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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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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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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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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Pub Property Overview

Pub Property Market

Here’s a great article looking at the property market within the pub industry. Location is key as well as floor are being used for benchmarking.

There are lots of useful stats for the pub industry so take a look: