Bruce Group Ltd

Clients » Client Stories » Bruce Group Ltd

Bruce Group own and manage a variety of licensed premises. These vary from traditional pubs, to clubs and hotels and a successful live music venue. Bruce Group operations are a mixture of freehold and leasehold properties.

Client details

Bruce Group Ltd
Kevan Fullerton and Scott Piatkowski. Bar, club, and hotel operator. Edinburgh and Fife

Services provided

What is the main business challenge you face?

  • We have had 2 main challenges over the past few years. The first is maintaining access to capital, in order to continue to acquire new units to keep growing our business. We have been fortunate to have an excellent relationship with our bank, so we have been able to continue to borrow for the right opportunities. The second challenge, is the decline of the traditional local pub. Our units are now much more food driven, or have another specific focus, such as our live music venue or our sports bar. In Edinburgh, our units are very much city centre based. We are continually looking at ways to improve our offering, as it is a very competitive market and bad operators don’t survive long.

How did the company get started?

  • We met through Scott’s brother. I (Kevan) had just sold a call centre business which I had built up and was at a bit of a loose end. Scott was running and managing pubs after leaving university. With Scott’s knowledge of the industry and a bit of the capital I had from the business sale we were able to team up and get going. The rest, as they say, is history.

What were you looking for in an accountant before finding One Accounting?

  • The business had been growing pretty quickly and we needed an accountant who could help us keep an eye on the trading per- formance throughout the year. In our business, it is easy for a unit which has been trading well, to suddenly hit a bad patch. If you don’t take action quickly, it can really put a hole in the profits. As with any accountant, we were also looking for a firm which could help us save tax wherever possible.

Why did you choose One Accounting?

  • As I said, we wanted a firm who could help us keep track of the business performance throughout the year, not just at the year end. They impressed us with their knowledge of management accounts and assured us that they would be able to give us management ac-counts on a unit by unit basis.

Do you feel the services One Accounting provides have helped with your business growth plans?

  • Very much so. As I mentioned, we have an excellent relationship with our bank. In part this is due to us giving the bank accurate, believable management accounts. One Accounting prepare these for us. We get quarterly management accounts, but One Accounting also set up a weekly forecasting tool for us. We plug in our sales and wages costs and it gives us a pretty accurate picture on a week to week basis of how the business is doing. This is invaluable in spotting problems early and taking action on them.

What is the main service you have benefited from?

  • The management accounting service has been fantastic. However, they have also helped us with tax planning. From a personal viewpoint, they have recommended some actions which we have followed which have allowed us to maximize the use of our personal tax allowances. They also introduced us to a third party firm which produced a capital allowance claim which saved us in the region of £60K of corporation tax. This freed up cash to invest in the business.

The initial introduction to Bruce Taverns was through a telemarketing firm we were using at the time, so it wasn’t a particularly warm lead. However, when we met Kevan and Scott we were able to show them that we were management accounting experts. We had a good meeting and we were delighted when they engaged us.

The first thing we did was set up a management accounts model which gave them a P&L by business unit and also showed them the performance across each company within the group. The model also included a consolidated balance sheet, so it was easy to see the overall net asset position of the group.

Later on, we set up a weekly P&L forecast for the group. This allows Kevan and Scott to monitor performance in between management accounts, which allows them to take action quicker.

We have also done one off projects such as arranging the capital allowance claim. We used a third party specialist company for this, who worked on a no win, no fee basis, so it was low risk for Bruce Group. The claim ended up being very successful which resulted in a large tax…

7 Benefits of using One Accounting for your tax planning

  • We’ll tailor the management accounts to your business.
  • You can receive the information in a cycle to suit you – monthly, quarterly or month 10
  • Regular financial information will help you react quicker to problems.
  • Accurate management accounts help build credibility with lenders and investors.
  • Management accounts allow for better tax planning. Taking action after the year end is often too late for tax planning.
  • Management accounts are a great tool for talking to staff about your business. This often increases staff motivation.
  • Management accounts are an essential tool for growing businesses. Use them to check you are on target against plan.

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