Meet Our Key Personnel

Alastair Crawford FCA

Alastair is one of the firm’s Senior Statutory Auditors, and is responsible for all the audit work which the firm carries out.

These audits vary from small companies where external funders require independent confirmation of the accounts, like Research and Development Companies, up to large groups with turnover in excess of £15m.

He has substantial experience in Independent Fostering Agencies, and was leading advisor on the creation of the first such entity in the UK. Also a founding Trustee of the children’s hospice Demelza House, he has a large number of client companies limited by guarantee, both charitable and non-charitable. Alastair also advises on the sale and purchase of general family companies and fostering agencies.

Alastair is a Chartered Accountant having trained with a top twenty firm of Chartered Accountants in the City of London, and qualified in 1982. In 1984 he decided on a move to Kent, waving goodbye to the daily commute, and in 1985 joined Williams Giles, where he became a partner of the firm in 1987.

Outside work he is a school Governor, and has been Chair of the Finance Committee for ten years. Now that his two children have left university, he is hoping to spend more time travelling with the extra funds that he is now able to keep his hands on! When not travelling he enjoys keeping his large garden under control.

Alex Ffrench FCCA DChA
Not for Profit and Corporate Services Director

Alex heads up the firm’s Not for Profit department specialising in providing services to Not for Profit and Corporate Services.

He has been awarded the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’ Diploma in Charity Accounting and is a registered Interim Manager with the Charity Commission. He has extensive experience in working with Academy Schools, Charities, Independent Schools, FE Colleges and Housing Associations, providing a range of services including Statutory Audit, Internal Audit, Risk Management and Financial Reporting. He has spoken at numerous seminars and conferences and has worked for the Education & Skills Funding Agency, interviewing Free School applicant groups.

Alex is also responsible for a portfolio of corporate clients, providing an all round service, working closely with the directors to ensure their needs are met.

Daniel Tremain FCCA
Small Business and Healthcare Director

Daniel joined in March 2012 to head our Specialist Medical Sector.

Daniel is a Chartered Certified Accountant and has worked in practice since 1997, initially training in all aspects of Accounts, Audit and Taxation.

Since 2004 he has specialised in accounts for GP surgeries, from single handed GP’s to Federations servicing over 100,000 patients. This consists of accounts preparation in a nationally recognised specialist format, tax compliance and planning, and completion of all types of superannuation certificate. Outside of these annual routines Daniel has advised on issues regarding federations, mergers, retirement, surgery premises, partners’ capital, financing, staffing and many other situations relating to a modern practice.

This has then led to an interest in all medical related and associated accountancy work which now extends to dentists, care homes and pharmacies.

Away from the office Daniel enjoys swimming, cycling, running and basketball. Most of his spare time is spent with his wife Jennifer and their three children.

Fiona Howard FCA CTA
Associate Director

Fiona has over 16 years’ experience working in the accounting industry and is both a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor, providing her with unique insight into helping Owner Managed Businesses and Entrepreneurs develop and grow their companies.

Fiona has considerable experience helping her clients put in place cloud accounting systems and enabling them to utilise the information generated to make business decisions. As well as advising her clients on potential tax planning strategies that are relevant to them, including EIS scheme set ups, research and development, inheritance tax planning, and family investment companies, empowering Entrepreneurs to fulfil their business goals in the most tax efficient way possible.

Additionally, Fiona has extensive experience advising individuals and companies under HMRC investigation.

Fiona takes pride in helping local businesses connect and grow together and she is a proud winner of Kent Women in Business Award ‘Woman in Finance’ 2017.

In her spare time she enjoys time in the countryside or on the beach with her partner and two dogs.

Non-statutory directors of Williams Giles Professional Services Ltd are not directors of Williams Giles Professional Services Ltd and are not subject to the obligations and responsibilities of directors within Part 10 of the Companies Act 2006.

Georgina Fisher FMAAT
Accounts Manager

Georgina joined Williams Giles in 2016; she is a fellowship member of the Association of Accounting Technicians and qualified back in the 1990s.

Georgina has over 20 years’ experience, in recent years this has been largely working with Limited companies, whether it be new start-ups, bookkeeping advice, management accounts or year-end accounts preparation and also has experience working with both Sole Traders and Partnerships.  Georgina has been using Sage accounts for many years, but more recently has become familiar with cloud based bookkeeping packages and has also been responsible for both solicitors and client account audits.

In her spare time, Georgina enjoys being with her daughter whether it be watching her horse riding or taking the family dog for a walk. She also enjoys reading.

Joanne Thompson
Foster Care Tax Manager and Personal Tax Specialist

Joanne has worked in the tax department at Williams Giles since 1997 and has specialised in the taxation of foster carers ever since.

Joanne heads up our team of fostering tax specialists. She is also involved in delivering specialist sessions on tax and National Insurance for foster carers at both fostering agencies and local authorities.

Joanne is married with two children and enjoys keeping fit and tap dancing.

Lesley Carrington FCCA CTA
Tax Director

Lesley is a Chartered Certified Accountant and is also a Chartered Tax Advisor. She joined Williams Giles in September 2015 and heads up the firm’s Tax Department.

Lesley qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant in 1990 after training in accounts preparation, taxation and audit within a medium sized firm of Chartered Accountants in Kent. She found that what she really enjoyed though was the challenge of tax and in particular tax planning and handling tax enquiries. She therefore qualified as a Chartered Tax Advisor in 2000 and worked closely with the firm’s clients across the sectors including the not-for-profit sector, manufacturing and service industries. She was a founder and an equity director in a boutique Accountancy and Tax practice firm from the end of 1998 where she specialised in taxation issues and transactional work in the small and mid-market until August 2015.

Lesley is a member of the committee of the Chartered Institute of Tax Kent Branch.

Outside work Lesley is married to Mark with whom she has two children. She enjoys long walks in the country with her labrador, Millie, sailing, and making silver jewellery.

Sam Ketcher FCCA

Sam is responsible for the day to day running of our audit department and managing a portfolio of Not for Profit and Corporate Audit engagements.

Sam trained and qualified at a top 25 firm where he specialised in Charity clients as well as larger corporate engagements. He has extensive experience in working with Charities and Academy Schools and is well used to dealing with the challenges that this work presents. Sam always works hard to ensure that his clients’ needs are met and looks to develop a close working relationship with their management team. Sam keeps up to date with technical matters and is responsible for maintaining our audit methodology and working papers to ensure that we are always working in line with the latest regulatory requirements and best practice.

Sam Rylah FCCA
Associate Director

Sam is a Chartered Certified Accountant and joined Williams Giles in 2000.

She specialises in Fostering Agencies, Sessional Workers, Solicitors SAR, Construction Companies and Subbies, but also looks after a wide portfolio of owner managed businesses in many other interesting industries.

With 17 years’ experience in Financial Accounts, Audit, Tax and Cash Flow Forecasts. Helping business’s start-up, providing VAT, P11d's and Accounting Software advice.

"I believe taking the time to understand how your business is run is key to good advice and tax planning".

Married with two cheeky young boys, she still finds time to socialise and practise Yogalates.

Non-statutory directors of Williams Giles Professional Services Ltd are not directors of Williams Giles Professional Services Ltd and are not subject to the obligations and responsibilities of directors within Part 10 of the Companies Act 2006.

Symon Barkway FCCA
Small Business and Technical Director

Symon is a Fellow member of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants.

Symon has over 20 years’ experience and joined Williams Giles in 2012 having left another leading Kent firm where he qualified 15 years ago, which he joined immediately after graduating from the University of Kent.

Symon has a wide range of experience covering a variety of Accounting disciplines and has a considerable amount of experience dealing with Audited and Non-Audited Companies, with varying Turnover from many market sectors, all of which has been obtained from clients in the owner managed business sector.

He knows that no two business or individuals are the same and ensures that the service level offered is tailored to the requirements of the individual. For some this may be maximising profits, for others planning for retirement or family succession is most important, however these are all goals that he has helped his clients to achieve.

He has assisted numerous clients with starting their own businesses, providing tailored advice on the different trading forms, be that Sole Traders, Limited Companies, LLP’s or Partnerships and enjoys assisting his clients maximise their potential.

In his spare time, Symon enjoys dining, baking and travelling when time permits. Symon also has a young daughter occupies any otherwise “spare” time!

Wendy Crawford FCCA ACA
Managing Director

Wendy is a qualified Chartered Certified Accountant and completed her training both in industry and practice.

She originally joined Williams Giles back in 1984 as the practice manager, and over the years has developed a particular interest in the IT side of the business. She now looks after all of the day to day running of the firm, and is a strong believer that keeping up to date with technology is an important ingredient for success in today’s business environment.

Outside of work, she is keen on gardening and travel.

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