Welcome to the Tax & Pounds – the pub in a Norwich accountants’ office

Business founder Will Farnell, left, with managing director James Kay and client services director F

Business founder Will Farnell, left, with managing director James Kay and client services director Frankie Kay, of Farnell Clarke accountants who have opened a pub called Tax & Pounds in their newly refurbished offices. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Traditionally, an appointment with your accountant is about as eagerly anticipated as a visit to the dentist – but that may not be true at Norwich firm Farnell Clarke.

Business founder Will Farnell, left, with managing director James Kay and client services director F

Business founder Will Farnell, left, with managing director James Kay and client services director Frankie Kay of Farnell Clarke accountants who have opened a pub called Tax & Pounds in their newly refurbished offices. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

That's because the growing company has recently opened its own pub – The Tax and Pounds – in the corner of the office, as part of a refurbishment designed to appeal to new clients and staff.

Opening to staff at 4pm on Fridays, and available for client meetings at other times, the revamped conference room boasts a pool table, leather seating and a well-stocked bar, while elsewhere in the office soundproofed booths and private work pods have been fitted.

But the pint-sized pub could also serve a serious recruitment purpose for the 10-year-old company, which is expecting to see turnover rise from £1m to £1.3m this year and hopes to add at least four new jobs to its 32-strong team.

Company founder Will Farnell said: 'By 2025, some 75% of the workforce in accountancy will be millennials [the generation born between 1980 and 2000] and I think everyone accepts that they have different expectations.

Farnell Clarke accountants open a pub called Tax & Pounds in their newly refurbished offices. Pictur

Farnell Clarke accountants open a pub called Tax & Pounds in their newly refurbished offices. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

'We want to recognise that our current client base and the next generation are going to be millennial entrepreneurs. This isn't about beer on tap: it's about being able to engage with people and have that social element.'

From a converted doctor's surgery in Sprowston, Farnell Clarke moved to offices at Norwich Airport business park in 2015, and has maintained year-on-year growth of at least 30%.

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That has come from taking on new clients, but also offering more services to existing companies, an evolution underpinned by technology that has seen it move from compliance work to business advisory services and even, for some, effectively acting as an outsourced finance department.

The firm was an early adopter of cloud technology, nine years ago – a development which means clients can now access and update their accounts in real-time from their phone, and which larger firms were slower to respond to.

Farnell Clarke accountants open a pub called Tax & Pounds in their newly refurbished offices. Pictur

Farnell Clarke accountants open a pub called Tax & Pounds in their newly refurbished offices. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

And it was an approach recognised when Farnell Clarke won Most Innovative Practice in the UK and Independent Firm of the Year (East) at the British Accountancy Awards last year.

'We want to work with people who are keen to grow and understand their business, not just those who want to tick the compliance box,' said Mr Farnell.

'The technology we use means that clients can see things they were never able to before.'

Client services director Frankie Kay said: 'To thrive, we must attract the best calibre of staff and retain our most talented, skilled team members, and we hope this new environment is somewhere people will enjoy working.'

Farnell Clarke accountants open a pub called Tax & Pounds in their newly refurbished offices. Pictur

Farnell Clarke accountants open a pub called Tax & Pounds in their newly refurbished offices. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

'It's important to retain professionalism too, so the space is also very client friendly, with soundproof pods and meeting rooms so our clients can catch up on emails in a quiet space or enjoy a change of scenery and work from our office if they want to.'

Farnell Clarke accountants open a pub called Tax & Pounds in their newly refurbished offices. Pictur

Farnell Clarke accountants open a pub called Tax & Pounds in their newly refurbished offices. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

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