The drinks and canapé reception also marked a milestone anniversary for the firm as it celebrated 20 years of being in partnership.
Mr Ballard said: “We are obviously sad to say goodbye to Douglas but happy for him as he embarks upon his well deserved retirement. He has made a fantastic contribution to the practice over the years and he will be missed by clients and colleagues alike.”
“It gives me a lot of pleasure to welcome James to the partnership. Since his fairly short time with us he has proved himself very worthy of his new status. He has been instrumental in securing some significant client acquisitions and he has definitely brought a new dimension to the practice with his energy and enthusiasm.
“We were very proud of his achievement when he won the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales (ICAEW) Young Accountant of the Year award back in May which speaks volumes.”
Ballards have evolved from a sole practice 20 years ago to a five partner firm employing 45 people. It acts for a diverse range of private and public sector organisations. With specialisms in healthcare and farming and rural businesses, it offers the full spectrum of integrated services including corporate finance, compliance and inheritance tax, forensic reporting and due diligence work.
Mr Syree said: “I think my vision for the practice is for us to gain a wider geographical market presence and receive more recognition for being a major Midlands-based practice as opposed to a Worcestershire one.
“One thing I would not want to change and that is the ethos of the practice. Many of our clients, particularly those from owner managed businesses, benefit from a high-degree of personal contact with the partners and I think it is important that we maintain this as part of our culture.”