Charter Tax, Chartered Accountants, which has offices in London and Goudhurst, Kent, is proud to be celebrating its tenth anniversary. The firm offers accounting and tax advisory services to businesses and high net worth individuals within and outside the UK.
Charter Tax specialises in tax advice for non-domiciliaries living in the UK, in addition to a domestic service to support wealth and succession planning for owners of farms and estates. It is also licenced to carry out probate and estate administration work.
The founder and Principal of Charter Tax is Janet Pierce. Back in 2009, she had been a partner in a mid-size accountancy firm for a number of years but the usual partnership politics left her feeling there must be more to life. At a chance catch-up with a long-standing contact, Mike Cordwell, an interesting opportunity presented itself.
“He asked if I had considered setting up my own business and, being somebody who had built a trust company in the past, he said he’d be prepared to invest in a new venture, if I was prepared to run it,” says Janet. “I was flattered and while it felt a little risky to be leaving partnership life behind, his investment meant there would be money to cover set-up costs such as IT and a website, as well as provide initial working capital.”
“I knew what I could offer was fairly niche and that I also had a good network of people who would refer work to me,” she explains. “I also came to an agreement with my previous firm to take an agreed list of clients with me, so I had a starting point in terms of creating a business.”
Like so many small businesses, Janet started out on her dining room table but always had plans to grow the firm. From the start, she also took an office in London, which proved invaluable for client meetings, and for presentation generally.
“From the start, I continued mainly working with non-domiciliaries and on fairly complicated international tax work,” says Janet. “At the same time, some of my clients were asking for me to also provide them with an outsourced FD service and so we quickly spread out into a more broad base of work, which is something we continue to offer clients to this day.”
The expansion into the outsourced FD work meant that the workload had grown enough to take on David Page after only a matter of months. Now a director at Charter Tax, he was then able to handle some of Janet’s accountancy and FD work, leaving her to focus on tax.
The growth rate was rapid, so the decision was made to take on premises in Goudhurst, which is Charter Tax’s Kent office to this day.
In 2015, the business had grown to a level where Janet felt it would benefit from the addition of another partner, so approached Mark Howard. With his focus on providing advice to families, farms, trusts and estates, Charter Tax has seen its local client base and members of staff grow. Today the firm numbers 32 people.
“Looking ahead to the next decade, I think we’ve still got room to grow,” says Janet. “I strongly believe that a business can never stand still and I am always looking to build the next generation of partners, which I believe we have in sight.”