Retail Accounting

Retail Accounting news – brought to you by CounterBooks –

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Video: The CounterBooks Story




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Video: The CounterBooks Redesign


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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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Six questions every retail executive should ask about cloud computing

A very informative whitepaper from Accenture on cloud computing for retail.

What you will learn:

1. What cloud computing is and how it works.The cloud for retail

2. What benefits the cloud can bring to your retail business.

3. How the cloud can help address specific changes faced by your business.

4. Whether you can depend on the cloud to save money.

5. How the cloud will affect the way your business operates in the future.

6. About security and data privacy.

‘The retail industry’s migration to cloud: not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’.

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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.

Infographic: It’s an SaaS world

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Lessons from a seasoned franchisor – build your franchise on solid technological foundations

Franchise FoundationsTime and time again, I speak with soon-to-be franchisors in the early stages of setting up and not investing in the right technology. In the mid 2000s, with the help of a great team, we built a franchise network from conception to national brand within 4 years, we introduced many initiatives and the toughest ones, without a doubt, were IT projects.

It is absolute critical from the outset to have a robust and scalable technology platform prior to recruiting franchisees. Maybe 10 years ago, franchisors could argue that the costs involved in IT projects were prohibitive, however with the availability of cloud deployed technology – there is no excuse. Cloud deployed software is highly scalable due to the pay-as-you-go subscription model (typically per user or per company) and requires minimal capex/upfront investment.

In my humble opinion, executives very often get caught up in the more exciting aspects of franchising, recruitment, marketing and attending franchisees launches. Those of you which have written a full Request for Proposal (RFP), can probably relate, it is a horrendous task.

However it can have profound implications on the franchise system if the appropriate systems and processes are not in place from conception.

Here are some reasons why, now is better than tomorrow (or even three to five years time) to introduce the right systems:-

1.    Changing later is a pain

Every time a franchisor recruits a franchisee without the right systems, they are compounding the complications which lay ahead. People rarely like change, and introducing a new IT system even less. Newly launched franchisees should be focused on building their business, not have their time and attention being diverted for the launch of a new IT system – this can have repercussions which can lead to conflict and difficulties early on within the honeymoon period of the franchise relationship.

A new IT project will present the franchisee with additional costs. They might be at the early stages of their growth and might not yet see or understand the logic for the project as they are yet to experience the “challenge” the new system intends to solve – therefore making it more challenging to introduce the system.

Introducing new systems in a wholly owned company can be awkward, when introducing a new system in a franchise network, it presents an additional layer of complexity. You will need to engage with the franchise network, explain the issues, consult with the network as a whole (and/or the franchise council), draft a specification, engage again with the franchise network for user acceptance testing, arrange training, and ensure effective roll out. All of which can be avoided.

So all in, it costs more, consumes time from the franchisee and franchisor and can be a challenge which will involve project management and change management skills.

 2.    Helps control and manage innovation in the early stages of growth

Many IT projects are reactive, they are intended to solve a problem which has already presented itself and the business has “felt the pain”. For example, if there is an increase in the franchisee failure rate, this is because the franchisor has an inadequate management information system to effectively monitor franchise performance.

With hindsight, had the franchisor introduced a cloud based “Management Information System” at the early stages of growth, they would have potentially avoided the failure of those franchisees, whilst having the opportunity to monitor franchisees through this critical growth stage to refine the model and provide better support.

 3.    Provides competitive advantage

Having technological competencies can deliver dual competitive advantage. A highly automated accounting back office can deliver competitive advantages through reduced costs and time, therefore allowing the franchisee to focus on delivering a better service and invest in the business. This competitive advantage provides the franchisor with an improved customer experience which can attract talented franchisees.

So prior to developing a franchise channel, a franchisor should give consideration to the three points below:-

  1. Are all systems suitable for franchisees?
  2. What other systems will be required to support the franchise management team and the franchisees?
  3. Can the systems scale in line with your growth objectives?

We would love for you to share some of your experiences, good and bad.