How using a stocktaker can help your pub

By ILTSA

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Licensed trade, Profit, License

Regular stocktaking is vital for any licensed trade outlet to
Regular stocktaking is vital for any licensed trade outlet to
You wouldn’t dream of buying a new car and not having it serviced by a competent mechanic, so why take such chances with your business? A stocktaker can provide advice on a regular basis at a reasonable cost. The Institute of Licensed Trade Stock Auditors explains the benefits.

So, you’ve just moved into your new premises, how are you going to reach those profits you put into your business plan? Or are you an operator who’s been beavering away and not noticed your annual profits dwindle? Or perhaps you feel your business needs an independent eye to keep up with the latest developments. Where can you get this advice on a regular basis at a reasonable cost?

From a stocktaker, that’s where. Firstly we must set aside some preconceptions. You may only have met a stocktaker when they moved you into your new business and valued everything, but this is just a small part of their job.

Real time

Regular stocktaking is vital for any licensed trade outlet and it’s very important that it is carried out by a competent and qualified professional.

Every business needs an accountant, and they will be able to let you know what profits you have made and deal with your tax affairs, but the licensed trade is unique in the numbers of ways in which it is possible to lose money. You need to be able to find out how much you should​ have made, as well as how much you actually​ made.

Analysing the difference between these figures is where profits can be greatly improved. These figures are in real time and not historical reports when often it is too late to make any necessary changes.

This is where your stocktaker - or more properly stock auditor - comes in. A really good stocktaker will be a qualified member of the Institute of Licensed Trade Stock Auditors (ILTSA), with the letters FILSA or MILSA after their name.

Whether they are working for a large company or are self-employed, all qualified stock auditors have been trained, examined and accredited in all aspects of the trade, and many have been licensees or managers in their own right. This gives them a unique perspective in helping you run your business as profitably as possible.

With food playing such an important part in most Pubs these days, your stocktaker will be able to give you accurate tracking of the gross profit you are achieving and assist you in menu costing, supplier selection and kitchen control. The bar side is where you can lose a large sum in a small time and some of the typical questions we are asked are:

What GP am I achieving?
A good stocktaker will explain the implications of incorrect GP

How do I improve my GP? 
Can I increase prices, reduce cost prices or switch brands, you can discuss the implications with your stocktaker.

Am I carrying too much stock?
Too much and you risk your cashflow, not enough and you run out - this information will be on your stocktakers report.

Are my staff using correct measures and prices?
Your stocktaker will highlight any such errors.

How do I deal with a supplier price increase?
Keeping your margins correct is a very important area and regular stocktaking helps you maintain profitabilty.

All this gives you, the licensee, a real advantage in knowing precisely how your business is operating, thus preventing any surprises when the accounts are prepared. If you are a tenant or lesee you will be able to deal with your BDM on an informed basis, so you can’t be browbeaten into accepting any changes to your operation without being aware of the consequences.

A freehouse operator will be able to talk with the bank, or suppliers, and be sure that they are only changing for the better, given the information obtained from their stocktaker. The cost can be recouped many times over by the savings made.

For more information visit the ILTSA website

Related topics: Training

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