On the 1st July 2006, the Kings Own Royal Border Regiment, the Kings Regiment and the Queens Lancashire Regiment were amalgamated to form The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (King’s Lancashire and Border).
Charity CEO, Colonel Chris Owen
Associated with each of these regiments was a regimental charity and following the amalgamation of the regiments all these separate charities came under the administration of The Regimental Charity of The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.
The Charity has a wide range of objectives and responsibilities, primarily to promote the efficiency of the Regiment in such charitable ways as the Trustees may decide. This includes, maintenance of regimental chapels, memorials and colours. It actively promotes ‘esprit de corps’ amongst serving and former members of the Regiment and its former regiments, preserving traditions and encouraging ongoing recruitment to the Regiment. Relief can be provided to former members of the Regiment and its former regiments who are in conditions of need, due to financial hardship, sickness or old age.
Each year the Charity must have its accounts professionally audited. In the past the Charity used an accountancy firm that was not locally based and whilst this fulfilled the mechanics of the need for accountancy support it didn’t allow for the firm to get to know the Charity properly and therefore offer wider financial support and advice.
The legacy contract with their old accountants was for a 5 year period and when this came to an end the Charity decided they would see if they could find a more local company to work with. Based on research and recommendations, several accountancy firms were approached and asked to come into the barracks and present their cases to the charity’s CEO, Colonel Owen.
Two of Whitehead & Aldrich’s partners, David Greenwood and Jonathan Hughes-Deane made a presentation to Colonel Owen. One of the features of their presentation that struck a chord with the Colonel was their emphasis on the fact that Whitehead & Aldrich very much value having a personal relationship with their clients, seeing them as people as opposed to merely companies or institutions. Anyway, whatever else David and Jonathan said must have worked because Whitehead & Aldrich have been the charity’s accountants since 2016!
Astute readers of the rest of Whitehead & Aldrich’s website will not fail to notice that they have fully embraced and strongly advocate cloud based accounting systems for their clients and it was no different with their advice to the Charity.
Historically, the Charity used a single computer based, rather old fashioned accounting software package. Whitehead & Aldrich’s advice was to move onto Xero, their preferred cloud based accountancy package. As with all clients that Whitehead & Aldrich transfer to Xero, they undertook to move all the accounts information and train the Charity on the new software. Of the move between systems, Paul Batey, Resources Officer at the charity said, “The transition between the systems was seamless and this coupled with the training provided meant everything ran smoothly and efficiently.
Moving to Xero has been a major advancement as it enables users to access the Charity accounts from anywhere, on a multitude of devices with it being a cloud based system.” As of writing, the UK is currently under lockdown due to the Covid 19 pandemic so a system that allows access and control of the accounts remotely is proving extremely valuable for reasons that would have seemed completely unimaginable when the transfer was made.
When asked to comment on how the relationship with Whitehead & Aldrich is going, Paul said, “Whitehead and Aldrich undertake an annual audit of the charity account. That involves a visit from a team, normally in January, were they undertake the audit fieldwork. Any questions are dealt with there and then. That means that the charity accounts are produced in a more timely fashion, an important requirement, more so than we had experienced previously.”
He continued, “Whitehead and Aldrich provide the charity with a high class, quality service. They are easy to contact, whether that be by phone or email. Replies and requests for assistance are provided promptly and their advice, whether on accountancy or wider business issues is invariably sound, trusted and valued. They have taken the time to get to know us and what we do and are a delight to work with. To summarise, Whitehead and Aldrich provide a cost effective, personal, local service to the Charity and are highly recommended.”