated accountant, and usually under a fixed package. You can email us using the form below if you are interested in our wide range of services, which include annual returns, VAT returns, business advisory services, management accounts, capital gains tax planning, inheritance tax planning, maximising capital allowances to self-assessment tax returns. 

Questions that we are often asked

  • Is it more tax efficient to hire a car through my business, or own one outright?
  • What can I claim capital allowances on?
  • Would I qualify for R&D tax credits?
  • What we can do for your business
  • Is there a tax efficient way to offer employees a share in my company?
  • What are the tax implications of selling a company?
  • When do I need to register for VAT?
  • What is the current rate of corporation tax?
  • Do I need to register for CIS?
  • What is inheritance tax?
  • Looking for accountant Manchester based tax advisor?
  • How much is an accountant monthly?
  • When should I hire an accountant?
  • How easy is it to change accountants?
  • Do you have a dedicated person to look after my tax affairs?

If you need an answer to any of the above questions, or another enquiry, enter the information in the form.

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