“Charles joked he’d put pictures of horses up in the new office.”
GKP, Foxley Kingham’s sister company recently acquired the Bedford-based branch of the highly respected accountancy firm, Keens Shay Keens (KSK), of which the late Charles Little was Director. Charles leaves an affectionate legacy of a long-serving, family-oriented team who go above and beyond for their clients and may know a thing or two about horse racing too.
ProActivity spoke to Karen Bowyer, accountant and twenty-one years employed by Charles about the move to GKP, the values she brings and how former boss, Charles, had felt so optimistic about the move.
“Charles was very positive about the firm’s acquisition by GKP. Many of his clients were with him at the start of my own career, which was twenty-one years ago when I began as an office junior and are still with us now. He knew they would be supported here.”
Karen worked her way up through KSK to become a fully qualified accountant. Now at GKP she continues to support many long-standing clients throughout Bedford and Newmarket in her role as Accounts Technician and enjoys going above and beyond to ensure accuracy and outstanding customer service.
“It was my first full-time job at KSK and like being part of a family. Although we are now just outside of Bedford, most clients came with us, some personal friends of Charles he met at Newmarket and through his love of horse racing. Our level service has always been high and it’s what I particularly love about my job and being able to demonstrate that service here now at GKP.
Karen encourages her clients to always pick up the phone to her personally too if there’s an issue. “It can often save hours later down the line to discuss an issue early on. I tell all my clients – just call me and we’ll talk it through.”
We spoke to Karen about how the move has been to GKP. “I won’t pretend it wasn’t a big change for me personally. I’d only ever worked in one place. But it’s been a lovely transition and the team have made me feel really welcome. I’ve felt so supported and the open-door policy really is an open-door policy.”
What skills does Karen bring with her to GKP? We asked about how the work itself is going.
“My longevity of service has been helpful. And my knowledge of the history with clients to bridge the gaps and provide background information so it’s not just a case of passing on a file.”
Does keen golfer, Karen, see herself developing her skills in a new direction going forward with the team at GKP?
“I’ve come from one firm where we had a certain way of doing things and now, if I want to progress in particular area of accountancy. I know I’ll get the support here to do it. But I’ve just got in the door, so I want to settle in for a while longer then the world is my oyster!”
Karen has really enjoyed the social aspect of joining the GKP team and meeting the entire Foxley Kingham family at the Christmas party.
“It’s been good to put faces to names, to all those people who we’ve spoken on the phone to for quite a few years. Suddenly we were at the Christmas get-together. It’s been wonderful.”
And would Charles have been happy to feature in this article?
“He always had a copy of the Racing Post tucked under his arm and was thrilled to be once featured in it. I know he’d be delighted to be featured here. He chose GKP to continue to look after his clients and he’d be happy to know his history is part of the GKP future. He joked he’d put picture of horses up on the walls.”