“Our firm has not, nor will it ever be built on the efforts of a single person, but rather its future, like its past, will be built on the contribution of all those associated with the firm. Let me, therefore, encourage you to be enthusiastic and competent in your work, patient and objective in your criticisms, and above all, be tolerant and well spoken of both our clients and of your associates in the firm.”
– Wilfrid Wilkinson, Founding Partner, Wilkinson & Company
On February 1st, 1964, Wilfrid Wilkinson – the young, city wise accountant from the prestigious Montreal firm, E.C. Leetham & Co. – stood in the office that was meant to be a branch for the firm’s Trenton, Belleville and Kingston clients. Deemed too small and not ambitious enough in scope, Wilfrid’s superiors were happy to let him buy out the Trenton office to make a go of it on his own.
If only E.C. Leetham & Co. had known how far Wilf was going to take this new firm, they might have tried harder to keep him in Montreal. What started as an office with five or six people quickly grew to be a firm with three partners: Wilf Wilkinson, Mike Ackerman, and Jerry Silverthorn. The company dedicated itself to providing superior service and helping its clients build wealth. The firm’s first office in downtown Trenton was within a complex of small offices housing other local businesses. As the Wilkinson firm grew, it expanded into each office space as it became available.
In 1974, ten years in business marked a milestone for the company when it merged with John Lewars’ accounting firm, which had been operating out of Belleville for twenty years. In what turned out to be a momentous year, Wilkinson & Company LLP also acquired the Trenton office of Dunwoody & Company, a merger that saw the firm gain Rob Cory and Bob Yager. Later that same year, the growing firm merged with R.G. Harrison, and expanded its operations to 217 Pinnacle Street in Belleville.
Over the years, the firm continued to expand. After twenty years at the Pinnacle Street location, the Belleville office moved to 139 Front Street, in 1994. In 2001, another merger brought the Kingston firm of Shurtleff & Savage into the firm and expanded the area of Ontario served by Wilkinson & Company LLP. In 2002, the company was also pleased to announce the launch of Wilkinson Financial Services, a separate company dedicated to assisting clients in safeguarding and building their wealth.
Over the course of the last fifty years, Wilkinson and Company LLP has evolved into Eastern Ontario’s leading regional public accounting firm, and is a member of the prestigious Top 30. With typical modesty, Wilf looks back on this exemplary track record, “We were very lucky in our partners, our employees and our clients. We’ve consistently attracted people who value excellence. Our staff has been excellent. Northumberland, Hastings, and Kingston areas have been most receptive and supportive. It’s been a good place – for the business and for our families.”
There is no doubt that with such a strong foundation, Wilkinson & Company LLP will continue to flourish as it works towards another fifty years of success.