Managing your pubs finances is one of the most critical tasks you face on a daily basis. Get it wrong and the impact to you, your business, your staff and your suppliers could be devastating.

Most pubs utilise the monthly services of a book keeper and the annual service of an accountant. This combination usually results in an incongruous, generic service with very little specialist industry insight. This is both inefficient and expensive and results in a purely one way relationship.

A preferable option would be the selection of an accountant that can offer combined services for a fixed monthly fee. The ultimate would be a licensed trade specialist who understands all industry nuances and can advise across the areas of finance and business relevant to you, such as margin analysis. They will also be able to draw on their experiences of similar businesses, thus adding meaningful value and insight that could directly impact your profitability.

With a great accountant in place, you will have the peace of mind you need to be able to focus on what you do best – Running a successful pub

So, consider the following:

1. Is your accountant qualified? Take the time to check this out with the relevant accounting bodies.

2. Does your accountant have an in depth understanding of your industry sector? Do they really appreciate the nuances of the pub trade and are they aware of your specific needs?

3. Do you regard your accountancy fees as good value for money? Do they offer an all-inclusive fixed monthly fee (with no hidden extras) so you always know where you stand?

4. Do your accountants make your life easy in the way that they request information from you, making things simple and giving you clear guidance?

5. Does your accountant feel like a part of your business, adding measurable value, directly helping you make more money?

6. Are your accountants pro-active? Are they always looking for ways to enhance your profitability? Suggesting creative solutions to solve your problems and pain points?

7. Do your accountants provide you with a “bespoke service” that suits your individual pub rather than their business model?

8. Does your accountant communicate with you in a way you understand (no jargon) regularly meeting you to ‘translate’ the detail and meaning of your accounts?

9. Does your accountant minimise your bill tax rather than just “counting beans”? Do they use their expertise to save you money in this fundamental area?

10. Is your accountant customer service focused, timely and approachable?

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, these ten questions should help you consider the key benefits an accountant should be able to offer to ensure that your pub prospers.