The last year has drawn attention to the resilience of the human spirit, as evidenced by this year’s Xero Awards.
This year we introduced two new awards, one of which is the Community Impact Award. Judged by The Samaritans, the award celebrates accountants making a real difference in their communities – particularly during a tough year. We were delighted to announce Stroud based firm Kung Fu Accounting (KFA) as the first recipient of this special award.
Here’s a look at some of the amazing work they’ve been doing and why we think they’re so deserving of this accolade.
Fostering a culture of goodwill
Founded by Scott Johnson, Kung Fu Accounting is the world’s only ICAEW Chartered accounting company that is also a certified B Corporation. These corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
Scott explains: “Using our business as a force for good is written in our DNA. Since starting in 2016, we’ve supported local schools, our neighbours, the local community, and those further afield, simply as part of the way we do things.”
Since August, they’ve made a commitment to donate a bag to a child in care, via Madlug, every time they submit a personal tax return. “We’re up to 113 bags already, so 113 children won’t have to put their things in a bin bag when they leave care.” Through Beanies Masato, they’ve also provided hats to 25 homeless people in Ipswich, and 25 in Cheltenham.
“In this critical moment, our communities need us to make a difference in ways that are both innovative and equitable,” says Scott. “That’s why we created the KFA Community Fund; local, purpose-driven organisations can apply for financial support from a dedicated, ring-fenced pot of money. In addition, we’re busy exploring options with our town council to buy a parcel of land to re-wild, using the £10k Coronavirus grant we received just for having premises. This will provide vital insect and wildlife habitats, and carbon storage.”
KFA’s culture of goodwill also extends to less fortunate communities and individuals beyond the country’s borders. For example, they’ve given 546 days of water pump maintenance to a school in Tanzania, planted 510 forest trees in Kenya, and made 90 days of bookkeeping training available to female entrepreneurs in Malawi.
COVID-19 community support
KFA has been in the fortunate position of being able to continue their community work throughout the pandemic. So far, they’ve directly supported 60 local businesses, and indirectly helped many more. One such project – The Long Table – made and delivered food to isolating and isolated individuals.
Through all of this, KFA stood steadfastly beside their clients. They created a free bank of useful accounting resources for them to use and share. And they also provided COVID-19 support for their clients at no extra charge.
A world first
KFA also launched one of the world’s first ethical payslips – a payroll service through which their clients opt in to donate £1 for every electronic payslip produced. “We then match those amounts, and the whole lot is donated to worthy causes vetted by B1G1. We guarantee that 100% of these donations go to our three chosen projects each quarter,” Scott adds.
KFA’s business model could be likened to the All Blacks’ desire to ‘leave the shirt in a better place than you found it’. Do the basics, do them well, but make one thing better, improve one thing, and leave a legacy. At Xero, we’re proud to be working alongside businesses like KFA that are working tirelessly to support small businesses and a wider social cause – they’re a very deserving winner of our first community impact award.