Mark Patchett specialises in setting up and running Community Trusts, usually in partnership with either developers or local authorities, to deliver quality stewardship and legacy solutions that support the local community within major new housing developments.
Mark has engaged Wilder Coe for two different projects within the charity sector for which he was contracted to deliver stewardship solutions.
Ebbsfleet Development Corporation is a very different project, but with a similar arrangement. Set up by the government to create Ebbsfleet Garden City – the UK’s fastest-growing housing development which will contain 15,000 houses and a population of 40,000.
With Ebbsfleet, it was on my recommendation to work with Wilder Coe. I could only think of one other firm that had the capacity and experience for what we wanted. Wilder Coe came in when we were setting up Ebbsfleet Garden City Trust which is a legacy trust similar to CaSE. The difference is the scale as Ebbsfleet will have 5 city parks, numerous buildings and community facilities, and will be a multi-million-pound organisation.
Charity law is complex and the financial elements around charities are challenging. In particular, we had key questions around VAT and Stamp Duty which we were really keen to get right and needed quality reliable advice. Having had experience with Wilder Coe previously, you did an excellent and very swift job responding to practical technical issues on three case examples we needed assistance on.
This is why I recommend Wilder Coe as it worked really well. We value Wilder Coe. Not only do we know we are going to get a good service, but it’s the level of competence delivered that is vital, so the trustees can feel confident with what is being provided.
That confidence level is essential for a group of trustees, who are often fairly inexperienced and rely on the knowledge of others, such as consultants and accountants, to advise them.
The two best things, at the end of the day, is the quality service you give. When you pay for something, you want to get that service and Wilder Coe delivered exactly what it was that we wanted.
To be candid, I’ve worked with other accountancy firms for various trusts that I’ve set up over the years but they simply wouldn’t have been able to handle what we needed. I’m very pleased to work with Wilder Coe, as you had the capacity, the competence and the means to deliver through a very interactive process.
With Ebbsfleet, we had a lot of dialogue and conversation, and I really appreciated the attentiveness to the questions and also the preparation. Colleagues had done a fair bit of preparation each time we were meeting and talking, so senior people’s time, on both sides, during the online meetings throughout COVID fully prepared to know exactly what they wanted to get out of it and what questions needed to be asked. That client relationship was well maintained and managed by Mark Saunders initially and then he briefed and bought in colleagues who got on and did the business. This worked very well.
I have no hesitation at all in recommending Wilder Coe. My entire experience across two client accounts has been very good. You pay for what you get, so if you want a cheap job then you certainly can find cheaper accountants to do it but will they give you the quality and assurity you’re after and the indemnity you’re after? When you pay Wilder Coe to do a job, in my experience clearly, you get a great job and value for money in that context. Whatever the size of the client, if you want a quality accounting firm then I have no hesitation to recommend Wilder Coe.
I’ve been very pleased so far and I hope we have a continued relationship. I’ll always be happy to recommend you if people ask.