Godfrey Wilson provides audit, accountancy, tax and consultancy services to small and medium sized organisations. We specialise in charities and social enterprise, and over 75% of our work is from the not-for-profit sector.
The firm was set up in 2002 after identifying a need for specialised yet affordable professional services for charities.
We are a small but growing firm and have rapidly established a reputation for our fresh, down-to-earth approach and our ability to make the principles of good financial management easy to understand and implement.
We are based at Mariner House, Bristol city centre. Most of our clients are located in Bristol and the South West, however we work with clients from across the UK.
The firm has two partners – Alison Godfrey and Rob Wilson. Both are qualified chartered accountants and fellows of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). The firm is registered with the ICAEW to undertake statutory audit work.
Our business is built on a firm commitment to the not-for-profit sector and a wealth of experience in finance, accounting and governance.
We believe in:
Overall we believe that charities and social enterprise really do make a difference.
As a company, we are very aware of the impact we have on the world around us. We take corporate social responsibility very seriously, from local issues such as supporting local businesses to global issues such as fair trade and resource usage. Here are some of the ways we try to do our bit:
We recycle everything that we can: paper, glass, cans, plastic and cardboard. We try to minimise our use of resources across the business. This means printing double-sided or using discarded print as scrap paper, emailing documents instead of printing hard copies, and using our website as a marketing tool instead of producing wasteful and unnecessary glossy brochures. We use 100% recycled or FSC mixed source paper for all our business stationery.
We try to minimise our carbon emissions and where practical we walk, cycle or use public transport to visit our clients.
We purchase fair trade products where they are available. We use local businesses and suppliers whenever we can and ensure that our suppliers share our ethical values. For example, we source our electricity from Ecotricity, a green energy supplier, and buy office stationary supplies from Green Stat, an environmentally conscious supplier based in Bath.
Our staff are committed to the voluntary sector and demonstrate this through volunteering and fundraising for charities in their own time. Alison has held several trustee roles with a variety of charities, and Rob raises money for charities by taking part in endurance sporting events. The company also makes a donation from monthly profits to one or more charities voted for by the firm's staff and donates significant amounts of time to the local voluntary sector.
“Compared to my experiences with other accountants and auditors over the years, Alison is a breath of fresh air - extremely competent but also proportional and understanding of how small charities work in the real world.”
Chief Executive, Viva Network
Between them, Rob and Alison have over 30 years' accountancy experience, most of which has been spent working with charities. The directors take a very hands-on role with their clients, and a direct role in training and supervising junior staff.
Alison Godfrey has over 15 years experience in the charity and not-for-profit sector. She trained with Sayer Vincent, a London-based, charity-specialist firm where she gained extensive experience of audit, accounts preparation, taxation and consultancy. She progressed to the position of Audit Manager, looking after a portfolio of 30 charity clients. During her time at Sayer Vincent she spent 4 months on secondment at Oxfam, conducting internal audits and training staff on projects throughout Africa and Asia.
On moving to Gloucestershire, Alison worked as Head of Finance & Administration for The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), a national conservation charity. She managed a team of 7 staff to run the finance function for the charity which had a turnover of £12m, 9 branches and 400 staff.
Since setting up Godfrey Wilson, Alison has continued to specialise in the charity sector. As well as auditing and accounting, recent work assignments have included risk management, VAT advice, writing course material for an online course (Financial Management in the Voluntary Sector), and a financial investigation for an international charity in West Africa. This blend of experience means Alison is well placed to advise on both operational and strategic issues.
Alison is also an Associate Consultant for MANGO (Management Accounting for NGOs) providing financial consultancy to international development charities.
Alison has undertaken a number of volunteering roles, including working with street children in Kathmandu, and working at a high school in Nairobi. She has also held various Treasurer roles, including Treasurer of Deki, a micro-finance charity, and Mji Wa Neema, a Kenyan orphanage. She currently volunteers for her children’s school PTA and as Child Welfare Office for a local youth football club.
Rob Wilson trained as a chartered accountant with Sproull & Co in Harrow, moving to Bright Graham Murray in West London when he qualified in 2002. During this time he specialised in SMEs but worked with a wide variety of clients from charities to public listed companies.
Rob has also worked in a number of interim senior finance roles, including Financial Controller for one of the country's leading PR firms, Head of Finance for a sports PR firm, and Head of Finance for a school of 3D animation and CGI.
At Godfrey Wilson, Rob's work includes consultancy, management accounting, budgeting, payroll, company formations, installation of accounting software, and year end accounts. His strengths lie in helping organisations through periods of growth and change by building a sound financial and technological infrastructure to support expansion.
Recent work assignments have included: the installation of a computerised accounting system capable of tracking numerous, complex restricted funds and automatically producing a variety of bespoke reports; the overhaul and improvement of the financial procedures for an international events company; and writing a business plan for an international fair trade company seeking to raise finance.
Rob enjoys raising money for charity by taking part in endurance sporting events. He regularly competes in triathlons and marathons.