Our Directors

Claire Howarth profile picture

Claire Howarth

FCCA FCA CTA

Claire is both Managing Director and Tax Director for the practice and believes that all clients should enjoy a solid reliable service and she strives to ensure client satisfaction and clarity in her dealings.

Claire began her career in accountancy in 1991. Whilst attaining her various qualifications she has had experience in working in small, medium and larger city centre practices. She achieved first time passes to become a Certified Accountant (ACCA) by the age of 21.

Claire found the approach of on-the-job training and work experience invaluable to her career as she attained her qualifications at a young age and was then able to use these qualifications as a spring board to gain the experience she now enjoys.

Claire always intended to return to a smaller practice as she felt that the smaller the practice, the more personal the service. When she saw an advertisement for Partner Designate at a firm in her hometown she knew that it was the ideal opportunity for her.

In 1999 she joined Novis & Co. In order to give a full, rounded service to her clients she decided to embark on the Chartered Institute of Taxation examinations and passed first time in 2000. This qualification and her vast tax experience ensure that her clients receive tax advice of a high standard.

Due to the impending retirement of her then-business partner and the desire for Novis & Co to retain the status of Chartered Accountants, she applied and achieved the ACA qualification in 2006. Claire received her fellowship status from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2016.

Claire's Recommendations

Claire’s recoomendations

“Claire Howarth, Managing Director at Novis & Co Chartered Accountants, has been our company accountant for 10 years now. Claire has always shown a keen interest in our business and the complex regulated field we work within. This has proved invaluable in guiding us towards the right accounting decisions.

Claire is very responsive and takes time to gain a clear understanding of our requirements and timescales. We always feel like valued clients, and Claire and her team reliably deliver to the same high standards.

I would not hesitate to recommend Novis and Co to our clients or suppliers and we often work together to ensure the needs of our mutual clients are met.”


“Claire is like no other accountant I have come across. Not content with looking just at a point in time and saving me tax, she is proactive and plans ahead which suits my forward thinking mindset. I want and receive advice that suits my ability to live the life I want and not be smothered by just avoiding tax. My life drives my money, not my money my life. Her friendly outlook instils me with confidence to not just recommend her but allow her to look after my own clients not just my personal affairs.”


“We have referred clients for specialist and routine work in relation to accountancy and business planning and capital taxes work. We feel completely confident to make such referrals. Claire Howarth is very easy to work with and she addresses the pertinent matters of fees and timescales before the commencement of the instructions. She then advises in a very direct way. She is not afraid to deliver bad news but always associates with it a solution to the problem. On countless occasions she has pulled out all the stops to complete instructions at short notice and she has an impressive system to update, inform and ensure that clients get full value for her advice.”

Stephen Tucker profile picture

Stephen Tucker

FCCA ACA

Stephen is the Accounts Director for the practice and has the aim that all clients should have a high quality service for all accountancy assignments undertaken.

Stephen’s specialisms are found within general accounts preparation, as well as audit, charity accounting and Solicitors reporting.

However it all began modestly back in 1990 as an accounts clerk at an independent Newcastle practice, which offered good all round training alongside vital work experience.

After obtaining the AAT qualification, Stephen completed the ACCA examinations in 2001 with first time professional stage passes. This led to membership and then fellowship in 2006.

The high quality training received, coupled with the vital work experience over a period of more than 20 years means that a high level of service is offered to all clients.

Stephen joined Novis & Co. as Manager in July 2005, becoming a Director in September 2008.

In line with Novis & Co.’s status as a Chartered Practice, Stephen applied and achieved the ACA qualification in 2013.

Stephen's Recommendations

Stephen's Recommendations

Stephen was initially recommended to me by a friend as I needed support in setting up a small business. The level of service provided by Stephen was excellent, from startup right through to operation of the business. He provided guidance where necessary, especially regarding taxation and took care of all of my accounting needs to allow me to purely focus on the business. Would I recommend him? Yes absolutely. In fact, I've already done that with a number of friends and will continue to do so.


Stephen has a unique way of ensuring the complicated is made simple and his knowledge is extensive so his advice is specific to his clients’ needs. Stephen will take his clients through the complex process of setting up and registering a company, and going forward makes himself available for any questions or concerns, and continues to safeguard their interests. Stephen is extremely professional, personable and down to earth – he is also my partner’s accountant so I have known him for some time. It is my absolute pleasure to write this recommendation for him.


I have worked with Stephen for the last 5 years and would not hesitate to recommend him to professional contacts, friends and family. In fact I would positively suggest that if you feel you are not getting the service you deserve from your existing accountant to have an informal discussion with Stephen to arrange a review. Stephen has done this for clients who have asked me to recommend a fresh set of eyes to look at their business on several occasions and every time this has resulted in him making changes which protect the client and reduce costs. If you want a genuinely approachable, sensible accountant who will understand your business and act in your best interests then Stephen is your man.


Stephen speaks in a simple language that I can understand. His advice is clear and concise. His knowledge is evident and his demeanor is welcoming and friendly. Because of all this, I enjoy my visits to my accountants and I know I'm going to benefit from them. If I need to contact Stephen for any reason, I know I'll get a speedy response. If the topic of accountants ever crops up I always extol the virtues of Stephen and his Company and advise my friends/colleagues to use him without hesitation.


An employer of mine from several years ago was a client of Stephen's. I'm now self-employed and I turned to Stephen for help and guidance as my accountant. Punctual, practical and a clear communicator. It's a pleasure to work with someone who's a genuine help and allows me more time to focus on building my own business.


Stephen is professional in every aspect of his role at Novis & Co, always straight talking & honest, and always strives to get the best for his clients. Stephen is a great accountant, always thinking about his customers and new ways to help them better their business, through offering tax, financial and business information. I would have no hesitation in recommending Novis & Co. Chartered Accountants & Stephen to any of our readers or any company.


Following changes at John Lamb LLP we hired Steve and his firm to provide audit and accountancy services. He came recommended to us and from the first meeting it was clear he had a good grasp of our business and our needs. He provided sage and sound advice and became a trusted adviser to the business and personally to me in my capacity as COO. I have no hesitation in recommending Steve and Novis and have retained him as my personal accountant. Friendly, approachable and practical; just how a trusted adviser should be.

Further recommendations can be found on my LinkedIn page.

Photography by Roth Read Photography Ltd.

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