Retail Accounting

Retail Accounting news – brought to you by CounterBooks – 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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14 things to consider when choosing a CODO / dealer accounting management suite?

Checklist1.    Service station / gas station specific – Traditional accounting systems are not designed to handle many of the industry specific complexities of service station or gas station accounting. The chosen system should have been designed from conception for service station and gas station businesses; this can avoid any unnecessary and expense consultancy fees in adapting the system for a service station/gas station business.

2.    Cloud based / online – On-premise systems are not suitable for Company Owned Dealer Operated (CODO) networks due to their complex reporting requirements and the geographically dispersed nature of the network. Cloud / online systems allow all users to securely access the single source of information under strict permission rights. Cloud / online systems can be deployed rapidly and can reduce the necessity for major capital expenditure as they are hosted and managed by the software company. Upgrades and updates are automatically applied across the network reducing further hassles and complications for both the dealer and the oil company.

3.    Full suite – An online software suite which includes a full general ledger accounting system for the dealer and a management information system for the oil company, will reduce the challenge of collating reports and then re-entering the data into a secondary database which is often costly and can impact the accuracy of data.

4.    Track record – A proven track record is essential. The chosen system should have a history is delivering projects on time and on budget.

5.    Multilingual and adaptable to the local country – Many oil companies operate in numerous geographical markets, therefore deploy multiple systems to meet the requirements of each country such as local languages and accounting standards. Operating multiple systems often result in additional support and training costs as well as consolidation challenges. All of which can be avoided through the deployment of a single “multilingual retail accounting management suite”.

6.    Automated accounting – The chosen system must be able to integrate with other retail IT systems and data sources, this can deliver substantial cost and time savings while increasing the accuracy of the data, as it removes any re-entering errors.

7.    Customised reporting – One size does not fit all and out-of-the-box reports will often not provide the necessary insight, it is therefore important that the chosen system has the ability to have customised reports to focus on the key areas of the business.

8.    Consistent reporting – It is critical to have consistent reporting across dealers to allow for comparisons and provide insight through benchmarking to unlock value within the network.

9.    Easy to use – It is imperative that the accounting system is easy to use and intuitive. A difficult system can prolong the project deployment because of additional training and support requirements all of which can be avoided.

10.    Network reporting – Through deploying an online retail accounting management suite across a dealer network such as CounterBooks, the oil company will gain full transparency and a consolidated view of the network’s performance without spending an extensive amount of time and cost collating and analysing data. Network reports which can assist in the management of a dealer network include:-

  •  Network Profit and Loss report (with budget comparison) which shows the network profit and loss performance by dealer and against budget.
  •  Purchase Compliance to assess dealers spending with approved suppliers and by category.
  • Network Net Worth and Liquidity report to assist in monitoring the financial stability of dealers.

11.    Data analysis capabilities – Through analysing data, oil companies can identify trends and benchmark dealers which can assist in gaining a maximum return on their investment. The chosen system should have an easy to use and powerful data analysis tool to assist in “slicing and dicing” data to aid decision making.

12.    Drill down functionality – Static reports such as spreadsheets and PDFs do not allow the oil company to look beneath the figures. With drill down functionality on reports, it will allow the oil company to investigate any irregular aspects of the dealer’s financial reports which could be mis-postings or legitimate exceptional items.

13.    Period locking – Oil companies can struggle with maintaining the data integrity of the dealer’s accounting records. At the end of the period, the dealer will send their financial reports to the oil company, after doing so, the dealer might make adjustments to “mask” the true financial performance of the business. The “Period Locking” feature is a highly effective control to restrict such circumstances occurring. Once the dealer has finalised their accounts and reviewed by their accountant, the period is locked which restricts the dealer from making any further adjustments.

14.    Budget reporting – Budget comparison reports are indispensable to managing the expectations of the dealers, providing a performance management tool while also assisting oil companies with the distribution of financial support to dealers.

If you are interested in understanding how to you can develop your dealer network into a world class retail operation, please visit our website – http://www.CounterBooks.com or speak with us today.


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Retail multi-site compliance & control

d&t and CounterBooks provide retail networks with a complete accounting and online system service.

Multi-site retailers are set to benefit from a recent affiliation between two established market leaders, CounterBooks and d&t Chartered Accountants. Providing a tailored retail accounting service and online system for each site within a network allows the head office to benchmark to better assign support to those who are underperforming against the network averages.

By putting all sites in a network on the same system ensures compliance whilst reduces the costs associated with the system, training and support. Examples of brands who have already benefited from CounterBooks include; the Post Office, Esso, BP, Shell, Esquires Coffee Houses and Scottish & Newcastle. d&t have been appointed as the network accountants by over 75 UK franchisors, with brands including; Café2U, MacTools, Snack in the Box and Dyno (Dyno-Rod).

Carl Reader, director at d&t commented, “We have created a modular approach that allows each network to have the right package of accounting and bookkeeping services for their franchisees or outlets. The services are bundled into a fixed monthly fee with a 100% satisfaction money back guarantee.”

The transition of a retail multi-site or franchise network to a shared system for both their accounting and bookkeeping can take a mix of time and careful presentation. Because the business models are already templated it makes perfect sense for all the systems to be shared by the network as well. Integrating new sites is the most simple as they can be setup with the network approved system. Established sites with a mix of providers and systems often need more convincing of the benefits, although this is an area the teams are used to dealing with and they find education and demonstration to the be the best solution.

“Both organisations have worked informally together for years so it made complete sense to work more closely and provide a joined up accounting and systems solution for multi-site retailers and franchise networks,” commented Alex King CounterBooks Commercial Director.