Awards 2001 – William Lane – Accounting Technician of the Year.

This winner of this year’s Accounting Technician of the Year award, is a director of South West Charitable Giving. Major William Lane, the former branch manager at an accounting firm based in Tavistock, took what was the Federation of Masters Builders Charitable Fund and transformed it into South West Charitable Giving, a payroll-giving agency responsible for distributing individual employee donations to charitable associations on behalf of employers.

In a category in which judges looked for demonstrable professionalism, imagination and innovation leading to organisational success, Lane built up South West Charitable Giving from an agency that distributed just #40 to four charities in July 1987 to one that distributed more than #500,000 in donations from 72,000 donors to an estimated 3,700 charities in July 2001.

At this current rate of growth, South West Charitable Giving will be the second biggest payroll-giving agency in the UK by July 2002. Today it currently distributes on behalf of employees from approximately 800 companies and organisations, including financial services provider Paymaster, the Ministry of Defence, British Airways and Rolls Royce Group to name just a few.

In addition, it has been the charity distributor for the Inland Revenue since February 1998 after winning the tender from another payroll-giving agency.

Remarkably, Lane has achieved this all with a staff of just nine operating from a converted stable, garage and hay shed in Devon. He also spent eight years as chairman of the Association of Payroll Giving Agencies.

Judges in this category said Lane had done a ‘good job’ adding that what he had achieved at South West Charitable Giving was ‘very interesting indeed’. Lane was also commended for his excellent presentation, which included a clear explanation of the payroll-giving scheme and advice on what senior management, payroll managers and employees needed to know.

As one judge remarked: ‘Lane’s presentation told me a lot about payroll giving agencies that I didn’t already know.’

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