If you run a bar or a restaurant, choosing the right accountant to work with is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make in business. The Financial Managent Centre is one of the UK’s leading accountancy firms with a special division and industry expertise for hospitality entrepreneurs.

With UK tax laws and forms becoming ever more complicated each year, your TFMC accountant will help you in three major ways:

  • Take away your worries around bookkeeping and paying tax, and
  • Save you time and hassle with your year-end personal and business taxation filing requirements
  • Give you the insight needed to boost your bottom line.

Behind every successful businessperson is a proactive, knowledgeable accountant.

Here are the three most significant benefits that an experienced accountant with a background in working with the licensed trade sector will bring your restaurant or bar:

Benefit 1 – Detailed knowledge of your operating industry tax laws

By working with a specialist TFMC accountant who knows their way around the many tax rules that bars and restaurants must follow, you’ll find that your business will benefit immediately from additional and measurable profitability.

Your TFMC accountant will:

  • lower your corporation tax bill by (tens of) thousands a year by claiming on capital depreciation on your business’s assets (furniture, catering equipment, fixtures and fittings, and more)
  • make the most of your annual investment allowance when upgrading your premises
  • claim back against front of house staff uniforms
  • be sure that absolutely every item of input VAT is being accounted for to bring down your VAT liability
  • deal with staff tips (the tronc) and tax
  • handle your holiday pay calculations for seasonal increases in business
  • ensure that your bar or restaurant complies with Machine Games Duty regulations

If you live on premises, your TFMC accountant will also help you split your domestic costs (including salary, dividends, and working from home allowances) from your commercial running costs.

Benefit 2 – trust your accountant

Your accountant, by his or her nature, is a master of detail.

Chartered accountants will not only make sure that your records are filed on time with both HMRC and Companies House but that what they submit for your business is correct.

Fines and penalties for late submission can run into the thousands. Working with an accountant means no late fines and no worries of future HMRC investigation because you got your company accounts in after the deadline.

Your accountant will be a member of either the Institute of Chartered Accountant in England and Wales (ICAEW) or the Institute of Chartered Accountants for Scotland (ICAS).

Membership of these organisations guarantees all accountant clients that a firm works to the very highest of industry standards. The latest accounting policies and procedures will be in place and adhered to. Best practice must be followed by all members, all of which will be overseen by ongoing peer-led compliance and quality reviews.

In the rare cases of disputes, member firms must abide by rulings laid down by the ICAEW/ICAS. An extra layer of client protection is offered with full professional indemnity insurance.

A chartered accountant and his or her colleagues will always be available to you to speak with when you need advice and support. Having their insight and knowledge to hand will help you mitigate risk at all life cycle stages of your restaurant or bar. And when there is a big decision to make, your accountant will be there to talk you through the advantages and disadvantages of a proposed course of action.

Benefit 3 – advice on all aspects of running your bar or restaurant

Just how valuable is a chartered accountant to a restauranteur? A survey by website RestaurantOwner.com demonstrates that value precisely.

The most successful restaurants work with their accountants to regularly produce these three documents:

  • a monthly profit and loss statement
  • food and wage costs every week
  • stock takes every week or month

Only 29% of restaurants, which did none of the above points, made revenue. 61% who did one of them a month were profitable, while 70% those that did two of the three reported had spare money to put aside every week. If all three were carried out, the figure rose to 75%.

Given that the pub trade shares similar staffing requirements, stocking needs, and general overheads as the restaurant trade, having an accountant there to keep on top of your numbers will secure you a definite advantage.

Your TFMC accountant will provide you with regular advice and insight that will help you control your pub’s food/drink margins and the salaries paid as a percentage of total turnover.

The money you save on both your business and personal taxes should more than cover the cost of your accounting fees alone.

As your bar or restaurant develops and grows, your TFMC accountant partner will:

  • be there to advise you on key business decisions
  • give you workable strategies on efficient cash flow management (to make sure there’s always money there to meet the bills)
  • provide insight on successful sales, marketing, and operational strategies across the sector
  • make sure you claim every penny back possible in tax to preserve and grow profits

Your TFMC accountant will help you manage changes to the wage and dividend split you pay yourself, changes to personal allowances for you and your staff, the new Minimum Wage rates, and more.

Cloud accounting benefits for your bar or restaurant

Bookkeeping has changed a lot over the last 10 years. More than 1 million companies in the UK keep their financial details up to date by using cloud bookkeeping software packages like Xero, Sage, Kashflow, Quickbooks, and Clear Books.

The days of placing all invoices and receipts into a brown envelope and sending them off to an accountant are over. And that’s a good thing, as cloud accounting has made this process much easier.

Access to accurate and timely financial information gives you and your TFMC accountant the information you both need to better control your business’s destiny – we saw how well this approach works with restaurants in the survey we cited earlier in this article.

All you need to do is to update your books online once every few days with the very latest information, which can be done on your mobile, tablet and desktop.

Bookkeeping on the cloud is updated live. We recommend that you give your accountant the log-in details for your cloud accounting package so that they can produce everything you need from monthly profit and loss statements and balance sheet summaries to management accounts (great if you’re looking for outside investment or loan financing).

Cloud accounting grows with you and your business. And the best cloud accounting packages are designed for non-bookkeepers and non-accountants to use quickly and with ease.

The platform produces accurate and detailed reports from the information you enter into it. Your accountant can then use these reports to help you better control the day-to-day running of your business, your taxes, and plan your business’s growth and development.

Start your journey with us today

TFMC’s team brings years of knowledge, insight, and experience to hospitality businesses, especially in the restaurant and licensed trade sector. To find out more, g et in touch with our team on 0800 470 4820 or email info@tfmcentre.co.uk.

John Stolliday
John Stolliday

John Stolliday runs The Financial Management Centre in Luton East. John is a qualified accountant (FCCA) and bookkeeper (MICB) with UK and Middle East experience in the construction and building services sectors, handling company turnovers up to £100m and staff of 15. John has held senior roles, up to board level, in civil engineering, industrial engineering, pipelines, general building and building maintenance companies.