YOUTH is definitely the key word for a chartered accountancy business preparing to celebrate its centenary.

PM+M Chartered Accountants, which has offices in Blackburn, Burnley and Bury, has a reputation for investing in the next generation as it faces an ever-changing world.

The firm employs 105 people and with a turnover rising to £6million last year, they are a growing business.

And Jane Parry, managing partner and the firm's head of tax, said as a people business, their first priority was to invest in fresh talent to take the business on.

She said: "For almost 100 years, this business has been built around its people so we provide a great service to our clients.

"We need to have a great service at all levels of the organisation to be able to be a success.

"We are growing at a rapid rate. We grew 20 per cent last year and that is down to the people who work here providing a great service.

"And success breeds success. Word gets around that we are providing a good service and it attracts business.

"And by investing in young people, we can train them the right way and help secure the business for the years to some.

"We have a good mix of youth and experience. And the people who come through have a clear career path. We call it the PM+M journey and it helps us to create a culture where people want to stay.

"It's like the Richard Branson mantra. Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.

"And we have people who started as apprentices and are now partners so people joining the company can see there are real progression possibilities."

The firm provides services to around 4,000 clients, personal and corporate, across its accounting practice, wealth management and corporate finance departments.

And with a fifth of the workforce on some kind of apprenticeship, no one can doubt the firm's commitment to the future.

Jane added: "We have a really great mix of youth and experience. The accounting business is being changed at a rapid pace with technology becoming an ever more important tool.

"Use of technology is something that is engrained in school children. There are all kinds of apps and software that can be used and we need to embrace those as time goes on.

"Young people bring an energy to a business and combined with the experience of the more established staff it give us a really strong mix.

"We go to sixth form colleges and careers days and try and get the best people in for an assessment day so we can find out how they think.

"It gives us the chance to get the brightest people into the business and then be able to give them the technical skills and life skills, such as how to conduct yourself in a meeting etc.

"It gives apprentices a great grounding and provides the business with fantastic future."