Gary Cornwell Celebrates 20 Years at Lewis & Co

Gary Cornwell, Managing Director at the accountancy firm Lewis & Co in Southborough is celebrating 20 years with the business on 24th June. His introduction to Lewis & Co came when he was sent there on work experience, while still at school.

“Looking back, I was really lucky with how the team at Lewis & Co supported me during those two weeks,” says Gary. “I realise now that work experience for many students means making the tea and doing tedious admin tasks like shredding, but Barney Lewis took the time to introduce me to accountancy.”

Lewis & Co was established by Barney Lewis nearly 40 years ago and moved to its current location in the centre of Southborough in 1997.

After the period of work experience Gary returned to Lewis & Co during school holidays. His interest in accountancy led him to studying it at the University of Northampton, alongside sports studies. Then a vacancy arose at Lewis & Co in the Summer of 2003 and he was offered the opportunity to join the firm full-time as an Accounts Assistant.

“It was a case of being in the right place at the right time,” says Gary. “Twenty years later, I am in the unusual position of having never had a job interview or, indeed, needed to write a CV.”

Gary went on to study for his AAT exams, before moving onto his ACCA qualifications. He enjoyed maths at school, so found his early days with the firm interesting being very ‘hands on’ with calculations and learning about accountancy and taxation.

“Barney retired in 2016, so now I’m a lot more involved in client interaction and driving the business forward,” adds Gary. “We’ve remained fairly small and used that to our advantage. Our clients know who they are speaking to when they call us and we are always reply to any enquiries promptly. We continue to be that friendly practice Barney created and a lot of our new business comes from word-of-mouth referrals.”

Before his two weeks’ work experience, Gary had considered becoming a chef and cooking is still something which he thoroughly enjoys today. In addition, he supports – and Lewis & Co sponsors – Tonbridge Angels Football Club.