Porter Garland

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

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 Porter Garland is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.


Highlighting best practice
Director Amanda Williams
Porter Garland is a firm of chartered accountants based
in Camberley, Surrey, who pride themselves on being
the local chartered accountants of choice, serving
Camberley, Frimley, Farnborough, Aldershot, Farnham, Fleet
and the surrounding area. It was formed over 50 years ago,
and the current custodians of the business, Directors Amanda
Williams FCA and Thomas Pottinger FCA, are passionate
about its continuing success and ensuring the legacy can be
passed on in the future. They both believe that longevity in
client relationships is key to “Nurturing Client Growth” (their
slogan).Porter Garland’s mission is to work in close partnership
with clients, providing proactive,forward-thinking advice on
accounting, taxation and finance matters to individuals and to
the owners of small and medium-sized businesses. Expanding
upon these and other topics, Amanda and Thomas write
We are passionate about our people and our clients. Once they are with us, they
usually stay for a long time. This is important to us, as we believe it is at the very
heart of the outstanding service that we deliver year after year.As an owner-
managed business, just like our clients, Porter Garland provides a hands-on service
from a team of accounting professionals.
Key to the ongoing success of our business is not only “Nurturing Client Growth”
but also nurturing our own company growth, as well as that of our staff.Each year,
Porter Garland achieves financial growth, with 2018 being a record year for us both
in financial terms and in terms of team expansion, achieving increases of nearly 20
per cent in income and 30 per cent in net profit.
Nurturing company growth
It is vital to be forward-thinking and proactive to generate new business, and not
to rely only on organic growth.Five years ago, Porter Garland had just a website,
which in effect acted as an online company brochure.At this point, we realised
we needed to invest in marketing rather than relying solely on reputation, word of
mouth and repeat business.
Therefore, Susy Brooks joined the firm on a part-time basis. Susy was a marketing
consultant with over 20 years’ experience in PR and marketing, and was previously
the operations director for a distinguished high-tech PR firm in Farnham. She
became responsible for refreshing the brand with a new logo and website and
focusing on building the firm’s online presence.Now, with a successful SEO
»Co-directors: Amanda Williams
and Thomas Pottinger
»Established in 1964
»Based in Camberley, Surrey
»Services: Accountancy
»No. of employees: 12
Porter Garland
campaign and a top ranking on
Google, most of Porter Garland’s
new clients come from online search,
social media, networking and direct
marketing, and because of this we
have taken on 175 new clients in the
past two years.
Nurturing young talent
Also important to us is our team.
The majority of our staff members
have been with the firm for at least
ten years, and we are delighted
to have recently embarked on a
programme to bring on young,
enthusiastic talent via trainee and
apprenticeshipprogrammes. 
Our most recent recruit, Lucy Rogers,
joined the firm as an AAT apprentice in
September 2017 and, with nurturing
and support, has gone from strength
to strength. With the rising costs of
going to university, apprenticeships
offer a debt-free, direct route into
employment as well as a fast track
With her apprenticeship, Lucy was
able to start earning straight away,
while getting the same benefits as an
employee, a holiday allowance and
an early start to pension provision.
Lucy’s apprenticeship has already
moved on from a one-year course to
a three-to-four-year apprenticeship
programme. At the end of this, she
will qualify as a chartered accountant
with a well-rounded set of skills and
experience, making her a highly
Nurturing community relations
As a small business looking to re-build
a brand in the local community, we
also feel it is important to support
local businesses, groups and charitable
organisations. We do this in a number
of ways, including sponsoring the
Camberley cricket and rugby clubs,
holding Macmillan coffee mornings,
exhibiting and networking at local
business exhibitions, offering support
at the Citizens Advice Bureau and
sponsoring charity events. For example,
in October we sponsored a local
“Charity Fun Run” and also took
part in it, wearing the Porter Garland
Nurturing client growth
Ensuring client growth is key to the
success of our business. Several of
our clients put their success down to
the support that we provide, and in
this respect, Mark Bartlett of Signbox
Limited said the following about us:
Porter Garland has provided
Signbox with a broad range of
accountancy services for nearly
30 years. From our payroll to
full accounts and tax planning,
their service is first class, and
from the early days, they
instilled a financial discipline
to sustain growth, even
Making Tax Digital and online
Another step we felt was necessary
for the future support of our clients
was to ensure we had Sage One
and QuickBooks Online capability,
and to this end we put the entire
team through a training session last
Spring.It is vital that we get in early
to help our clients prepare for MTD
(Making Tax Digital), which is due to
go live for all VAT-registered businesses
in April 2019, with the minimum
disruption to their busy working lives.
By adhering to the approaches
mentioned in this article, we believe
good things lie in store for Porter
Garland. Integral to this success will be
a continued commitment to keeping
up with the digital times.
Director Thomas Pottinger
The majority
of our staff
members have
been with the
firm for at
least ten years


This article was sponsored by Porter Garland. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.