One of the biggest
Formed in 1923 by Herbert Kingston and George Alan Smith, Kingston Smith is the largest non-national firm in the UK. Its 500-person staff is based in seven offices in London and the South East of England. City connections are particularly strong, thanks in no small part to the contribution of Senior Partner Sir Michael Snyder, a London powerbroker who is also one of its most influential accountants. In addition to Kingston Smith LLP, the outfit provides a range of services through a variety of subsidiary businesses (such as Kingston Smith Consulting, Kingston Smith Fundraising & Management, and Kingston Smith IT Strategy & Consulting). The firm is also a founding member of KS International, an association of independent accountancy firms with over 100 offices in some 50 countries worldwide.
Specializing in entrepreneurs
Kingston Smith provides services to entrepreneurial businesses, its specialty, as well as to not-for-profits and private individuals. Given its small size, Kingston Smith offerings are an almost dizzying array. The ones most relevant to the aspirant accountant would be accountancy and audit, bookkeeping and account management, charity fund-raising and management, forensic accounting, tax and legal consultancy, and VAT and duty planning. The firm has recognized expertise in a variety of sectors, including sports, hospitality, manufacturing, health care, professional firms, property and marketing services, and media industries. Services are coordinated by a client services team to ensure that they address clients’ specific needs.
Sir Michael at the helm
Senior partner Sir Michael Snyder is renowned for his deep London connections. His career at Kingston Smith is impressive in its own right: joining the firm in 1968, he rose to managing partner within nine years. Yet Snyder has gained considerable attention for his moonlighting gig.
From 2003 until 2008 he served as chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee of the City of London, having previously chaired its Finance and Investment Committees. He played a significant role in establishing the City Corporation as an outward looking supporter and facilitator of the City as a financial centre. Perhaps one of his greatest achievements during his term was brokering the Crossrail construction project, which will provide a new train route from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the West into the eastern cities of Kent and Essex. It will also travel underground through the city centre between London and Paddington. Snyder elicited a Â£250 million contribution from the City Corporation's funds to power through with this transformative transport project, expected to open in 2017. In 2008, he was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s birthday honors for his “towering contribution to the City of London Corporation, ensuring it is the world’s leading international financial and business centre”.
The firm regularly holds 75-minute seminars on a range of accountancy issues related to both personal and corporate finance. Timely topics covered include raising finances in a difficult economic climate, tax laws and purchasing property, how business owners can prepare for retirement, and investment risk in the present economy. Followed by refreshments, they double as networking events, good value at £25.
Kingston Smith accountants also periodically contribute to the “Business Doctor” column, published in The Sunday Times, which provides expert advice on how to run a small business. A searchable database of over 800 business ailments for which it has offered a prognosis, including cutting tax on gains, how uncollected debt effects VAT, and buying out partners, can be accessed through the company’s website.
60 Goswell Road
London EC1M 7AD
Phone: 44 (0) 20 7566 4000
Employer Type: Private
Senior Partner: Michael Snyder
2009 Employees (All Locations): 500
London, United Kingdom