Retail Accounting

Retail Accounting news – brought to you by CounterBooks – www.counterbooks.com


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PRESS RELEASE: CounterBooks was shortlisted for the Association of Convenience Stores’ “Technology Showcase” event

CounterBooks, a leading Online Retail Accounting Management Suite for the fuel, convenience and general retail industry, is delighted to announce that they were shortlisted and presented at the Association of Convenience Stores’ “Technology Showcase” in Westminster, London.

The “Technology Showcase” was part of the Association of Convenience Stores’ ‘Heart of the Community Conference 2014’ which attracted convenience retailers, Members of Parliament and ministers from across the country who discussed various issues faced by the convenience industry.

Along with four other innovative technology suppliers, CounterBooks shared how it uses cutting edge technology to assist convenience retailers to reduce cost, improve performance and manage risk. The audience included members of the Association of Convenience Stores’ Independent Board and other highly experienced and knowledgeable convenience retailers.

The CounterBooks' Story

John Roberts, Managing Director, CounterBooks said ‘We were delighted to have been shortlisted for the “Technology Showcase”. The event was a great opportunity for convenience retailers and suppliers to discuss how to utilise technology. We really enjoyed contributing to the discussion.’

ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: ‘Our Technology Showcase is a great opportunity for retailers and suppliers to share new ideas that are being developed for the convenience sector. We are delighted that CounterBooks was part of the event and able to share their innovations with those in attendance.’

To learn more about CounterBooks please visit www.CounterBooks.com

About CounterBooks

CounterBooks was developed in 2001 and launched on 1st January 2003 as the world’s first online full ledger accounting management suite designed specifically for retailers. It was originally developed by a frustrated computer-programmer-turned-retailer who struggled with traditional accounting systems which were not developed for retail businesses. His aim was to provide an easy to use system suitable for a retailer with no accountancy experience while still providing full easily understandable data reporting.

For further information about CounterBooks, including case studies, images or interviews, please contact, Laura Shafer – Marketing Assistant:-

Telephone: (+44) 0207 099 1050

Email: lshafer@counterbooks.com

Website: http://www.counterbooks.com

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Video: The CounterBooks Story

 

 


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PRESS RELEASE: CounterBooks Launches Newly Redesigned Interface

CounterBooks' Redesigned Interface

CounterBooks, a leading Online Retail Accounting Management Suite for the fuel, convenience and general retail industry, is pleased to announce today, the launch of the redesigned graphical interface of CounterBooks.

The focus of the redesign has been to improve the user experience from daily reconciliation through to real time reporting. This follows a series of exciting developments at CounterBooks including the introduction of the Retail Management Information System and the Billing Control System.

The same great features and benefits of CounterBooks have been maintained but navigation has improved with fewer clicks, easy to follow navigation (breadcrumbs), dynamic menus and enhanced drill down. The redesign is currently being rolled out to all CounterBooks’ fuel, convenience and general retail clients in the UK and across Europe.

John Roberts, Managing Director, CounterBooks said “Having launched the first cloud based version of CounterBooks in 2003 we started on a redesign in 2013 and I am delighted to be able to roll out the new system to all of our customers this autumn. With over 1000 files and 150 pages to modify, our IT team had their hands full and I’m pleased to say, they did a great job. Enjoyment and accounting systems use probably don’t go hand in hand, but I am sure our customers will love the improvements.”

To learn more about CounterBooks please visit www.counterbooks.com

About CounterBooks
CounterBooks was developed in 2001 – 2002 and launched on 1st January 2003 as the world’s first on-line full ledger accounting system designed specifically for retailers. CounterBooks was originally developed as a Pro-Retail MS DOS system by a frustrated computer-programmer-turned-retailer who struggled with traditional accounting systems which were not developed for retail businesses. His aim was to provide an easy to use system suitable for a retailer with no accountancy experience while still providing full easily understandable data reporting.

For further information about CounterBooks, including case studies, images or interviews, please contact, Laura Shafer – Marketing Assistant:-

Telephone: +44 207 099 1050
Email: lshafer@CounterBooks.com
Website: http://www.counterbooks.com


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What to consider when investing in a franchise

Investing in a Franchise

1.    Define your investment
Before you start to investigate franchising, you must establish the level of investment you can comfortably afford to make. One of the biggest reasons for business failure in the UK is the proprietor not having the correct levels of funding. Some banks specialise in franchising and are listed on the BFA website (www.thebfa.org), you may want to speak to them for advice.

2.    Does it suit you?
Far too many people forget to judge their own stability for a franchise opportunity, yet this mistake can lead to years of unhappiness for you and your family. You must consider whether a franchise suits you, your needs, your wants and your family. For example, if you are looking at the convenience retail industry then you may need to invest a lot of hours on evenings or weekends to meet the needs of your customers.

3.    Choose the industry sector
Carry out some market research, looking at what business model best suits you. Try to avoid fad industries, consider the boom/bust cycle and address any market or statutory changes. This form of commercial investigation is the easiest and cheapest exercise to conduct but far too many potential franchisees overlook it when investing in a franchise.

4.    Seek professional advice
Advice will come in three forms:
– Legal: From BFA approved solicitors
– Financial:  From BFA approved accountants and banks
– Commercial: From existing franchisees, the franchisor, the British Franchise Association and other industry bodies.

5.    Understand the franchise
Thoroughly research the franchise opportunity you are considering and try and get as much information as possible. Speak to the franchisor and franchisees and find out as much about the franchise as you can. They should be open and honest and will help you to make an informed decision.

6.    Evaluate the information
Objectively compare your options on paper using the standard questions and a formatted system. It often helps to seek outside assistance at this stage from someone who has not become emotionally involved in the research.
Remember: Franchises can be more successful than other business models but it takes a lot of hard work a determination to succeed.

Remember: Franchises can be more successful than other business models but it takes a lot of hard work a determination to succeed.


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Top 10 retail franchise accounting best practices

  1. Retail Franchise Accounting Best PracticeCloud based system – a cloud deployment reduces the total cost of ownership, lowers upfront costs, and provides a scalable and rapid deployment platform. Furthermore, it provides secure and instant access to data from any internet enabled device by franchisees, their accountants, territory/area managers and head office.
  2. A retail specific system – the system should be designed for purpose, the functionality and features should be focused on solving the unique challenges of retail franchise networks.
  3. Standardised and consistent reporting – all franchisees should utilise a standardised Chart of Accounts to ensure consistent reporting in order to facilitate benchmarking and data analysis across the retail franchise network.
  4. Special purpose vehicle for the franchise operation – to gain insight and transparency of the franchisee’s profitability and financial stability, the franchisee should operate the “franchise” business from a new legal entity.
  5. Monthly reporting – quarterly or annual reporting is insufficient to provide adequate support to franchisees. Therefore franchisees should prepare trading accounts, P&L and balance sheets on a monthly basis in a common format as prescribed by the retail franchisor.
  6. Budgeting – budgeting is critical for franchisee performance management, franchisee accountability, supply chain planning and corporate forecasting. They should be prepared by the franchisee / franchisor upon conception and annually thereafter.
  7. Automation of the accounting process – the accounting process should be highly automated including EPOS, BOS, inter-franchise, inter-company, supplier and payroll transactions, this reduces the costs/time for the franchisee, increases the accuracy of data, and reduces the time lag for month end reporting.
  8. Emphasis on the balance sheet – retail franchisors should ensure they investigate the balance sheet for anomalies such as material amounts within the following accounts: trade debtor, prepayments, accruals, and sundry creditors.
  9. Single centralised database – all franchisee accounting data is entered directly within a central data repository which is immediately available to the franchisor. This reduces the time lag between reports being submitted, need for the data to be re-entered into another database which is predisposed to re-errors, and finally if adjustments be required – it avoids having the accounts resubmitted as the revised accounts are instantly available.
  10. Key Performance Indicators – retail franchisors should monitor indicators such as franchisee remuneration, gross margins, overheads, profitability, net worth and liquidity – including actual, variance and budget.


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Infographic: Franchisees – a closer look

Franchisee infographic

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324021104578553580349491440.html?mod=WSJ_Franchising_LEFTTopHeadLines#project%3DSMFranchiseChartPRNT%26articleTabs%3Dinteractive