Retail Accounting

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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

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

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Integrate your POS system and focus on the more important elements of your business


If you run a convenience store you will be entering many transactions into your POS system each day. These could be in the form of cash, cheque or credit cards.

According to the British Retail Consortium, cash payments made up only £28.93 in every £100 spent at retailers in 2012 which was down from the previous years spend of £32. That means more people are using credit cards and it is important to ensure that all these transactions (from Visa or Mastercard) are recorded correctly in your accounting system.

The problem is that your POS system does not “talk” to your accounting system and so you or your bookkeeper have to spend time every day ensuring that data from your POS is accurately entered in to your accounting system.

However, there is an alternative – linking your POS system with your accounting system. In fact, CounterBooks’ retail accounting management suite does just that. We have developed a range of imports from daily reconciliation through to wholesaler e-invoices and payroll. This not only means improved data accuracy but also that you don’t have to pay additional staff to do the data entry for you. The imports can automate as much as 80% of your daily processes, allowing you to focus on the more important elements of your business.

Why not let the computers do the hard work so you don’t have to?

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CounterBooks launches Billing Control System at 2014 NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe

CounterBooks' retail accounting management suiteCounterBooks, a leading retail accounting management suite for oil companies and convenience retailers, launched the Billing Control System as a new module of the CounterBooks suite at the 2014 NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe in London, UK.

The Billing Control System has been developed after working closely with leading brand owners such as major oil companies and convenience retailers, which operate distribution channels such as franchises, dealers and other partnership variations.

John Roberts, managing director, said: “Many brand owners operate complicated and highly multifaceted financial models with their channel partners, which involve thousands of transactions throughout the year. It is business critical for both the brand owners and the channel partners to ensure that all necessary transactions have been executed, on time, to the correct party, for the correct amount, for the correct items under the correct terms. One small error can become highly material if replicated over a large retail network.

“Due to the nature of the deployment of CounterBooks, the database holds both sides of the transaction, which allows CounterBooks to reconcile and match each transaction so that exceptions can be reported for further investigation. We have been working with several brand owners and already identified numerous areas which require enhanced controls within their billing processes and procedures – these initial trials already demonstrate scope for substantial cost savings which would deliver a high return on investment.”

The Billing Control System is an extension of the powerful CounterBooks’ Retail Management Information System, which provides in-depth and accurate management reporting for brand owners across their channel partners to improve performance and manage risk.

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CounterBooks at Future of Convenience Conference

This video was taken at the Future of Convenience Insight NACS Conference 2013. CounterBooks’ MD John Roberts discusses the role of CounterBooks within convenience retail and looks at what the future hold for the convenience sector.

Thanks to Petroplaza for the video.

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CounterBooks Announces Richard Kingston as IT Director

CounterBooksCounterBooks expands its leadership team as it establishes itself within convenience, hospitality and general retail markets.

From an idea in 2000 that the internet would transform the way businesses accessed their accounting systems, CounterBooks has developed from an MS DOS system used by single site petrol stations into an online accounting and management information system used by retail operations with thousands of outlets.  CounterBooks was historically focussed on the petrol station forecourt industry and clients today include many major oil companies across Europe. However over the past 12 months, CounterBooks has been selected as the online retail accounting management system for a range of retail businesses, including a large hair salon franchise and a convenience retailer, off-licence and post office group, which clearly demonstrates the value of CounterBooks to other retail businesses in the convenience, hospitality, and general retail markets.

Richard Kingston

Richard Kingston, IT Director, CounterBooks

This exciting expansion requires further system developments, which fall under the responsibility of recently appointed IT Director, Richard Kingston. Richard joined the team in 2003 and has seen CounterBooks grow and develop in functionality including retail systems integrations, data import processes and working with partners which include Wincor Nixdorf, The Retail Data Partnership, EPOS Freedom, IBM, VMware, Northdoor and Hansecom Informations Technologie amongst others.

“From my first role of helping overcome the technical obstacles that we faced on a daily basis as CounterBooks was rolled out to its first customers, to my current role of overseeing the ongoing development and expansion of our systems, working for CounterBooks has often been a challenge, but has always been hugely rewarding.  It is a pleasure to work with such a great team of people and I am really looking forward to the exciting opportunities that we expect the future to bring.”

“Over his 10 years with us Richard has made an enormous contribution to the development of CounterBooks and surrounding infrastructure and I am delighted to welcome him onto the Board. The next few years are going to be equally exciting and I am sure Richard will rise to whatever challenges are presented to him. ” John Roberts  Managing Director, CounterBooks.

CounterBooks delivers real benefits including, reduced costs, improved performance, and greater risk management. Congratulations to Richard for becoming director and developing CounterBooks for the 21st Century.

About CounterBooks

CounterBooks was developed in 2001 – 2 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.

CounterBooks is the trading name for CV Retail Ltd.

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Fuel retailers have their heads in the clouds

There are unique challenges for both major oil companies and independent groups in the fuel retail sector. These include the Cloud Computingtracking and accounting for fuel and dry stock, managing and controlling cash, high volumes of paperwork, razor tight margins and a hypercompetitive market.

With complex and diverse distribution strategies emerging such as franchising and various partnership models (CODO, DODO), it is essential the fuel retailer does not lose control of their network as it becomes more fragmented. Business risk needs to be managed and performance improved through more effective information management.

A business model has evolved over the past 10 years whereby approximately 94% of all service stations (within the UK) are now classed as convenience stores. This requires new supply chains, systems, processes and higher volumes of stock, which all have, financial implications both in cash utilisation and controls.

If this isn’t enough, many fuel retailers are operating in larger or multiple geographical markets. Due to the dispersed nature of the physical locations of the service station this can provide challenges in gaining the depth and breadth of management information to drive effective decision making.

As the business models increase in complexity and size, many fuel retailers are bringing the benefits of technology to bear by deploying cloud computing applications across their networks.

A cloud-based application, or “Software as a Service” (SaaS), is a software delivery model in which the software and data are hosted centrally on the internet. It can be accessed securely via a web browser on a mobile phone, laptop or tablet. It has become a common delivery model for many business applications including accounting, POS, fuel pricing, BOS and CRM.

Benefits of Cloud-Based applications to Fuel Retailer

Transparency and decision making

Fuel retailers can have greater transparency across their networks, allowing for improved performance and risk management. For example, a cloud accounting application such as CounterBooks provides one data repository for all accounting data. The centralisation of data storage reduces the need for dealers/franchisees to send manual reports to a head office to be re-entered into a separate database with its inherent data integrity and cost issues.

Another benefit of a single data repository is that data can be ‘sliced and diced’ (systematic reduction of a body of data into smaller parts or views that will yield more information) to identify value drivers and trends to assist in decision making. Whether you are a 4,000 site major oil company operating across international borders or a 50 site independent group, you can analyse any accounting data by any parameters.

Capex to Opex and affordable

With traditional software models, the fuel retailer would need to procure assets (such as servers and software licenses) which are capitalized and therefore are charged to the Balance Sheet. By contrast cloud based applications are often payable on a monthly fee, usually on a per user basis (or volume of transitions, per sites etc.) making the deployment easily scalable and affordable. The costs are considered to be an operating expenditure rather than a capital expenditure and so are charged to the Profit and Loss.

The final benefit is that it conserves cash as there are rarely substantial upfront costs as the monthly fee includes hosting, backups, updates and fixes.

Saves time, improves data accuracy and reporting as well.

When operating multiple cloud based systems, the fuel retailer benefits from what is called an ‘ecosystem’. As with a biological ecosystem, where various entities share an environment and cooperate, with cloud based ecosystems multiple applications are able to communicate and share data.

For example, a fuel retailer can import sales and purchase data generated by the existing Point of Sale and Back Office systems into the cloud accounting system. This import process can account for approximately 95% of all data input, thereby reducing staffing costs while improved accounting accuracy and providing a better understanding of the business’s financial position.

For more information on online accounting for fuel retailers, please contact CounterBooks.