The 11 bedroom Old Quay House Hotel in Fowey is one of the most profitable boutique establishments in Cornwall offering high end rooms and restaurant service from its picturesque location on the River Fowey estuary.
The owners instructed PKF Francis Clark some 5 years after they acquired the hotel and a strong relationship based on mutual respect and trust developed over the next 10 years leading to the hotel’s eventual sale. The firm provided business and tax advice, management accounts, payroll, VAT and personal financial planning. The owners had substantial external funding obligations so tax planning, maximising tax allowances and dividend planning were a priority.
PKF Francis Clark partner, Tom Roach, said:
“Despite being a profitable business, it was clear that it could be more tax efficient so the first step was to incorporate it. The owners then wanted to expand and take on another property for development and at first they targeted the Bath area which meant they needed to manage the business remotely.
“At this stage we became even more hands-on and began playing a more active role in managing their accounts. A new general manager was appointed and we advised on his remuneration and performance bonuses as well as benefits-in-kind for the staff.
“The owners then decided against a new property venture and chose to sell the Old Quay House. We structured the sale maximising its tax efficiency and sale price and we liaised with the overseas purchaser throughout the sales process. Happily, they were impressed with our work and we now act for them.
“We built a strong relationship with the original owners throughout the life cycle of their tenure but it could be very demanding. Attention to detail was very important for the owners and we were required to provide much detail throughout the process. This high degree of client involvement and demand for detail demonstrated the need for subtle client management which was at times as important as the technical and business advice we were able to offer.”