CAPA has been appointed to audit a number of café chains around the country, including a start-up that made national headlines, as the pandemic rendered business models unworkable during the past year.

One of CAPA’s instructions is from Smith Cooper, the accountancy and corporate restructuring firm, to conduct audits of Cereal Killer Café Ltd, the chain that operated in two London sites – Camden and Shoreditch – and others across the middle east.

The business became famous for offering cereals from the UK and around the world, past and present, and made headlines for its unique offering. A local protest over its prices in a gentrified area also gained attention from broadcasters and national newspapers in 2019.

However, even after an international expansion to the middle east, the business faced a set of serious ongoing financial issues due largely to the pandemic.

Ultimately the company’s founders entered a voluntary liquidation, with Dean Nelson and Nicholas Lee at Smith Cooper appointed as liquidators in 2020.

They have now instructed CAPA to undertake the rates audit, meaning CAPA’s Audit division will conduct a forensic inspection of business rates paid out at the sites Cereal Killer traded from. The auditors will use bespoke software to interrogate the data, identify anomalies or errors and then recover any overpaid sums for the creditors.

The appointment follows a number of instructions for CAPA on other café chains that have entered insolvency during the year of the pandemic. These include the Brew Coffee Company, based in Southampton, where liquidators at the corporate advisory and restructuring firm Quantuma instructed CAPA to undertake a rates audit, and Shoreditch Cafes in Wilmslow, where the liquidator Tom Fox of, the business advisory and rescue firm, also appointed CAPA to start auditing business rates at the chain’s sites.

In both cases, any overpaid sums will be recovered for creditors on a no-win, no-fee basis.