Retail Accounting

Retail Accounting news – brought to you by CounterBooks – www.counterbooks.com


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How can fuels retailers remain competitive?

by Zahra Bahroloumi

Retail trends are consistently pointing toward consumers’ hunger for a consistent, relevant and convenient customer experience. The time-constrained and tech-savvy social media-tuned consumer is driving consumption patterns in line with their lifestyle and daily working routines. Fuels retailers cannot afford to fall short in delivering basic customer needs, particularly when the leading hypermarkets can mobilize and respond to customer demand in increasingly sophisticated ways. Accenture believes fuels retailers should focus on three key aspects of their service to maintain their competitiveness in an ever-competitive industry:
  • Customer focus, to understand what a convenient and relevant offer looks like at every site in the network
  • Excellence in customer service provision, delivered at every site in the network, to confirm a consistent customer experience
  • Speed to market, to maintain relevance across the retail portfolio.
How can fuels retailers go the distance?
Rebuilding market share requires strategic planning and the ability to implement change. Accenture believes that providing greater value to customers means acknowledging environmental and internal blockers, and understanding how to manage them. The following graphic describes some of the key factors fuels retails must navigate to remain competitive:
The following graphic describes some of the key factors fuels retails must navigate to remain competitive
Highlights include:
  • Orientate toward the customer and understand how they can influence your brand. Put the customer at the heart of every business decision. Simplicity, ease and convenience are priorities in the era of digitization, smartphones and social media. Retailers can make the most of increasingly rich sources of data—information on sales, inventory, energy and space utilization, and customer through-flow—to gain new insights into ways to improve the business.
  • Use technology to augment the customer experience and capitalize on the need for convenience. Adopt agile architecture and leverage supplier relationships to support fast-changing customer needs and enhance business capabilities.
  • Pay attention to real estate. A strong physical presence, effective store layout and real estate analytics can drive savvy investment decisions and an appealing customer experience.

Business leaders need to identify the right combination that provides the greatest return on investment for their business and customer mix.

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PRESS RELEASE: CounterBooks and RCS Announce Partnership

PRESS RELEASE
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 www.counterbooks.com and http://www.retailaccountants.co.uk/counterbooks.html.

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
Email: lshafer@CounterBooks.com
Website: http://www.counterbooks.com


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Fuel Retailers: How to save money on your accounting

Save MoneyEveryone wants to save money on their accounting but it sounds complex and you don’t know the right way to go about it. So what can you do? Many fuel retailers have been faced with the same problems but have found that the cloud has really helped them to save some money. But what is the cloud? What does it have to do with accounting and how can it save you money? This post will tell you everything you need to know about cloud accounting and will explain how you can save money without losing control of your finances.

Let’s start at the beginning.

The Cloud. What is it?

You probably already use the cloud on a regular basis but you might not realise it. Do you use Gmail or Hotmail for your emails? What about Facebook to stay connected to friends and family? Or perhaps you do online banking? All these services are in the cloud. It’s a secure way of accessing services online and cloud accounting works the same way.

It’s great being able to log on to your online banking whenever you want and you can do the same with your accounting. This means you can securely log on and easily monitor the performance of your business. As cloud accounting is online, you don’t need to buy a software package or pay for updates nor do you need any additional hardware. You just need your laptop or tablet and a browser and you’re ready – no additional costs. Plus you don’t need to be in the office to do this. You can do your accounts at home or, if you have a number of fuel stations, you can do them whilst on the road.

So, now you know that you can do your accounting online and that’s one way to reduce your costs.

But doing your own accounting online sounds like too much trouble doesn’t it?

Actually, it’s not that difficult because some accounting systems have been designed specifically for fuel retailers. That means the programme is written in an easy to understand format and there’s no complex accounting jargon. All the sales categories will match you POS system making it really easy to use.

But how else can it save you money?

At the moment you are probably paying someone to do your bookkeeping. However, some cloud accounting systems can import lots of your data including daily reconciliation and wholesaler invoices. That means at the end of a day you only have to click a button to upload your data. Simple. You could be saving somewhere between 80% – 90% on your bookkeeping fees a year, because you won’t have to pay someone to do it.

There’s more….

In addition to being online and easy to use, certain online accounting systems can help you to work out your VAT. That means you can save even more on your accounting fees. You might also have access to a range of real time reports. That means that at the click of a button you can look at your Profit and Loss and Gross Profit per Category without having to wait for the information to come through. You can use these reports (and more like them) to work out where you could be saving money but also where you can make more. And if you want to discuss these reports with your accountant just pick up the phone and they can view the data online at the same time.

Now you know that it’s easy to save money on your accounting.

You also know what you should look for in an accounting system i.e. something that’s:

  • Online
  • Designed for you
  • Easy to use
  • Allows you to import data
  • Provides real time reports

If you have any suggestions regarding how fuel retailers can save money on their accounting then let us know in the comments section.


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Major oil companies shift focus away from downstream activities

Fuel Retail

Major oil companies are now placing greater emphasis on their upstream activities meaning that independent fuel retailers are gaining a greater market share of downstream retail. In fact, independent fuel retailers now own 20% of all petrol stations across Europe. This trend is most prominent in less mature European markets in particular Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.

To read the full article see: http://www.petrolplaza.com/news/industry/MiZlbiYxNjA0MCYmMQ%3D%3D

 


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Guide helps fuel retailers to prevent drive-offs

petrol stations , forecourt accountingA new guide has been produced which helps fuel retailers to spot and prevent potential drive-offs – when drivers fill up and leave without paying. Produced by BOSS, the British Oil Security Syndicate, the guide supports a successful crime reduction training initiative in Rossendale, Lancashire.

Bob Ormerod, a community volunteer with Lancashire Constabulary, developed the drive-off prevention training which he has been delivering at local service stations during 2012. Ormerod said: “The training is based on the practical advice in the BOSS guide and has contributed to the number of drive-offs in the area falling by 62% compared to the same period last year, which is a considerable reduction. We’re bringing more offenders to justice and more than £1,100 has been paid back to retailers by motorists who had failed to pay for their fuel.”

Kevin Eastwood, executive director of BOSS, added: “We’re delighted that the guidance offered in our drive-off prevention manual is helping to bring about such positive results in Lancashire. This is a great example of how co-ordinated efforts to support and train fuel retailers can have a significant impact on cutting levels of crime on the forecourt.”

The BOSS handbook, Drive-off prevention – a useful guide for fuel retailers, uses real-life drive-off examples to illustrate typical instances that retailers should be alert to. Created in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police Service, the booklet has been distributed to a number of police forces throughout the UK.

http://www.theretailbulletin.com/news/guide_helps_fuel_retailers_to_prevent_driveoffs_21-08-12/