Ernst & Young has stepped into the role vacated by Big Five cousin KPMG to handle this year’s accounts for charity fundraiser Comic Re lief.
The firm has set up a dedicated Red Nose room at its Beckett House offices in London for Friday’s fundraiser. A team of around a dozen volunteers from the firm will process and record donations as they arrive on and after 12 March, this year’s Red Nose Day.
Heading up the operation is Garth Tweedale, a partner in E&Y’s entertainment group. He is responsible for the organisation as well as overseeing the handling of the Comic Relief account.
‘It is going to be a big job,’ Tweedale said. ‘The key role is making sure we deliver the service to the client, even though it is free of charge.’
Tweedale will personally participate in the fun and games and has been ‘volunteered’ for a baked-bean eating contest on 12 March.
Since its establishment on Christmas Day 1985, Comic Relief has raised more than #139m to help poor and vulnerable people in the UK and Africa.
Tweedale’s predecessor for the previous five Red Nose Days was David Murrell, senior partner of KPMG’s global media practice. The operation cost KPMG #1m.
‘It is a serious commitment to charity,’ Murrell said. ‘We processed about 62,000 cheques every two years and monitored all bank and building society payments. We had a great time in the ten years but there comes a time when someone else should have a go.’
E&Y is expecting seven or eight mailbags of donations every day for around two months after Red Nose Day.
Aside from processing donations, the firm will also be responsible for producing a cash book which will record all donations made.
‘We are delighted to be working with Comic Relief for the first time.
We hope that as many of our 7,500 staff as possible will get involved in one way or another in helping to raise money for the charities that Comic Relief supports,’ Tweedale added.
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