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9 April 2018

47 reasons we were recognised as the 47th best small companies to work for

47 reasons ForrestBrown is the best company to work for

ForrestBrown has been ranked number 47 in the Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For (2018). To celebrate, we’re counting down 47 reasons, from perks and progression opportunities to Workout Wednesdays and rewarding work, why we’re proud to work for such an amazing company.

47. Biggest R&D specialist
We’re one of the UK’s largest teams of chartered tax advisers specialising in R&D tax credits.

46. We’re growing, fast
We’ve gone from five to over 50 employees in just 4 years, and we’re not planning on slowing down.

45. Tripling in three years
We’re hoping to increase staff numbers from 63 to 150 in the next three years.

44. We give good news
We delight clients by identifying their R&D and qualifying costs to give them a cash boost.

43. We let the numbers do the talking
In 2017 alone, we’re thrilled to have delivered more than £75 million for our clients.

42. Our work pushes the boundaries of innovation
Our clients use the benefit we deliver to spark the next big project, or create something remarkable.

41. We’re generous with our time
We’re committed to building brilliant relationships, and advise over 100 companies a month.

beer fridge

40. Friday beers
We work hard. But we enjoy ourselves, too, and always make time for a beer on a Friday at our in-house bar.

39. Fresh fruit
Our office is stocked with fresh fruit – helping us get our 5 a day.

38. Workout Wednesday
We care about health and wellbeing. So, on Wednesdays, we have the option to start our day later to make time for a quick morning sweat.

37. A mix of skills
From chartered tax advisers and industry specialists to project managers and marketers, our team combines all kinds of skills and backgrounds. That’s what makes us who we are.

36. Relaxed dress code
We don’t think suits equal outstanding work. That’s why we don’t wear suits at all.

35. The ForrestBrowner gin
We worked with local Bristol microdistillery and client, Psychopomp, to craft our very own batch of gin; The ForrestBrowner.

34. Buzzing Bristol headquarters
Our office is located in the city centre, in the buzzing hub of Bristol – a stone’s throw from Castle Park and the Harbourside.

33. There’s plenty to do around here
“I’m Bristol born and bred, so a little biased, but I’m always amazed by the number of things there are to do here – from sports teams and events to restaurants, pubs, clubs and outdoor pursuits. It’s buzzing.” Tom, associate director

32. We work with clients in exciting industries
Food and beverage. Aviation. Creative. Manufacturing. Construction. Technology. Our clients span across a vast number of sectors.

31. We don’t stick to corporate norms
We focus on solutions, not suits – we’re committed to delivering outstanding results for our clients rather than sticking to corporate norms.

30. Keeping it classic
Some of our work is helping a client restore and improve Alfa Romeos from the 1950s.

ForrestBrown celebrates 4th birthday party

29. We know how to have fun
Being part of ForrestBrown means being part of our quarterly socials and annual parties. We love to celebrate after working hard for our clients.

28. The proof’s in the pudding
Following a vanilla shortage, our work is helping a client research and develop a synthetic vanilla taste to go in ice cream, which is now being distributed to supermarkets across the UK. Phew.

27. Runs with the MD
Simon, founder and managing director here at ForrestBrown, often leads a team of runners on a route near our office.

26. We’re award winners
We were named ‘Best Independent Consultancy firm’ at Tolley’s Taxation Awards 2016 – and we’ve been shortlisted for the same award in 2018 too.

25. Our people are pretty special
“As soon as I met the other tax associates, I knew I wanted to work at ForrestBrown. You could just tell that everyone really loves their job. I can feel the difference in employees here compared to my other work experiences.” Zoe Rose, tax associate

24. We love to learn
The Learning Lab – theoretical, class-room based and practical modules ensure we’re continuously challenged.

23. Develop business skills
We run weekly knowledge-sharing sessions and are all encouraged to attend external training courses.

22. We feel valued
We’re smaller than the Big 4, so we don’t feel like cogs in a big machine – we’re all individuals, valued for what we do and who we are.

21. We love what we do
“Tax has always been a big part of my life. I met my husband while training in tax (we even had a tax-based reading at our wedding!) Jen, senior tax manager

ForrestBrown office interior

20. We’re more like an agency than a tax firm
“As soon as I walked through the door for my interview I was struck by how modern and agency-like the office was. It was pretty obvious that this wasn’t your average tax firm.” Virali, tax associate

19. Progression possibilities
“We have a clear framework for progression, and if you’re good, you can really fly here.”

18. Team building is important to us
Last year, we headed to Usk Castle in Wales for 24 hours of bonding and adventure.

17. Amazing Christmas parties
Rome. Copenhagen. Reykjavik. Our annual Christmas parties get us in the festive spirit.

16. Bonus scheme
As well as a competitive salary, we also offer employees a bonus scheme.

15. We don’t all come from tax backgrounds
“I wasn’t from a tax background originally, so I found the intensive onboarding process to be really helpful.” Laura,  operations director

14. Trusted training
We’re an Institute of Chartered Accountants accredited training employer.

13. There’s no hierarchy here
We all sit together in an open-plan office space.

ForrestBrown office table

12. Developing the next generation of tax associates
Our tax associate programme currently has 14 staff working towards their Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualifications.

11. We’re giving London a run for its money
“Returning from London, I love that you can just walk around Bristol. I don’t have to commute by tube, rents are far lower – it all makes for a much better work/life balance.” Julian Ford, tax associate

10. We leave our mark
“A good friend of mine, Tom, owns Usk Castle. I was over that way last summer and there were some leftover beers lying around. Tom said they were from this company ForrestBrown, who had spent some amazing time at Usk on a staff away day and night. As I was sipping a ForrestBrown beer, Tom said I should check them out because they looked great to work for, and eight months later… here I am!” Joe McGurk, tax manager

9. Joined forces with alliantgroup
Being part of alliantgroup, the US’ premier tax credits provider, will give us a global footprint and help us continue to grow without compromising our high standards.

8. Our employees are award winners, too
“I have just won the prestigious Rising Star Award at the Taxation Awards 2017, and I think that says it all about ForrestBrown – you get a chance to shine!” Lisa-Marie Smith, director

7. Equal gender split
54% male. 46% female. We’re proud of our diverse team.

6. We’re here to stay
Our staff turnover is an impressive 5%.

5. Rewarding work
“The best thing about my role is knowing that we’re making a difference to our clients’ businesses.” Phil, sector specialist

4. Satisfied staff
88% of us are happy with our pay and benefits.

3. Valuable experience
The work we do isn’t just for the here and now. 94% of employees say that the experience they gain here at ForrestBrown is valuable for their future.

2. Inspiring leadership
For the measure in our Best Small Companies listing, a whopping 98% of us ranked Simon, our managing director, an inspiring and brilliant leader.

The full ForrestBrown team at Bristol Mshed

1. A shared purpose
We feel proud to share in our common purpose to help innovative businesses grow.

If you want to discover 47 reasons to love ForrestBrown, and maybe even a few more, then join our growing team – we’re growing fast and looking for talented people to join us. You can find our latest vacancies here. However, if you have something special to offer – feel free to get in touch.