Retail Accounting

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PRESS RELEASE: CounterBooks and RCS Announce Partnership

CounterBooks and RCS (Retail Consulting Services) Announce Partnership
Experts in fuel and convenience retail accounting

CounterBooks, a leading online retail accounting management suite for the fuel and convenience industry, announced today that it is partnering with RCS. RCS is one of the UK’s leading accountancy service providers to the fuel and convenience industry. This partnership brings two market leading firms together, who are committed to helping fuel and convenience retailers thrive across the UK.

RCS has a nationwide team of senior accountants with extensive industry experience who cover the length and breadth of the UK, from Scotland to the Channel Islands. The CounterBooks’ cloud based system allows for improved communication and collaboration between RCS and their clients, as the system can be accessed from anywhere with an internet enabled device such as a laptop, tablet or mobile phone. This reinforces RCS’s focus on developing meaningful relationships with their clients which plays a crucial role in helping to improve the retailer’s performance.

CounterBooks’ online retail accounting management suite strongly supports RCS’s value of improving retailer performance. This is implemented through automating the accounting process (EPOS and electronic invoices) and in providing accurate, business specific and real time reporting. These features allow retailers, with the support of RCS, to make informed decisions, thereby driving the performance of their fuel and convenience businesses.

This cooperation will offer fuel and convenience retailers the combined benefit of a local and highly experienced retail accountant with immediate online access to the CounterBooks’ market leading retail accounting management suite which is specifically designed for fuel and convenience retailers.

John Roberts, Managing Director, CounterBooks said ‘We are very excited about our partnership with RCS and look forward to working with them to support fuel and convenience retailers in improving business performance. Our first joint project includes an interface from the Micros Prism 2 BOS and I am sure this will be the first of many that we will do together.’

Mark Royle, RCS said “We are delighted to form this collaboration with Counterbooks. Quality Information is key to the successful retail operation and with the seamless flow of data from EPOS through to the Accounting System helps to make this information available in a timely fashion and leaves the retailer free for operational decisions. CounterBooks together with the expert accounting knowledge of RCS can only add value to a business”

To learn more about CounterBooks and RCS, please visit and

About RCS
Retail Consulting Services (RCS) are one of the UK’s leading accountant consultancy service providers to the forecourt, convenience and hospitality sectors. RCS work with owners, operators (such as HKS Retail Limited) and EPOS companies in fuel and convenience retail. They provide accounting and consultancy services across the UK and help clients to manage a seamless flow of information from EPOS through to the accounting system.

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. Last month, Counterbooks was shortlisted in The Association of Convenience Stores Technology Showcase.

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.

To learn more about retail accounting, please visit



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Pop ups and convenience retailers helping high street recovery

Pop up shops

According to data from the Local Data Company, the high street is finally starting to show signs of recovery. In 2012 and 2013 we saw the closure of many independent retailers but vacant shops on the high street are starting to become a thing of the past. In fact, shop vacancy rates decreased to 13.6% from 14.1% a year ago. This change is largely due to pop up shops and convenience retailers occupying the empty space. This is great news for the high street but how will these new stores fair as the omni channel environment grows?

For the full article see:

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Top 10 Convenience Retail Trends to Expect in 2014

Convenience Trends 2014

According to IGD research the convenience retail industry is set to grow by 29.8% over the next five years, taking its value to £46.2bn. In this article, we take a look at what trends convenience retailers should expect to see this year.

1.     More value

Despite the more positive economic outlook for 2014, households are still feeling the pressure on their shopping budgets. This year we should expect to see an increasing number of savvy customers, looking for the best value products and discounts wherever possible.

2.     Social Media

Customers are turning to social media to drive their shopping decisions and find the best value products and discounts. Developing relationships with customers not just in the c-store but also online will be key for convenience retailers in 2014.

3.     Showrooming

Customers are constantly comparing prices online (home delivery) and in-store. Convenience retailers will need to work hard in 2014 to lure customers away from online offerings from supermarkets, demonstrating the value of the local c-store.

4.     Growth of Multiples

Sainsbury’s will have more c-stores than supermarkets this year and we should expect this trend to continue amongst other supermarkets, such as Morrison’s who hope to open 100 c-stores in 2014/15.

5.     Convenience meets discount

Booker, the wholesaler behind the Premier symbol group have launched the “Family Shopper” concept which combines convenience and discount to meet customer needs. We should expect this industry development to continue in 2014, particularly as discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl have seen a successful 2013 with their discount c-store offering.

6.     Fresh Produce

According to IGD, fresh fruit and vegetables are the fastest growing category within the convenience retail industry. Convenience retailers will be looking to showcase their fresh produce this year with innovative methods to attract customers’ attention.

7.     Click and Collect

A trend which started in 2013 and set to rise this year, customers are taking advantage of the ‘convenience’ of Click and Collect, allowing them to purchase goods online and collect them in a local c-store – offering c-stores the opportunity to entice ‘click and collectors’ with their in-store offerings at the same time.

8.     Food-to-go

Food-to-go accounts for 15% of footfall in c-stores and is set to increase. C-stores will be taking up the opportunity of offering breakfast and dinner food-to-go options as well as lunch time offerings this year.

9.     Fuel retail

With c-stores providing more revenue for oil companies than fuel, we should expect to see a rise in convenience retailing at fuel stations in the coming year. Supermarkets are also looking to profit from this trend with supermarkets including Asda, now offering some of the cheapest fuel in the UK paired with a smaller Asda store.

10.   Growth in technology

As familiarity with new forms of payment methods grow, we will be seeing a greater demand for more flexibility and ease of payment in 2014. C-stores will need to adapt with payment options including contactless payments, in-store Pay Pal and mobile payments.

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The winners and losers in retail

Non-Food Retail and Food Retail

Prior to the recession food, non-food and home-related sectors of the retail industry were all doing reasonably well. Retail expenditure year-on-year growth was around 3.6%. However, with a recession there are inevitably some winners and losers in retail.  By 2012 non-food retail had shrunk by £0.7bn and it has been further hit by the unseasonable weather this spring.

So what exactly is happening in the non-food sector and who has been affected?

Volumes of non-food have decreased this means that there is less opportunity to sell, which is particularly worrying for non-food retailers who depend on economies of scale.

So who’s suffered the most?

Homeware as well as the music and video industry have taken the brunt of the recession. Not only are consumers cutting back on luxuries but the weather in the UK has not helped consumer spending. B&Q took a £25m hit on its bottom line due to the wet summer last year and the icy weather in UK has affected the store further. At a time when people have normally snapped up BBQs people have instead wanted warm up under a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate. Further, the collapse of Blockbuster and HMV were another sign that the non-food sector was struggling.

However, it’s not all bleak, the food sector has been benefitting from the recession but is also having to adapt to the changing buying behaviour of consumers.

But what’s going on in the food sector, it doesn’t seem to be fairing so badly?

Food retail has continued to grow, with inflation causing consumers to spend more on their weekly shop. Food purchasing now makes up 45% of the total retail spend which makes a difference of 7% from 2004.

Here are some of the big changes in buying behaviour that have affected food retail:

–          Consumers are tending to eat at home rather than eat out at restaurants.</span
–          Consumers are buying little and often.
–          Click and collect is bringing increased footfall to convenience stores.
–          Consumers are focussing more on price and are looking for value.
–          Increased use of technology.

What does technology have to do with c-stores?

Technology is influencing consumers buying behaviour and it’s important that c-store retailers stay on top of developments to ensure that their customers’ needs are met. Key developments include:

Payment Technology: Consumers can not only pay by cash, credit and cards but also online and via their mobile phone. Even though only 6% of consumers use smartphones to make purchases, the smartphone is become a key influencer in buying behaviour. Increasing numbers of consumers use their phone to price check and research the product; this is also often called showrooming. Showrooming can be bad news for retailers; however there are tactics that retailers can use to overcome showrooming. To find out more check out this article which gives retailers some useful showrooming hints and tips:

Ageing Population: The population is also ageing and increasing numbers of convenience retailers will need to look at how they can attract the over 65s, particularly as family shoppers (age 35 – 44) are tightening the purse strings.

Overall the future is looking bright for convenience retailers who are the most likely to benefit from the change in buying behaviour

The key to success for convenience retailers is driving customer loyalty so it’s important to stay on top of developments within the evolving industry.

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Interview with Tim Chalk – CEO 7 Eleven

Here’s a great video about how the CEO of 7 Eleven  effectively uses promotional strategy to  develop 7 Eleven C-Stores in Hong Kong.




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CV Retail announces it will be attending the ForecourtEXPO 2012

ForecourtEXPOCV Retail, who provides CounterBooks a leading online retail accounting system to petrol convenience retailers, is pleased to announce that it will be attending the ForecourtEXPO 2012.

The ForecourtEXPO will be held on the 4th October 2012 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole. The event has been developed in consultation with retailers and suppliers; and promises to inspire, educate and innovate, whilst providing the perfect industry event to develop your forecourt business.

Users of CounterBooks include Shell, BP and Esso as well as many UK independent fuel retailers. CV Retail will be exhibiting at ForecourtEXPO 2012 to further its relationships with existing clients and to meet other leading UK forecourt retail businesses.

John Roberts, Managing Director of CV Retail says “We are delighted to attend ForecourtEXPO and look forward to speaking with retailers about how CounterBooks can help them reduce costs and improve reporting which drives performance and assists in the management of risk”.


Notes for Editors

For more information about CounterBooks online retail accounting software, please contact Lisa Pretzer,

CV Retail Limited

Russell Square House

10-12 Russell Square



Tel: +44 (0)207 099 1050

About CounterBooks

CounterBooks, online retail accounting software represents an easy and innovative management tool which gives you an effective financial overview of your retail operation.

It was developed as online accounting software for the retail market, first launched in Switzerland and Finland in 2003; in Ireland and Germany in 2005; in the UK in 2007 and in South Africa in 2010.