“If you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves.” Charles Sampson was brought up hearing this phrase. He spent his early years growing up in the United Kingdom very conscious of his own finances, and he realized with age that he could do the same for small businesses, start-ups, and multinational corporations. Now, as an internationally in demand finance director and business advisor, he takes that childhood mantra and uses it to help companies around the world grow.
“As a finance manager, you sit as part of an executive team and have a key role in shaping the company’s financial strategy. The general exposure of the role means that every day will be different and present new challenges. I feel that when people are challenged, they perform to the best of their ability. I certainly have found that when I have been challenged, I have had to raise the bar,” said Sampson. “Other areas I enjoy are developing the company financial policies, managing capital investments and ensuring company adherence to statutory financial requirements.”
With an ACA qualification (Association of Chartered Accountants), Sampson has a deep understanding of the mechanics that business follows. Having worked with many start-ups, he has vast experience with taking a small business or idea and turning it into a financially viable corporation. This is exemplified by his work with Blue Bear Storage, Old St. Labs, and Ashley Chartering Limited.
Most recently, Sampson has taken on a new role as the Director of Kingsfield Consulting Limited. It was set up to offer bookkeeping, treasury management and accounting services for small/start-up companies. The company was incorporated in August 2018 and since then has done several projects. KCL offers a range of business advisory services tailored to its clients’ needs. The firm commits to lasting relationships with its clients by ensuring it fully understands their business needs.
“Every project I’ve worked on is completely different. I have been providing accounting services for my old company and financial modelling for new clients. This means every day is different and the work varies, which is great if you’re like me and struggle being stuck with the same daily tasks. What I love about this work is I get to help businesses and have a say in the early stages. The first year of a business is the most crucial and this is where you can really make your mark and help mold the strategy of the business. I think Kingsfield Consulting Ltd. offers an affordable service for small businesses whilst not hindering the company‘s performance with expensive professional fees,” Sampson described.
Sampson has always had the idea of starting a consulting company. All throughout his accounting career he has enjoyed offering advice to friends and family, and their feedback has always been that he should be doing this for a living. In the five months since incorporating, KCL has worked with four different companies covering a range of different projects. These include his former employer Ashley Global Shipping, as well as Fring Estate, a fully working estate that offers holidays to people who want to escape to the country and Norfolk coastland. They currently have four rentals and they’re looking to expand this to eight in the coming years.
“During my career I have taken much pleasure in working with small to medium companies who are in their early stages and are trying to navigate the complex accounting and regulatory environment. Today’s legislation and regulation is more complex than ever, and I want to help people and businesses understand what they need to be aware of and what they can choose to ignore,” he said.
Sampson’s latest project involves creating a business plan for Lock Studios, which is looking to expand its operations and double its turnover in the next two years. Lock Studios is “a unique 6000 sq. ft shooting and event space situated in the heart of Hoxton, consisting of four daylight and blackout studios overlooking the regents canal”. Lock Studios was started by Tom Warren to take advantage of the contacts he made during his modelling career. Although Sampson had very little prior knowledge of the financial modelling industry and how to create a business plan for it, he was able to give them the basic knowledge that underpin both so he could later amend the model.
“I have really enjoyed the financial modelling projects that I have done so far. Most accountants work more with historic figures than they do the forward projections, so it has been great gaining this exposure. You must take a slightly different approach to your work when forecasting the next couple of years of the business. The first thing you need to work out is what the main drivers of the business are,” he said. “For Lock Studios it was the occupancy rates of each studio and once you have worked that out you can then build a model that is based on these. Along the way you constantly adjust and tinker with all the assumptions until you have a forecast that you can justify to management and any third party.”
For Sampson, it is great to know he played a part in a company’s success story, and at only 31, he has already helped many businesses get their feet off the ground. As he continues to grow, he just hopes that every project he works on is a success and that they all translate to a successful business of his own.