Ian Pountney has been appointed VAT senior manager at Bentley Jennison's Birmingham office.

He is joining the expanding VAT division, which is continuing to strengthen its services to clients in the region - the team includes specialists in corporate and personal tax, PAYE and NIC, VAT and investigations.

Rob Meek, head of tax in Birmingham, said: "In an ever more taxing time, especially with the new ethical guidelines and the introduction of disclosure, it is becoming more important that clients are advised by specialists.

"No longer can VAT be described as a 'simple tax'," he added.

Mr Pountney has more than 15 years experience in both the profession and previously as a Customs and Excise officer.

He has advised a variety of clients on a wide range of indirect tax issues and has particular experience in land and property transactions, business reorganisations, international transactions and VAT investigations.

Alan Webb, senior partner, said: "It is fantastic that Ian has joined us.

"His specialist knowledge in the property and construction sector will significantly strengthen our team. The firm continues to grow both regionally and nationally at an ever increasing rate.

"Our aim is to become the largest independent firm in each of the cities in which the firm operates."

Meanwhile two accountants have left Bentley Jennison and joined rival Malcolm Piper in the Kingstanding part of Birmingham Andy Davis and Nigel Rogers have worked for Bentley Jennison for a combined total of 45 years, but say they now feel the time is right to practise on their own.

Mr Rogers said: "We feel there is a real gap in the accounting marketplace to provide small and growing businesses with sensible commercial business advice at an affordable price."