Meet the supplier: Larking Gowen Chartered Accountants

Looking for a chartered accountant for your small business? Meet the East Anglian firm "driven by a passion to contribute to their clients' prosperity"

Name: Peter Glading
Company: Larking Gowen Chartered Accountants
Key services: All areas of accounting and tax compliance including forensic accounting; specialist sector knowledge includes: medical, dentistry, education and not-for-profit, agriculture, tourism and food and drink. Specialist teams cover: corporate finance, personal tax and VAT, business strategy and support.
Founded in: 1888

Who are you?

A member of MHA, we are one of the UK’s top 40 accountancy firms and have nine offices based throughout Norfolk (Norwich), Essex and Suffolk.

We provide safe, solid, dependable advice at a fair price, aiming to become a trusted business advisor, not only on compliance issues, but also on all aspects of support and development throughout the life and growth of the business.

Tell us about your firm. What makes you different from the rest?

We are genuinely passionate about, and interested in, our people, clients and communities.

We care, and want to play an important part, in their success. We focus on providing first-class technical expertise at a local level and we are good at identifying new trends and responding to them.

Who are the key members of your team?

We are all qualified accountants or studying towards an accounting qualification. We have a core team, who focus on advising start-up businesses and are experienced and knowledgeable in the financial and business support they can give.

We also draw from our in-house specialist knowledge in the sectors the start-up is in; ensuring all bases are covered.

What size of business do you work with best?

We have the ability and expertise to work with all sizes of business, whether a sole trader, partnership or limited company.

So, whether the business is a fledgling start-up, or more established and looking to grow, we are able to provide a personal service that fits perfectly to their needs.

What services do they use you for most?

We provide the full range of services and, although some opt for this, many prefer to pick and choose what they want from us.

We tailor our services to the client’s requirements and budget; agreeing this at the outset to provide peace of mind.

The services we tend to get used for most include: bookkeeping and VAT returns, processing payrolls and Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) returns, as well as management accounts and end of year financial statements and tax returns.

How much of what you do could businesses do for themselves?

Many clients can do a lot of the day-to-day administration and accounting in-house and we are happy to support clients if this is what they want. However, we would usually be involved in preparing end-of-year accounts and tax returns for submission to HMRC and Companies House.

Our flexibility means we provide a more value-added approach, advising our clients on a strategic basis; utilising their budget in a more cost-effective manner, and helping them with the all-important pro-active business advice they need.

Over the years, we have discovered that our clients like to use us because we provide a personal service that fits perfectly to their needs.

We are also seen as knowledgeable and experienced in the communities, sectors and businesses our clients operate in, giving an excellent service for a fair price.

Give us three common problems/scenarios that your firm solves – and what you do.

  1. We are currently supporting clients in the transition to making their records digital, to comply with HMRC requirements. By recommending and demonstrating how accountancy software can solve this problem, we are making their business management much more efficient.
  2. Many businesses need financial support to expand or develop their business. We can help and advise with preparing and reviewing the business plan and forecasts and, via our network of contacts, refer clients to both traditional providers of finance and to the more innovative providers that are now available.
  3. Employing staff can be daunting. We can help with the processing of payroll, dealing with auto-enrolment requirements for pension purposes, as well as referring clients to contacts who can offer HR support at an affordable cost.

Tell us about one of your clients and what you’ve done for them:

We have recently assisted a business in several key aspects of business development, primarily relating to securing and incentivising key personnel and expanding their client base to reduce their reliance on a small number of customers.

We also looked at ways they could improve cash flow and make their internal processes more efficient; eliminating pinch points that were holding up invoicing.

Are you expensive? Tell us more about your pricing structure:

We charge a fair price for the work we do and provide a cost-effective service to clients based on their individual requirements. We offer a flexible package of services and payment methods including monthly payments.

We agree a fixed annual fee and we always agree extra costs in advance, making sure there are no surprises for our clients.

How long have you been based in Norwich?

We have been based in Norwich for 128 years and have had offices in Suffolk for just over 10 years.

What business resources in Norwich would you recommend?

There are a number of excellent enterprise agencies operating in Norwich and, as part of our service, we can put you in touch with them, as well as the most start-up friendly banks, independent financial advisors and insurance providers.

What are the top reasons for a start-up business to set up in Norwich?

  • A vibrant and innovative business community.
  • A wide network of organisations supporting start-up and growing businesses.
  • Excellent transport links to London, the UK and the continent.
  • A wealthy local client base, enjoying an excellent quality of life.
  • Rents tend to be cheaper, and certain areas benefit from business rates relief.

Want to know more about the services and support on offer in Norwich? Read our city profile here.


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