accountants for buildersSpecialists accountants for builders and construction companies Goringe Accountants helps a high-end construction company thrive during recession.

Kingsmen StaffKingsmen Ltd. is a Reading-based building and construction company that provides building services — including new homes, extensions and refurbishments — to residential and commercial customers.

Kingsmen was set up in the 1980s by Rob Stroud. In 2001 William Anstice (who is now the managing director) and Rob’s daughter Chloe Baker (then company secretary and now a director) joined the company, which became limited in 2004.

Kingsmen’s vision is to be known as the leading building and construction company in the Thames Valley, with a reputation for delivering quality workmanship on time and on budget whilst maintaining high integrity in dealings with community, customers and employees.

Growing the Business

In 2009, Kingsmen’s incumbent accountant was fulfilling most, but not all of their needs. As the company grew, it became clear they needed an accountancy firm with an excellent knowledge of their accounting software to help them improve reporting and processes. They needed a Sage ninja!

The Kingsmen team chose Goringe Accountants – specialist accountants for construction companies – because of the hands-on nature of Nicky Goringe Larkin’s approach and ability to ‘hit the ground running’ with existing systems. Even though they were in the midst of the recession, Kingsmen wanted a firm to help with their growth plans — and one who would grow with them so they could work together in years to come.

Chloe is responsible for the financial side of the business. She wanted support from an accountant who was always on hand — at the end of the phone, answering emails and visiting regularly — and someone who could advise her on her responsibilities as a director and company secretary.

When we were first appointed, Kingsmen was our only building and construction client,

says Nicky.

So I had to get up to speed very quickly with all the issues affecting that sector. At the beginning, I spent lots of time with them getting to know their industry, their business, their challenges and them as people.

It’s great to have Nicky on our team,

says Chloe.

We’re a similar age and both have young children, so things are really friendly. We’re very open with each other. I know I can communicate frankly about our issues without being judged. In the building and construction industry there are very slim margins and cash flow can be a challenge. Nicky is always on hand with practical, pragmatic advice and solutions.

We’ve continued to grow sustainably throughout the recession, which is partly due to Nicky’s understanding of economic conditions and her support — especially with Sage systems and analysis. She’s very innovative with the different options she proposes we explore. Being clear on the economics of our situation has helped us focus on our unique value in the market. We know what sorts of projects we excel at and which markets we want to work in.

Implementing robust business and accounting processes has helped Chloe produce cash flow projections, which help keep costs down.

The Future

In the mid- to long-term we’re looking for gentle, consistent growth,

sums up Chloe.

We’ve recently retained our Investors in People status and we want to go for silver. We’re a family-run business with a strong team ethos; if we grew too quickly or too much I think we’d struggle to live our values of quality, integrity, family, safety and development.

We’re also planning a staff ownership scheme. Our people are our business, so keeping them motivated, engaged and happy is at the centre of our growth plans.