01727 814644 [email protected]

Finance Project Adviser – Abbey Theatre

Finance Project Adviser – Abbey Theatre

Abbey Theatre Trust (St Albans) Ltd

Theatre with two auditoria and resident amateur theatre company




The Abbey Theatre, St Albans, is looking for an accountant or qualified bookkeeper with experience in managing a small business’s “finance function” to undertake a short project of around 7-10 days to review how the accounts are handled in the office and suggest potential improvements. It would then involve help with the implementation of any changes.

The theatre is run by volunteers who employ a part-time manager. It has a number of diverse income streams with varied VAT rates and a turnover of about £200,000 p.a. A full scope of the project is available.


In light of an increase in the Theatre Manager’s workload generally, the Honorary Treasurer on behalf of The Committee of Management is seeking a review of the organisation of the finance function.


Following the review, we will be asking for practical help in the implementation of any recommendations.


Key factors:

  • The turnover of £200,000 p.a.
  • The many streams of income (ticket sales for in-house productions, bar, refreshments, membership fees, hirings, visiting productions, programme sales, a forthcoming appeal, etc), on which different rates of VAT apply
  • The variety of expenditure relating to each source of income, the theatre buildings and administration (cash, suppliers’ invoices, reimbursements, etc)
  • The detail that is required (for example, separate income and expenditure accounts for each in-house and visiting production, for programmes, for bar and refreshment activities, etc)
  • The different funds into which its reserves are segregated
  • The various responsibilities of the Theatre Manager other than finance
  • The voluntary nature of the organisation and of the executives responsible for each activity
  • The theatre has charitable status, is a limited company, is an employer, and has obligations to HMRC

Aspects that are expected to be covered in the review:

  • The skills, experience and time commitment that similar organisations have found appropriate to achieve the objectives
  • Whether the present procedures and processes used in keeping track of the theatre’s finances remain appropriate, effective and adequate
  • The current usage of the present disc-based QuickBooks accounting system, and any benefits from replacing it (including an overview of and comparison between QuickBooks on-line, xero, and other available systems, including ease of implementation)
  • Model “job descriptions” for each person or role within the finance function, with indications of salary or fee if the post(s) cannot be filled voluntarily
  • An appropriate division of responsibilities between the Theatre Manager, the Honorary Treasurer, and any additional finance personnel




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