Griffith Williams & Co

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Griffith Williams & Co's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Griffith Williams & Co is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
The partners at Griffith,
Williams & Co
Small businesses are the backbone of rural communities, but
their size often means that they have limited resources, so
keeping up with rules and regulations (made with larger
businesses in mind) is difficult. Based in North and Mid Wales,
chartered accountants Griffith, Williams & Co. firmly recognise
this issue, and, alongside providing routine accountancy and tax
services, do everything they can to keep the local community
thriving by plugging the resource gap. Be it the introduction of
automatic enrolment for pensions, GDPR or Making Tax Digital,
their expertise always ensures that clients aren’t left behind. With
this support, businesses can spend their time doing what they
do best, focusing on the more immediately demanding aspects
of their work. The partners of Griffith, Williams & Co. offer
TheParliamentary Review
an insight into their work.
We are based in a unique part of the United Kingdom – unique, that is, in a number
of respects. For instance, the part of rural Wales in which we are situated has very
high levels of self-employment. According to the most recent Annual Population
Survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics and published by the Welsh
government, over 24 per cent of the working population aged over 16 in Gwynedd
are self-employed. This compares to an average of 14 per cent across the whole of
Wales and 15 per cent across the United Kingdom. In our experience these self-
employed individuals operate predominantly as micro-businesses and can suffer from
a degree of isolation as they may be working alone, or with just a few members of
staff. The population is physically dispersed across the rural landscape (often with
poor or non-existent internet and mobile phone connection), making the sharing of
knowledge and peer-to-peer collaboration difficult. Welsh is the first language of
the majority of the population, and we are proud to be able to offer a fully bilingual
service in support and encouragement of the cultural identity of the area.
Communication and collaboration
We act for a wide range of client types and sizes, but our core market resides at
the intersection of agriculture and tourism. With increasing financial pressures and
incentives for landowners to diversify their businesses, ours is an ever-widening brief
in terms of offering financial and tax advice. We aim to forge long-term relationships
and understand clients’ ambitions and difficulties in order to provide a service that
is close, collaborative and communicative. This, ultimately, is what we at Griffith,
Williams & Co. pride ourselves on: our ability to truly know our clients.
As a training office for ICAEW, ACCA and AAT students we believe strongly in
encouraging and enabling our workforce. Our staff are our most important asset,
and we are immensely proud of them and their contribution to the business, which
includes keeping in touch with clients and their requirements.
»No. of partners: 6
»Established in 1929
»Based in Pwllheli, Dolgellau,
Bangor, North and Mid Wales
»Services: Accountancy, tax,
audit and business advisory
»No. of employees: 24
Griffith, Williams & Co
Over the years we have set up a
Financial Services company, a payroll
and BACS bureau and have developed
our own network of contacts and other
professional advisers with whom we can
collaborate in order to widen the range
of services available to clients. We believe
that this enhances our status as a trusted
adviser to our clients as we can signpost
them to the services that they require.
Challenges and opportunities
Legislation and regulation are always
in flux, and in this regard we can, to a
certain extent, act as the buffer between
government and small businesses, who
may be caught off-guard by this. We
believe that government and other
statutory bodies should consider more
carefully how smaller enterprises will cope
and react to changing regulations. Larger
businesses have dedicated compliance
departments, so such changes are much
less problematic – smaller businesses
feel the impact the most.
Making Tax Digital is an example
of changing legislation impacting
disproportionately on small businesses.
MTD is a government project that has
been developed over the last two years
or so and has had the potential to cause
much confusion among the business
community. For a great many small
businesses, it could represent a seismic
shift in the way that they must keep their
records and how they will communicate
with HMRC. The MTD project has
been developed as an “agile” project,
which encourages a rapid and flexible
response to change as the system is
developed. This means the MTD systems
are still being adjusted even now, with
only a few months remaining until
the mandatory introduction date. This
has caused confusion as conflicting
messages regarding requirements have
been distributed by HMRC and the
software providers.
A major frustration relating to the MTD
project is the lack of clarity surrounding
whether or how the government, or
anyone else, will benefit from these
changes. Added to this it is the smallest
businesses that will have to comply first,
which does not seem equitable at all.
In order to assist our clients we have
performed research and undertaken
beta testing for MTD software so that
we are able to provide specific, tailored
advice to each of our clients, protecting
them from the barrage of confusing
information surrounding MTD and
minimising disruption and expense
for their businesses. Better use of our
clients’ time is to address matters such
as the great uncertainty caused by Brexit
(farmers in particular being directly
affected by the potential loss of export
markets and subsidies), huge business
rates increases, the need and wish to
diversify being blocked by planning
restrictions and even the closure of
high street banks causing up to 50-mile
round trips to deposit takings.
The robots are coming?
Accountancy is tipped to be one of the
professions most affected by artificial
intelligence in future. We have no
doubt that the pace of digital change
means that transformation is on its
way. Computers are highly effective
at compiling knowledge by routinely
gathering and analysing data. We do
believe, however, that no matter how
digital this world becomes, nothing will
adequately replace the human element
in advising people. A computer can only
go so far in understanding ambitions
and aspirations. Our irreplaceable
human skill will be the ability to
transform knowledge intowisdom.
The team in Pwllheli
We aim to forge
and understand
ambitions and
difficulties in
order to provide
a service that is

This article was sponsored by Griffith Williams & Co. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister